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our people



Girgarre is a small community with a fabulous volunteer group. With over 120 people volunteering throughout our groups, clubs, events and projects we are able to achieve extraordinary results.



Retiring after a lifetime of working and volunteering for the local Girgarre community did not mean Ian Wadelton rested on his laurels. Ian and his wife Jenny moved into Kyabram in 2007, purchased a caravan and set about seeing Australia. Once home and firmly established in Kyabram, they maintained their links to their hometown; Ian volunteers at the monthly farmers market; the Moosic Muster and works with the Friends of Gargarro at the gardens and on the fencing around the new Green Thumbs nursery.

Born and raised in the Girgarre district, Ian attended the local primary school and the Kyabram High School before working for his parents and later taking over the running of the farm. Marrying Jenny in 1976 and raising 3 children; serving on School council and playing tennis, umpiring for the netball and playing with the Girgarre Tennis Club all the while running their own Dairy farm kept the family busy until retirement loomed. As for Jenny Wadelton, an active volunteer in her own right - watch this space.

Volunteers like Ian have a love and a passion for the place where they’ve lived all their lives. That passion is what makes Girgarre continue to grow and thrive today.

“Volunteers are priceless; volunteering is its own reward. Together we can achieve extraordinary things.”


If there’s one thing to be said about Bernie Ryan, it’s that his energy knows no bounds.  A fitness guru, he is a regular bike rider and a keen world traveller, mostly on foot. He is also a fine cook and offers his services to the Girgarre community for many fine dining fund raisers held in the community hall. His historic home, ‘Bonshaw’, just a few minutes drive from Girgarre at Stanhope and the beautiful gardens he has created around it are a regular feature at the Girgarre Open Gardens festival. The very popular High Tea, provided by Bernie and his volunteer helpers in the grounds of ‘Bonshaw’ brings the festival to a successful close each year.  


Gardening is Bernie’s other great passion. The ‘Bonshaw’ gardens are a testament to his creative flair, expanding all the time they are a district show piece. He is a more than willing volunteer with the fledgling Gargarro Botanic Gardens project, chairing the ‘Friends of the Gardens’, organising regular working bees at the site on Curr Rd, Girgarre and volunteering with the Green Thumbs Nursery propagation program.


Bernie is just one of the many volunteer friends of Girgarre who have been inspired by the passion and drive of this dynamic community. Volunteering with this dedicated band is engaging, they are a welcoming and cheerful group. If you are wanting somewhere to go where there’s friendship and fun, then there’s room for you too.

Contact Bernie on 03 5857 2407 or 0455 578 722.


We'd love to hear from you...

Contact Jan Smith

+613 5854 6283 or 0458 546 283


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