Simon Grant has been an Apex club member since 2011, when a friend asked him if he had heard about the volunteer community service organisation.
"It was an old mate of mine simply asking have you heard about Apex. He told me about serving the community while having a good time," Mr Grant said.
The idea of becoming a member of a club like Apex appealed to the now Stawell-based Police officer, so he joined his childhood home town club in Beaufort.
In July, Mr Grant was elected the new Apex Australia National president. The board of directors is responsible for the governance and management of the association.
"The main function is to make sure the association supports each and every club across Australia to continue to serve their communities," he said.
"That's all about communication with each club and make sure they have access to the information they need to operate under their charitable status."
There are just under 100 clubs in Australia and about 1000 members across Australia, while there are nine Apex countries across the world.
Mr Grant will be national president for 12 months and will focus on the organisation's three to five year plan to grow memberships.
"My focus is on increasing membership and the capacity for clubs to thrive within their communities. Also rebuild international relationships from an Apex global perspective," he said.
"There's nine global Apex countries and we will be meeting three times this year. That's good to see what the other countries are doing. It's a special thing because Apex was started in Geelong in 1931."
The Apex global representatives will meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in August to discuss the theme 'post-COVID volunteering and how we can positively impact our communities'.
Mr Grant said the Ballarat Eureka Apex Club was currently recruiting volunteers.
"I think during COVID volunteering suffered given people weren't allowed out and about in their communities. On the back of that, we really need to promote volunteering and being active within your community," he said.
There are so many benefits to doing that. You learn a lot about yourself and what you can achieve but you also make a lot of friends along the way.- Simon Grant
"There is that sense of fulfillment, that connectedness to the community and that social inclusion is really important for mental health as well so it has a lot of benefits."
Mr Grant grew up in Beaufort, moved away for work and returned in 2011. His community involvement includes being part of the Beaufort Football Club and Cross Roads Fire Brigade.
He is a Victoria Police sergeant where he is in charge of the Wimmera Proactive Policing Unit, based in Stawell, but he works from Buangor to the Victorian-South Australian border.
The unit oversees community engagement and farm crime, working with schoolchildren and children already in the justice system to try and steer them away from crime.
When asked how he juggled his multiple roles he said, "I have a really supportive wife and family". Mr Grant enjoys being a part of the Beaufort club, which has helped countless community members and groups.
"You get to make a difference in a whole range of people's lives."
An Apex club offers life-long friendships and an opportunity to learn new skills in the one organisation.
"Apex is really all about growing, learning and having fun while providing service to the community. There are things that you learn that you wouldn't learn anywhere else," Mr Grant said.
"There's club executive roles where you are conducting meetings, learning public speaking skills and dealing with grant applications."
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