Margaret (Marg) Keech is a name that many people around Bendigo and Central Victoria have probably heard. Her journey started with Bendigo Foodshare in 2019 when she joined as a board member, bringing with her a wealth of experience in the health, sporting and community sectors.

Like many of our volunteers, Marg joined the board after she retired and when she was looking to use her time philanthropically. Before this, she led a very exciting life as a physiotherapist and played her part in paving the way for women in sport. In fact, she was the first woman to have worked with the New South Wales Cricket team in a non-administrative role and was often the only woman in the room at team and presentation dinners. Throughout her professional life, Marg worked in many varying roles including a private practice in Sydney with elite athletes, State and National Cricket teams and state juniors; she helped set up and teach the initial Exercise science program at UNSW in the mid-1980s, which led to the beginning of the Exercise Physiology progressions; she taught coaching courses and GP courses in sports medicine; taught sports medicine and biomechanics at La Trobe University Bendigo; worked and owned two private practices in Sydney and has worked in private practice in Bendigo as well as both Bendigo Health and Bendigo Community Health Services. She really has done it all!

Marg has been involved in community activation most of her life. After moving to Bendigo with her family Marg joined many, many committees and several boards, including Bendigo Heritage, Chairing Bendigo Academy of Sport for many years and she is currently active with the Ulumbarra Foundation Board. Marg is also heavily involved with Scouts – she is a Cub Scout Leader and Group Leader and supports other leaders in their roles in the Bendigo area.

Marg has always had access to lots of safe and healthy food, growing up she ate plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables grown by her grandfather and later her brother, who had an organic market garden farming business. When asked what inspired Marg to join the Bendigo Foodshare Board she said “Giving back to the community and caring for their needs… It saddens me to imagine families who do not have enough food and the health issues that can engender.”

Marg’s role on the board has evolved over the years, when she was first recruited, she was often tasked with taking minutes of meetings and some secretarial duties, now she is concerned with community outreach and involvement as well as fundraising, particularly through the Bookfair with her husband Garth.

Even though Marg is quite well known in Bendigo there are some things that you may not know about her – she lived and worked in Saskatchewan in Canada in 1980; and has trained and raced with a dragon boat team for 17 years, both competitively and socially all over Australia and internationally. Marg was also very deservingly awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2018 for Service to the Community of Bendigo.

With Marg’s love for healthy, home-grown fruit and veg, her passion for equal access to food, her community spirit, her work history, including supporting and caring for people who are injured, her insight into the needs of vulnerable people and can do and caring attitude she is a perfect fit for the Bendigo Foodshare Board.