The attraction of community service, says former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, is best summed up by George Bernard Shaw, who believed that one derived a certain enjoyment in helping good causes.
This is the true joy in life,' the Irish playwright wrote. 'I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die—for the harder I work, the more I live.'
Since leaving parliament in 2001, the former member for Farrer appears to have lived by Shaw’s credo.
Apart from his chairmanship of Tourism Australia (‘my day job’), Tim has devoted his time to energy to numerous causes, both here and overseas.
It's for others to judge my contribution, but I feel the honour was awarded for activities other than my parliamentary role,' he says.
'Three come to mind: the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Frontier Services—the old Inland Mission—and the Fred Hollows Foundation
'Some of the patronships I have accepted have not just been one more name on one more letterhead, but have involved real engagement of ideas, lecture commitments, fundraising functions and the like.'
Tim is patron of several organisations, notably the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, in Winton, Queensland; Pichi Richi Heritage Railway, in South Australia; VISE (Volunteers for Isolated Students’ Education); United Nations High Commission for Refugees; and Opera in the Alps (Beechworth). He is also chairman of the Australia-Thailand Institute.