Humble hero Peter Geraghty named RAC WA Volunteer of the Year  

Press Release

St John WA’s Peter Geraghty has been named RAC WA Volunteer of the Year after more than 43 years of extraordinary service to the Wheatbelt community.  

Peter won the top honour at the 2024 WA Volunteer of the Year Awards on Thursday night, selected from 240 nominees from across the State.  

The truly humble hero has devoted most of his life to helping others since joining the Kununoppin Sub Centre as a Volunteer Ambulance Officer in 1980. 

The Mukinbudin local is known across the Wheatbelt as a selfless, kind and hardworking person who always puts his community first. 

He has been the sub centre’s secretary and treasurer since 1985, providing strong and steady leadership for more than four decades.  

At 18,000 square kilometres, the Kununoppin crew cover one of the largest patches in WA, servicing the shires of Mukinbudin, Mt Marshall, Trayning and Nungarin. 

In recognition of Peter’s impact on the region, all four local governments made him an Honorary Freeman of their shires in 2016, the highest honour a council can bestow.  

In an incredible sign of his dedication to the community, Peter has been the sub centre’s sole call-taker and ambulance dispatcher since 1985. 

This means he is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, sacrificing countless hours of his own time to ensure crews get to where they need to go quickly and efficiently. 

With the sub centre averaging 290 calls a year spread between emergencies and patient transfers from Merredin, there are few days when Peter’s phone doesn’t ring.  

And after four decades, he hasn’t missed a call yet. 

Peter is also the sub centre’s fleet co-ordinator and is responsible for keeping its 12 ambulances and other support vehicles serviced and ready to go at all times.  

Once a fortnight he hops in the car after work to complete a 300km round trip to check on the fleet at six locations spread across the Wheatbelt. 

He is a mentor to fellow volunteers as a trainer and development officer helping to ensure the sub centre remains strong into the future. 

Whenever there is a major emergency in his region, Peter makes the journey to check on the volunteer crews attending the scene and provide support. 

And he does it all while running the local BP service station, driving a school bus and spending time with his family.  

Peter Geraghty (centre) with fellow St John WA Kununoppin Sub Centre volunteers.

Peter took the opportunity to thank his fellow volunteers while accepting his award on Thursday.

“It is a very challenging job and dealing with local people that we know so well makes the job that much harder, but it can be very rewarding,” he said.  

“The support we get from other volunteers is above and beyond and that is what makes the work so good.  

“I consider it an absolute privilege and the true heroes out of this are our volunteers who have worked thousands of hours over the years.” 

Peter also thanked his family, particularly his wife Robyn. 

“I must acknowledge my family because without their support I couldn’t have done this at all,” he said. 

“There are a lot of sacrifices in volunteering and there are a lot of things we have missed out on over the years, but we would do it all again if we had to.” 

St John WA Wheatbelt Regional Operations Manager Matthew Guile said even while maintaining his own business, Peter always made operation of the sub centre a priority.  

“There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the ambulance service would not operate anywhere near as effectively or even at all, if not for the tireless contribution of Peter Geraghty,” he said.  

Matthew said Peter had touched the lives of almost every family across the Wheatbelt over his four decades of service. 

“Peter is a quiet achiever, but he is just one of those genuinely nice people who gets it done,” he said.  

“Peter lives and breathes the true values and meaning of volunteering, to give your time, focus and passion to a community cause while expecting absolutely nothing in return.

“Peter has embodied this every day of the week over the past 40 plus years.” 

St John WA Group Chief Executive Officer Kevin Brown said Peter’s win was “phenomenal.” 

“This is such wonderful recognition of Peter and his years of dedication to his community and our organisation,” he said. 

“I am beyond proud of what Peter has achieved. 

“I congratulate him wholeheartedly on this win and would like to take this opportunity to remind all Western Australians of how fortunate we are to have so many volunteers looking after us. 

“Peter represents the very best of true service to humanity, and is a shining example of St John values.” 

Learn more about volunteering with St John WA here.

Share this:

Follow us on Social Media: