In the realm of volunteering, where sincerity and dedication often speak louder than words, Andy Riley stands as a testament to two decades of quiet commitment with Hervey Bay Active Riders Inc. Devoting approximately 15 hours a month, Andy has become an integral part of the club, helping to shape a supportive and encouraging environment where people of all ages and abilities can embrace the joy of horse riding.

Andy’s journey into volunteering with Hervey Bay Active Riders began with a personal desire to reconnect with horse riding. “I wanted to get back into horse riding and joined Hervey Bay Active Riders. I helped out with setting up and running their days alongside the committee members, eventually moving into various committee roles and helping where I could,” Andy explains. Her motivation was rooted in a genuine love for the activity and a desire to contribute to the community.

Reflecting on a pivotal moment during her volunteering tenure, Andy shares a transformative encounter with Keryn Staib. “I had a really bad experience in a particular discipline where I questioned everything I knew and what I was doing. That very day, I met, by chance, an amazing man, Keryn Staib, who sat and talked with me about my horse and why I ride, and he encouraged me to keep at it and maybe look in another direction if I’m not having fun. I did exactly that and have not looked back.”

Inspired by Keryn’s approach, Andy strives to create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere within the club. “Keryn showed me what it meant to be part of a club where people were welcomed, encouraged, and supported, no matter your level of riding ability or background. This is something I have strived to incorporate with the many clubs I have been a part of over the years.”

When asked about a lasting impression from volunteering, Andy emphasises the importance of a service-orientated mindset. “When you volunteer at a club or organisation, particularly when holding a position on a committee, it is extremely important to have the mindset that you are there to serve. Serve and give back to your club and your community. There should not be any ego involved or personal benefit apart from the satisfaction you get from volunteering your time to help others.”

Describing her volunteer journey in one word, Andy chooses “Rewarding.” Witnessing the growth and improved confidence of individuals within the club, all while fostering a supportive environment, brings immense satisfaction. Andy Riley’s 20-year commitment exemplifies the profound impact one individual can have through quiet dedication and a genuine love for serving the community.