RUTH Kneebone believes everyone has a gift to give and that giving back should always be at the heart of the community.
Ms Kneebone has been involved in a range of prominent organisations in Wangaratta, which has included previously being the director of corporate services for the Rural City of Wangaratta and she recently became chair of the board for ‘Into Our Hands’ community foundation.
Ms Kneebone said she has been a part of the not-for-profit organisation since 2018, which provides support and grants to more than 100 communities in the North East.
“There are not many community foundations around, there’s just 13 in Victoria and 39 in Australia,” she said.
“We’re lucky to have one.”
She said it was a proud moment when the organisation launched ‘Give Wangaratta’ last year and held a fundraiser event that raised more than $60,000.
“It was an amazing event, we had a pitch up of three local charities and made a pitch to the audience, people in the room were very generous,” she said.
“It just showed what the potential was in this area for generosity and for building resilience in our community.”
She said she fell into the role at the charity after meeting with one of the members.
“I had a chance meeting with a board member and they said you should come on board, it all fell into place,” she said.
“It’s very rewarding, some people can surprise you from the way they are generous.”
“Everyone in the community has a gift to give, it might be they’re attitude, or their energy or just their skills.”
She said she was born and raised in Wangaratta, which has helped her to feel connected to the community and was inspired by her parents’ devotion to supporting their local towns.
“Our parents were always involved in things, they weren’t just a member, they were on the committee and did things,” she said.
“That’s probably the factor that made us more enthusiastic about doing things rather than sitting back.”
If this wasn’t enough, she is also president of the Everton Hall committee and is a board member for NorthEast Health, as well as managing a small farm with her husband.