About Willunga District
Community Bus Inc

The History Of The Community Bus

The Willunga District Community Bus is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1988 by local volunteers. The Community Bus aims to help make Willunga and the surrounding districts more accessible for frail, aged or isolated members of the local community, younger people with disabilities and those who are transport disadvantaged.

Securing A Bus

Our journey started in 1988 when a team of local volunteers formed a transport committee to lobby the local council, raise awareness and obtain funding to improve local transport services by running a community bus service.

Thanks to our volunteers’ hard work and determination, we soon secured our first bus (borrowed from Southern Vales Community Health Service). We used this to operate a shopping service to Mclaren Vale once a week and transport services to local church craft groups and community centres.

Transport Co-Ordinator

By 1989, the transport committee team had raised enough funds to employ a dedicated transport coordinator. The transport coordinator’s mission was to liaise with the local councils, community and local organisations to develop and expand the community bus service.

Buying The First Bus –  The Lions Club Of Willunga

By 1990 demand for our services was growing and The Lions Club of Willunga stepped in to fund the purchase of our first 8-seater minibus. All our volunteers rallied to help and we were able to extend our services from once a week to three days a week, offering transport services for shopping, medical trips and social groups.

Bus Number 2 – Home & Community Care Services

Seeing how much the service benefited the local community, H.A.C.C (Home and Community Care services) and the District Council of Willunga came forward with funding for a second minibus. This new 10-seater minibus enabled us to offer additional services throughout the local community and surrounding suburbs.

Bus Number 3 – Federal Funding

By 1991 thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and transport coordinator, we were able to secure additional funding from the federal government to purchase a third ten-seater vehicle. With three minibuses and 14 volunteers, we could finally offer the community bus service full time Monday to Friday.

To ensure we could reach the most isolated groups, we made our minibuses available to local community groups in the evenings and at weekends so the whole community could benefit from the service.

Independent Volunteer Organisation

By 1995 with the Community Bus Service up and running, it was decided to set up a new transport organisation run purely by volunteers to make our funding go further. On October 23rd 1995, a new independent organisation, Willunga District Community Transport Board Inc, was created, and a new executive board was formed.

New Headquarters, New Name

In 2010 The Community Bus moved to a new premises in Aldinga, which serves as our bus depot and administration office. Our bus service reaches the most isolated areas in our community and to best reflect the services we offer, we changed our name and signage from Willunga District Community Transport Board Inc. to Willunga District Community Bus Inc.

Run By Locals, For Locals

Despite several requests throughout the years to amalgamate the service into various council-operated transport services, our community bus service remains fully independent, being run by locals, for locals.

Today, two of the original management team still serve on our board – Jan Ifould, one of the original volunteers who helped to establish the bus in 1988 and Pat Cooper, who joined the team in 1990.

With over three decades of service, we proudly enjoy excellent ongoing community support from the Willunga and Districts Lions Club, the City of Onkaparinga, and our passengers. We welcome new volunteers and board members and are always looking at new and exciting ways to improve our services and serve the local community. If you would like to join our team, please check out the Work With Us page .

Meet The Willunga District Community Bus Team

Gerry McKeegan

Gerry is currently our board Chairperson and acts as a backup driver when required. With a long history in teaching at primary schools, universities and in remote outback areas, he is great with people and is heavily involved with the Willunga Lions Club and an active member of the community. He loves reading and enjoys coastal beach walks.

 Annette Madge

Annette is a board member and currently serves as Office Manager and Treasurer. She brings a wealth of experience to the team, having been a receptionist in the health industry and a hospitality worker.

Annette lives nearby and is able to walk to the depot, the library, doctor, chemist and shopping.  She also enjoys a brisk walk to the esplanade, and  during the warmer weather, she loves to go swimming at the beach. Annette is a wonderful cook and makes all of the delicious food for our meetings and get-togethers and loves doing jigsaws in her spare time.

Liz Thompson

Liz is the board secretary and volunteers in the office on a Monday taking bookings and preparing the rosters. Liz has a Diploma in Community Services and has a great passion for supporting carers and people with dementia who have complex needs.

