In 2012 I was privileged to liaise with Val Jeffery for his nomination for a “Footsteps to Follow” Award for Tuggeranong .    I was so taken with Val’s life story, I requested  Val  write it down and send it to me as I was on the panel for this project.   I hope you enjoy Val’s storey as much as I did!

Val Jeffery was born in Queanbeyan and lived all his life in the small village of Tharwa ACT.  Val worked for his brother’s trucking business when he left school and spent hard hours loading/unloading rail trucks at the Tuggeranong siding from the time he was old enough to drive.  Val  gradually started his own business and so began a lifetime of involvement in large scale wheat farming, cattle, contract trucking, fuel delivery and parcel delivery.

Always community- minded, Val worked to establish a progress association at Tharwa.  The local Junior Farmer’s Club played a large part in his life along with his wife Dorothy, they led the club to win the AMPOL Award for the best Junior Farmer’s Club in NSW.  Val was the organizer of rural shows, gymkhanas, dances, cricket and tennis matches and even a bathing beauty competition for Tharwa!  An active rural fire fighter, Val became administrator and was the brigade captain and involved in dozens of fire emergencies over the years.  Val served as Chairman of the ACT Bush Fire Council for 12 years (then a Statutory Authority).  In recognition of his community work, Val has been awarded an OAM and AFSM (Australian Fire Service Medal, a Rotary Award and a plaque on the “Honour Walk” in Civic and a bronze plaque on the Tuggeranong Town Park Wall.

I visited Val in his Tharwa Store that has serviced the local community for many years.  It was most fortunate that Val was able to finally have time in our ACT Assembly .  The wonderful community spirit of Val Jeffery will I hope always be remembered in our ACT region.

by Beverley Flint, Public Officer Tuggeranong Community Council.

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