For seven years Luis Perez-Mora has been a highly-valued member of the Dubbo community but now he is saying goodbye.
Mr Perez-Mora is perhaps best-known for his role as a deputy captain with the Dubbo Rescue Squad but he was also a manager of the day programs at Westhaven and a region Scout commissioner.
He is heading to Brisbane for professional opportunities but the good news is, he will be back.
Mr Perez-Mora said his long-term goal is to come back to Dubbo and his decision to remain as a volunteer in the Dubbo Rescue Squad is a signal of that intention.
“I’m definitely coming back,” he said.
“I'm going to Brisbane for a few professional opportunities for the next 12-18 months.
“I will be coming back every few months to visit, and I’ll still be a member of the rescue squad but I won’t actually be on call like I have for the last seven years.”
Mr Perez-Mora arrived in Dubbo in mid-2010 and joined the rescue squad a couple of months later. He also became involved with the Scouts and the Masons.
He became involved with the Westhaven Association and said he thoroughly enjoyed his job there. He said his farewell was a difficult moment.
“Westhaven is a beautiful organisation. It’s growing like crazy and the clients are incredible,” Mr Perez-Mora said.
“The hardest part for me was to see the 60 faces of clients and my 15 staff and say goodbye. There were all these sad faces.
“I’ve seen some really confronting things with the VRA, but that was the hardest thing I have done.”
Being a member of the rescue squad isn’t always easy but Mr Perez-Mora said it was hugely rewarding and he was pleased to see the squad would be getting a new building, with an announcement by Dubbo MP Troy Grant coming just before he left.
“I know that Dubbo community is going to get a lot from that. We have been looking at how to get a new shed and now that has come up. It’s very exciting.”
He is hoping his return to Dubbo might even coincide with the new headquarters being built.
“I will tell the boys just keep it clean, I’ll be back,” he said.