Geoffrey Pownall - Community Spirit
Geoffrey Pownall had thought his time with the Rotary Club was done.
But his mentor persuaded him to look into other programmes within the organisation. At an annual Rotary conference, he witnessed a moving presentation for a Rotary programme which helps underprivileged children from the Asia and Pacific regions get urgent medical treatment. He has never looked back.
The Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children programme (Romac) is an Australian and New Zealand organisation which raises funds to bring a child and their family to Australia or New Zealand for life-saving treatment.
Romac organises and pays for visas, passports, accommodation, surgery and clothing, while offering emotional and practical support.
A Rotarian since 1996, Mr Pownall joined Romac in 2010.
He has taken up a variety of roles during his time with the programme - from creating financial reports to meeting a Timorese family in Bali and escorting them to New Zealand for the treatment.
Mr Pownall also sits on the board of the Takapuna Rotary Club, is a mentor to youth Rotarians, a supporter of a Tibetan children's fund and he is a self-employed trust accountant.
For his devotion to the Rotarian community and in particular Romac, Mr Pownall has been nominated for a Pride of New Zealand Award in the Community Spirit category.
"Geoff is extremely hard working and brings an attention to detail, an ability to get the job done and a sense of conscientious endeavour," his nominator said.
Mr Pownall, a self-confessed "workaholic", acknowledges his parents' voluntary work was a major influence.
Despite not having much money or "fancy things" while growing up, his parents would offer a hand where they could.
Sometimes he forms lasting friendships with the families seeking treatment.
Being Auckland-based, Mr Pownall is in a position to offer practical support.
But getting regional clubs excited about the programme too can be a challenge and he will be trying to conjure up interesting ways of involvement that is not just financial support.
"I would spend twice as much time on Romac and Rotary," he said, "if I had time to do it."