OzChild volunteer turns 100

News, Volunteer | Posted December 20, 2021
OzChild volunteer turns 100

OzChild volunteer, Aubrey (Aub) Gamble has led an exciting and fulfilling life that includes more than a quarter of a century of volunteer work.

While Aub is celebrating his 100th birthday on 21 December, age has not deterred him from showing up each Friday to volunteer at the OzChild Op Shop in Highett.

“I stopped in at the shop about 28 years ago and offered to fix some watches so they could be sold in the shop, and I’m still there,” laughs Mr Gamble.

Aub is no stranger to volunteering, for 20 years he also volunteered for Kingston City Council’s Meals on Wheels program in between playing golf and roller skating – which he did up until only a few years ago.

“Since I was 17, I loved to skate, and I was pretty good at it too, I won three Victorian State Championships back in 1945, ‘47 and ’49 and two-runner up titles. I gave it away when I got married and we had a family but returned to the rink later in life. I just love it!”

Aub stopped skating when he was 96 years old and while he has slowed down a bit since breaking his hip a few years ago volunteering at the OzChild Op Shop is something he looks forward to each week.

I always loved the challenge of fixing things when I was a kid, if something wasn’t working, I would pull it apart and figure out what was wrong. With six kids’ money at home was often tight so that’s what you did back then, you made do with what you had and fixed anything that was broken rather than replacing it,” says Mr Gamble.

After Aub’s wife of more than 40 years passed away in 1991 he began looking for things to do to keep busy and the volunteer role at the Op Shop does just that.

“Aub takes watches, and other bits and pieces that are no longer working home and fixes them. He uses his own money to replace batteries (as he refuses to let us pay!) and get things going again, otherwise those donated items would end up in the bin”

– OzChild Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lisa J. Griffiths.
Lisa Griffiths and Aub Gamble Foster Carers
Pictured: Dr Lisa J. Griffiths and Aub Gamble

For more than 30 years the OzChild Op Shop in Highett has been a much-loved part of the local community operated by a terrific team of local volunteers who are always happy to assist shoppers and stop for a chat. The shop is renowned for its cleanliness and the quality of items.

“In the last 10 years alone the Op Shop has raised over $750,000 to support the delivery of programs and services for children, young people and families in Victoria, the commitment of Aub and all the volunteers really does make an enormous difference to the work OzChild does”

“We are delighted to see Aub mark this incredible milestone, it’s not often we get to celebrate such a significant birthday. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing a cuppa and a piece of cake with Aub and other volunteers at the Op Shop to celebrate the occasion,” adds Dr Griffiths.

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