Leeanne and Dean Whitehead

Dean and Leeanne Whitehead stand in front of the old Timboon railway building. Dean is wearing a cap and a blue long sleet shirt, Leeanne is wearing a red hoody. Both have Park Run vests on as well.

Leeanne Whitehead, lifelong Timboon volunteer, Timboon Action Secretary

The influence of her community spirited upbringing and especially her parents and grandmother shines on through Leeanne Whitehead and her family.

“Mum and Dad were both involved with the community, Mum with Mother's Club and school then the Timboon Golf Club. Dad was sport-related with the Heytesbury Football Club, Heytesbury Tennis Club and Timboon Tennis Association then later on Timboon Golf Club.

“I also noticed the work that volunteers do when, after leaving school, I lived with my grandmother for a couple of years. She was on the hospital auxiliary, saw what she was doing and gave her a hand,” Leeanne reflects.

Now a grandmother herself, those values ripple through the generations, a supportive and community husband John by her side, their adult sons, their wives all involved in the Timboon community in some way. And a new generation of Whiteheads in the wings.

Leeanne has been heavily involved with the Timboon Demons Football Netball Club, having served in almost all roles besides president, including coaching all grades of netball, umpiring, canteen, social, treasurer, secretary and manager. While raising their family, Leeanne became involved in parenting groups, kindergartens and school community activities.

“It’s fairly much involved all my life. It’s just what we do.”

“Without the support of my husband and sons, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I do. It’s a team thing, it takes having everyone behind you to make that happen.”

Currently Timboon Recreation Reserve committee of management Secretary, Leeanne continues to be passionately involved in her community. She was most recently appointed Timboon Action Committee Secretary.

Leeanne is immensely proud to see her late grandmother’s values living on in her growing family.

Dean Whitehead, teacher, Timboon parkrun Co-ordinator, Leeanne’s son

It is no surprise to learn that Dean Whitehead was introduced to the concept of helping his home community as a child.

“My earliest memory of volunteering is bagging lollies for the canteen in front of the TV.

“Volunteering is what we saw around us. If you want to be involved with things, you need to give back in some way if you can.”

Growing up, game day with the Timboon Demons Football Netball Club saw the whole family involved, with canteen, boundary umpiring, scoreboard, playing, you name it.

A member of the Timboon Stadium management committee, Dean has been under 15s and reserves coach, as well as umpiring local netball and reserves football in recent years. “I find the umpiring a great challenge, similar to when I play, always trying to improve. It also gives you the best seat to watch the game from.”

Dean is also the volunteer event director for parkrun, a free, fun and friendly 5km community event each Saturday morning at Timboon, run entirely by volunteers.

“We make sure we have a great event. It’s a great thing for the community and involves everyone, from four-year-olds up.”

Dean encourages people to set aside any fears about getting involved.

“Don’t be afraid. Start small. You don’t have to take on big roles.

“You make lifelong friends and share people’s stories along the way.”

It’s no surprise to hear Dean has enlisted the help of the wider family at parkrun, including his children, a new generation of volunteers.

More: parkrun.com.au/timboon