Honoured and humbled, Greg Kipling doesn’t know if he’s done enough to deserve the prestige that comes with an Order of Australia Medal.
Those around him would disagree. Describing him as selfless and ‘infectious in so many ways’.
Awarded for his dedication to charitable initiatives in the community, his tireless hard work has now been recognised in an official capacity as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Fondly known as ‘Kipo’, Mr Kipling has been Chairperson of Business Port Augusta, a Motorcycle Instructor for Ridersafe Whyalla and a member of the Port Augusta Apex Club since 1986 – achieving Life Member status in 2000.
His passion however lies with the Apex Outback Postie Ride, an event he founded in 2006 to raise funds for childhood cancer research.
Mr Kipling was inspired to take action after a friend’s son lost his battle with cancer at age four.
“My friend and his wife, Neil and Robyn Walker, raised money to build a place called Bradley’s Place down in Victor Harbor which was for families to use for holiday accommodation if they had a child affected by cancer,” Mr Kipling explained.
“The first ride we raised money for Bradley’s Place and then the ride sort of started to evolve – a lot of people wanted to come.”
More recently the initiative has supported the establishment of the Apex Copper Coast Retreats. Free respite holiday accommodation for South Australian families experiencing the stress and demands which come with a cancer diagnosis.
Starting off as a novelty fundraiser to ride the most inappropriate bike through the state’s toughest terrain, the Postie Bike Ride is now one of the biggest of it’s kind – raising over $800,000 since it began.
Mr Kipling is too modest to take any credit for the way the race has expanded over the years, but said he was grateful and overwhelmed by those who thought to nominate him.
“To be honest I thought it was a scam letter at first and I said to my wife ‘I’ve got this letter I think it might be a scam’. She was in on it, so she kind of said ‘Hang on I think you better fill it out and send it back’,” Mr Kipling joked.
“I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone until Monday. So that was a bit odd walking around for two weeks knowing I’ve got this thing, but not being able to say anything to anyone yet.”
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey served with Mr Kipling on the Apex state board in the 90s and is one of many to extend their congratulations for his recognition.
“His commitment to his community is as unwavering now as it was then and Greg has been a real mover and shaker in Port Augusta,” Mr Ramsey said.
"His contribution to the annual Apex Outback Postie ride has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist help cancer sufferers and their families.”
Mr Kipling will travel to Adelaide in September where he will be presented with his medal at Government House.