After spending most of his life in community service, Brian Goodlet aims to keep working and urges fellow retired seniors to do the same as one way to end isolation.
Goodlet's work in helping retirees, particularly men, led to him being named Dubbo's 2023 Senior Citizen of the Year at Victoria Park on Thursday, January 26.
"It is a privilege to be nominated and for the committee to decide my nomination was suitable for this award of this nature," he said.
With the award, Mr Goodlet vowed to continue to pursue social justice advocacy and voluntary work with the Rediscovery for Men, which encourages more retired and senior men to share their skills and life experiences with the community.
"Having the sense of being part of the community and to have that in the mindset is important for seniors and retired men," he said.
"They feel they belong and have a sense of purpose [in life] as many people find the isolation of older men a real problem, that's why we will continue to do more work in that sense."
Mr Goodlet is among the founders of Rediscovery for Men, a group that's been going strong since its creation in Dubbo in 2015.
The group meets weekly to find ways to use their spare time as retirees to help the community.
In their gatherings, they share life stories, hold social events with guest speakers and discuss how they can positively impact people's lives.
"It's a great team of people that work together because we believe that if we work as a team, we can achieve more," Mr Goodlet, 80, said.
"A lot of them are isolated men who retired but this group helps them develop new friendships and get a sense of identity again and those are very important for them."
In 1981, Mr Goodlet was instrumental in establishing the now 40-year-old Dubbo Christian School providing administrative support and liaising with legal advisers while serving on a committee to open a parent-controlled school in the city.
He continued community work and by 2009, Mr Goodlet joined the management committee of the Western NSW Community Legal Centre in Dubbo to provide free legal advice to disadvantaged residents across the region.
He still serves as the centre's volunteer treasurer, and has been part of the centre's growth delivering diverse legal services for those needing help.
Mr Goodlet's passion for social justice as an advocate for many years has resulted in many people in the region accessing free legal services.
When he was announced as the winner by Dubbo Regional Council on Australia Day, it was said his dedication to community service may span many years but it's not the length of his commitment that stands out why he was chosen as "a very worthy winner".
"It's the way he approaches life, Brian is a quiet achiever, and the community groups he works with benefit from his wealth of experience and compassion," the council statement read.