A STRONG belief in the Australian mantra of “give everyone a fair go” is what got Rob Naughton into volunteering for an organisation providing services to people who are homeless.
The Greenwood resident, who has more than 40 years’ aviation experience, is a control centre operator at Perth Airport and has volunteered as a vehicle manager for Orange Sky Laundry for two years.
Mr Naughton’s passion for aviation, which began as a child when he made propellers out of bark, pegs and wooden boxes, is now matched by his desire to give back to the community and make a difference.
After having his first flight at 18 years old, Mr Naughton said he had “lived the dream”, working in a dynamic, ever-changing industry, with clever, motivated people.
“I have been blessed to have had wonderful experiences, filled with joy and exhilaration, lots of laughs, seen and met fantastic places and people, and at the end of the day gone home feeling I have accomplished something,” he said.
The 70-year-old said he wanted to volunteer for Orange Sky Laundry because of his “strong belief in the Aussie mantra, ‘give everyone a fair go’.”
“When Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett (Orange Sky Laundry’s founders) were nominated as Young Australians of the Year, I was inspired to try and make a difference in someone else’s life for the good,” he said.
“There are challenges along the way, sometimes things break down at a most inconvenient time, but this is forgotten when I meet up with my fellow volunteers and friends on the street.
“It is a very humbling experience, but also very gratifying suddenly finding you have this very large family depending on you to perform your role to the very highest standard and you mustn’t let them down.”
Perth Airport chief corporate services officer Debra Blaskett said Mr Naughton was making a real difference in the WA community and living out the values the airport encouraged.
“We’re very happy to provide help with training volunteers like Rob who get involved with such great causes,” she said.
The next Orangetation for Orange Sky Laundry is on March 13 at Perth Airport.
For more information, visit visit www.orangeskylaundry.com.au.