Helping to stop crime in the Lockyer for 25 years
HE'S served in the Australian army for more than 20 years, has been a defence force teacher and a Lockyer Valley Crime Stoppers veteran of 25 years.
But one thing Greg Steffens will always be is a community-minded local in the Lockyer Valley.
"I was born and bred in Gatton but left to go into the army at 15-and-a-half as an army apprentice in Balcombe, Victoria,” he said.
"I'd always planned to come back to the Lockyer, we've seen most of Australia and we just liked Gatton and the community.”
And what a comeback it was.
In 1990 he returned to Gatton with family in tow to complete his last three months in the Army before "getting out” in 1991.
Though serving in the Australian Defence Force for 20 years is just one of Mr Steffens' life achievements.
Starting out as a carpenter and joiner in the army he worked his way up through numerous construction companies and ended up at the School of Military Engineering teaching construction in Holsworthy in New South Wales.
"That was fulfilling because I'd started off as an apprentice and ended up as a teacher,” Mr Steffens said.
And out of those 20 years as a serviceman, the one thing that would stay with him was helping to rebuild the city of Darwin after Cyclone Tracy tore through in December of 1974.
"Darwin was completely wiped out,” he said.
"I spent six weeks working up there, helping the locals piece the city back together... putting on new roofs and re-building things.
"The pier had been broken in half and the cyclone has removed the centre. We built the longest Bailey Bridge ever constructed in the southern hemisphere there.”
It was while Mr Steffens was posted in Holsworthy he met his wife Densie through some friends.
They were married on January 3, 1976 at Shellharbour, NSW and went onto have two children.
"It's been so lovely coming back to the Lockyer and seeing my kids integrate and be so successful and raise their own good kids,” he said.
Mr Steffens was recently recognised for an amazing 25 years service as a volunteer on the Lockyer Valley Area Crime Stoppers Committee at an awards presentation held at Coorparoo.
He has seen many changes to Crime Stoppers over those years including the logo, but it still holds the same importance for him as it did when he first joined.
"We work really hard on our Lockyer Valley committee and I believe we do make a difference in getting the Crime Stoppers number 1800 333 000 out there and raising funds for the rewards program,” he said.
"Gatton is a great community and I want to give back to it because people really looked after us when we arrived as a young family in 1990.”
Lockyer Valley Crime Stoppers began 28 years ago at Gatton Police Station and Mr Steffens has seen the organisation grow from the ground up.
"I started as a committee member, but I've been the vice-chairperson for the last 20 years,” he said.
"Joining was a way to integrate back into the Gatton community too.
"The committee was in its very early stages back then, now there are 33 committees in Australia.”
Mr Steffens said the amount of arrests and drugs seized and stolen property returned through Crime Stoppers was astonishing.
"In its 28 years, on average, there has been three arrests and nine charges through Crime Stoppers every day of the week,” he said.
Mr Steffens said he intends on staying with Crime Stoppers for as long as possible.
"It's so rewarding to see the amount of people it's helped,” Mr Steffens said.
The next fundraiser is just around the corner with the Crime Stoppers bowls night on Thursday, October 19 with tickets available for teams of 4. Phone Lynne 5468 3266 or Greg 0438 623 051 for tickets.
Mr Steffens now puts his learned trade skills and experience to use with his hobby of woodworking.
"I like to build a lot of different things lots of things out of wood - I started off with sports, but then it got to the stage where I'm too old and I'll break things,” he chuckled.
I like to keep my hands busy.”
Running his business, Lockyer Valley Security Services for the last 26 years also keeps Mr Steffens extremely busy.
"Never start a 24 hour business,” he chuckled.