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When Geoff Russell was invited to join the Ballarat Hospice Care board in 1997 by founder Alan Bath, he was already involved with a lot of other clubs.

But he realised he was stretching his financial and management expertise a bit thin, so he decided to stick with just two – the Rotary Club of Wendouree Breakfast and Ballarat Hospice Care.

“Why I stayed with Ballarat Hospice Care was a mixture of things,” Mr Russell said.

“Amongst those was my high regard for the staff and what they do each and every day for the patients and carers, and the fact the most precious thing that we’ve got is life.

Mr Russell has been Ballarat Hospice Care board chairman for the past decade but said he works hard at re-inventing himself.

“It’s a key role and it’s easy to lose a bit of zip so I always ask the question ‘what else can I do for the service’.”

Mr Russell said his position is largely a governance role.

“It’s all about strategy, not about operations. The board has a broad range of skills and talents.

“These include accountancy, law, medical practice, spiritual, others who have worked in not-for-profits in a managerial sense and others who bring particular complementary skills.

“One of the strengths of this organisation is the board. They are very committed people which gives confidence to Carita and the staff.

“They not only care about the organisation but they also work hard at ensuring that the financial strength of Ballarat Hospice Care continues to prevail.”

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