Walter Aich: Board Director of our Community Foundation
Walter Aich joined the Mirboo North and District Community Foundation Board in March 2014 and has since been actively involved on our Board, as well as the Community Connections and Grants and Allocations Committees.
Walter has an extensive background in education with a Bachelor of Science (Education) and a post graduate Bachelor of Education. Having spent more than 20 years as a Secondary science and maths teacher, Walter also held senior positions with the Gippsland Regional Council of Adult, Community & Further Education (ACFE Gippsland).
Walter’s role as Executive Officer to ACFE Gippsland, was to ensure that the Regional Council met its contractual, governance and strategic targets as a statutory organisation, assisting up to 50 community governed organisations to deliver foundation level adult learning programs across Gippsland.
Walter is very active with a number of community organisations including the South Gippsland CFA and Dumbalk Progress Association.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Munich but grew up in Ringwood. At that time, Ringwood was an outer eastern suburb with a long walk to the station, lots of small strip shopping centres, remnant apple orchards, blackberry overgrowth along exposed creeks, unmade roads and a bush block opposite our front gate for us to play in. It is hard to imagine now.
What was the first community organisation you got involved in and what motivated you to join?
The first community organisation I was a part of was the Scouts. I started as a cub, became a scout, then a senior scout. I was also an assistant leader for a short while. I enjoyed the camaraderie and the challenge of working within the movement.
Why did you join the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation Board?
I joined the Board as it offered an opportunity to use the skills & understandings I had learnt as a secondary school teacher and public servant working in the not-for-profit adult learning sector.
I enjoy the challenge of helping to honour the hard work of our community, using the proceeds of a unique community asset to help people become more independent and resilient.
You have recently travelled overseas, where did you go and what was the biggest highlight of your trip?
Our recent travels included Morocco, Portugal, Barcelona, South West France and Munich.
For different reasons the highlights for me were Munich (catching up with relatives and friends); the Dordogne region of South West France (the foie gras and Roquefort); and sharing the experience with my partner.
We live in a beautiful part of Gippsland, if you had to take a visitor on a day trip where would you go and why?
We usually take our visitors to Wilson’s Prom. Where else can you get to see such a range of landscapes, interesting flora and fauna, as well as the great view from Mt Oberon. We don’t always get to fit in the Lily Pilly Gully walk, but we try to as well.
What is your favorite music?
I enjoy many types and styles of music, but most commonly listen to the popular music of my youth: the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, as well as chamber music such as Bach and Brahms.
If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
In addition to the work for the Community Foundation and the Dumbalk Community Centre, I am very actively committed to working with the CFA brigades of the South Gippsland Group. I am helping to mold a cohesive group that works together to give the community the best possible protection.
If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?
The things that I value are those things that remind us of our journey:
- a few ribbons from a Show where our cashmere goats won prizes;
- photos showing family, friends and us working on the farm;
- mementos of our ‘special’ friends – Rikki, Del, Isci & Tosca, our herd guarding Anatolian Shepherds
What is a new skill you’d like to learn and why?
Learning how to manage larger scale emergencies; I am getting too old to be at the end of a hose but I still have a deal to contribute.
If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?
I’d like to witness the moment a supernova becomes visible in the night sky.