Valley Veterans | Greg Scrivner, still giving back to the community

You would think after nearly 10 years in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), followed by a diverse and dynamic career in mechanical engineering that retirement would be time to put your feet up - but not so for the Nambucca Valley's Greg Scrivner.

He spends much of his spare time giving back to the community in a variety of ways.

Greg Scrivner at his home workshop building nesting boxes for possums and gliders that will be used by WIRES MNC carers. Photo: Mick Birtles

Greg Scrivner at his home workshop building nesting boxes for possums and gliders that will be used by WIRES MNC carers. Photo: Mick Birtles

Greg grew up in Nambucca Heads and attended high school in Macksville. In 1966 Greg joined the RAAF, where he was technically trained as an aircraft engine fitter. His RAAF career saw him serve in Williamtown NSW, Butterworth, Malaysia and Richmond, near Sydney.

At the end of his nine year tenure Greg left the RAAF and studied mechanical engineering where he plied his trade in a range of companies including, Australia Post and worked in the mining sector as a development engineer.

Greg even worked as the engineering development manager for MacDonalds Systems Australia (yes, the hamburger people), a job that saw him frequently head to the US.

The time away from his family made Greg rethink his working life and he began working for a Japanese pneumatic company in Sydney. As their national quality assurance officer Greg once again found himself traveling extensively in New Zealand and South East Asia.

In 2004, with his ageing parents still living in the area, the Scrivner's returned to the Nambucca Valley where Greg took up a technical position with the Coffs Shire Council.

Greg continued his working life with NSW Public Works doing project management until his retirement in 2013.

Greg's current hobbies and interests are as diverse as his career. He enjoys wood carving and wood turning and making timber furniture, he gets out doors when he can through kayaking and cycling but it is his volunteer work for the community that takes up most of his time.

Greg became interested in the Men's Shed, even before he retired. Once he had left the workforce he volunteered in the position of Assistant Supervisor with the Macksville Men's Shed.

In this role he found great satisfaction in providing mentoring to high school students who were having difficulties in various aspects of their lives. Greg coached them in the use of tools and workshop equipment, arming them with valuable life skills, and they were able to take their completed projects home.

Over the last few years Greg has discovered the Lions Club of Nambucca Heads where his technical skills have become invaluable.

He has recently been able to lead the way in the modernisation and refurbishment of their mobile kitchen that will see this kitchen continue to raise funds for the wonderful projects that Lions do in our community.

Recently Greg found out that Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Mid North Coast (WIRES MNC) carers were not only caring for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife but generally paid for their own equipment and food to be able to conduct this care.

Greg spoke to a WIRES MNC carer to see if there was a way his technical skills might be able to help them with the work they do, particularly in the wake of the recent bushfire crisis.

Based on the carers advice Greg went straight to work building nesting boxes for possums and gliders that will be used during the rehabilitation and release phases of their care.

Greg is using scrap timber that has been local logged and milled and takes satisfaction from being able to return this timber to the bush in the form of these possum and glider boxes.

Greg's work will go a long way to assist local WIRES MNC carers in their quest to preserve precious native wildlife.

Greg Scrivner is a great example of a Valley Veteran who continues to give back to his community. Thank you for your service.

About the author: Mick Birtles is a retired army officer now living in Nambucca Heads. During his 36-year career, Birtles served in Bougainville, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for command and leadership. Here he shares his interest in the welfare and well-being of veterans on the Mid North Coast.

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