Geoff Penna awarded OAM for decades of community work

Mr Penna has managed to devote a substantial part of his life to helping others.

The lifelong CFA volunteer, Landcare champion, community health advocate and business leader is a deserving recipient.

"I do volunteer work because I grew up in a family that that volunteered. It was just the norm," Geoff said.

He said his proudest achievement is perhaps his least-known role.

"I've been a JP since 2003 and an Independent Third Person said 2016," he said.

"If the police arrest an alleged offender, who may have a cognitive disability, we get called into the police station.

"There are only two of us in the area that does it. The police can't start the interview until we've interviewed the person.

"That's to help the person through the interview because some have never been in a police station, let alone a cell. That's pretty daunting. I've done 90 interviews across Ararat, Stawell, Maryborough and Ballarat."

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