Liz worked for many years in the aged care sector as a Lifestyle Manager, Respite coordinator and Social Links Advisor for Life Care and Aged Care and Housing. Liz is actively involved in the local community centre and enjoys arts and crafts. She is an avid reader who loves to spend time with her family and enjoys listening to country and bluegrass music.

Dave Williams

Dave is one of our valued drivers and an avid sports fan. Dave served in the army for 20 years and has also worked in aged care. When he’s not working, he loves to relax and unwind in front of the T.V. watching various different sports.

Peter Vovers

Peter has recently joined our team of treasured drivers. He enjoys a good read and loves to spend time with his children. Peter was previously a driver for Thebarton council and spent many years as a school bus driver.

Jan Ifould

Being a founding member, Jan is our longest-serving patron. She helped establish the Community Bus back in 1988 and has been an avid supporter for over thirty years. She used to worked in the aged care sector as a coordinator for social day programs with Aged Care & Housing. Jan is still active on the board and serves as our Public Officer.

Jan enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren and is an avid follower of their sporting activities, especially the footy. She also spends her time out and about visiting people in the community.

Sam Kirkpatrick

Sam is a board member and a former Community Bus driver. He now volunteers in the office in the role of working bee coordinator. He plays a crucial role in the upkeep of the gardens and depot and rallies volunteers for the bi-monthly working bee program. Sam worked as a Field Service Officer and loves walking. He is a member of the local walking group and particularly enjoys the walking club’s social side, especially having a coffee at the local café. Sam is a practising Christian and likes listening to country and folk music.

Bill Cale

Bill has many roles within our association. He serves on the board as the Deputy Chairperson, coordinates the buses, and is a regular volunteer driver. He used to be the manager at a local caravan park and is an active member of the local community. Bill regularly spends his days out visiting and supporting local people in the hospital and the community. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to choirs and he loves to sing.

Klaus Stange

Klaus is a member of the board and a dedicated volunteer driver. Klaus was an electrician by trade and has a diploma in project management. He worked for an electrical contractor in Tasmania before returning to South Australia. Klaus has been a firefighter for over 30 years and continues to be involved in the local C.F.S. in addition to volunteering at the local community centre.

Pat Cooper

Pat has been involved with our association for over 32 years and was one of the very first drivers to come on board. Although Pat is no longer a driver, he is still a dedicated volunteer, working in the office every Tuesday and serving as a board member.

Pat previously worked in the repat hospital as an orderly for 20 years and during that time filled in as cook’s assistant and later worked at Moomba for 10 years. Pat also served in the Citizen Medical Force in the 27th Battalion and was based in Warradale and Keswick. He loves to play the guitar, enjoys watching a game of football and is on the Senior Citizens committee.

Kerry Nelson

Kerry has been a widow for four years with three children and three grandchildren. She has been working since the age of sixteen, firstly in banking and currently working in the health sector. She has stated that she has been lucky enough to have seen most of the world’s wonders in her travels and hoping to do another trip to Japan soon. She enjoys reading, gardening movies and an avid Port Power supporter. Kerry works in the office on a Friday and works on getting us some grants.

Neville Hailstone

Neville is a board member and works in the office every Wednesday. He manages the bookings and assists the treasurer with the weekly banking. Neville previously worked as a bank manager with A.N.Z. for over 25 years and was a senior manager for 10 years. Neville used to play multiple sports and served as treasurer of the local football team for 5 years. He continues to work in the community and is an active member of the Lions Club, where he has served for over 45 years.

Graeme Muir

Graeme has served on the board for 25 years and spent 21 years as our Chairperson. Graeme is an active board member and serves as our transport manager.
Graeme plays a crucial role in maintaining our fleet and negotiating the purchase of any new vehicles. He loves getting out and about in the country and enjoys camping under the stars and four-wheel driving.

Gerry Beresford

Gerry is a registered nurse working in midwifery. On her days off, she loves to support the community and is one of our fantastic volunteer drivers.

Peter Thomas

Peter is one of our friendly and well-respected drivers who is very popular with everyone attending the monthly outings. Peter worked as a bank manager for 25 years and as a school bus driver. He enjoys walking, kayaking, lawn bowls and loves to get away in his caravan.