Home » The Greater Springfield Times – Community Hero Spotlight

The Greater Springfield Times – Community Hero Spotlight

Nayda Hernandez    April 27, 2024    4 min read   

 Elijah Buol OAM

Elijah Buol, OAM and Act for Peace CEO is the Greater Springfield Times Community Hero Spotlight Hero for this month.

The clock never stops ticking for this proud Greater Springfield dad of four and his wife Ashol, who balances giving back to the community and caring for family. When he’s not busy breaking barriers, he enjoys quality time with his family, listening to gospel music, playing soccer and going for a run during his spare time. Elijah believes in creating a world where everyone feels included and empowers them to achieve their dreams and reach their full potential. His motto is to stay humble and hopeful despite all the temptations that the world throws at you. 

What life obstacles made you a more resilient and empathetic community leader?

“I was born in South Sudan in 1985, two years after the civil war began. Like many migrants and refugees who have come to this country, I lost my parents during the civil war in Sudan at an early age, but through the mercy of others and compassion I was able to emerge stronger, hopeful, and overcome many challenges. I believe that the steps of the past do not define the next destination in our lives, but the steps we take today with hope, courage, determination, and commitment define our next destination. 

“Everyone is born with potentials and aspirations and as a society we need to extend our generosity with compassion for them to realise those potentials and aspirations. I am today a CEO for the International Humanitarian Agency with 75 years of history of supporting people displaced by conflict and disaster because people inspired me to be the best I could be regardless of past journey and experiences.”

What are your thoughts on the importance of volunteering in the growing Greater Springfield Area?

“The Greater Springfield City is a family friendly place to live. It is very diverse with many residents from different cultural backgrounds. It is rapidly growing in terms of population, and we need the Council to improve local roads, including footpaths and pedestrian crossings to address the challenges that may come with population growth. Better roads, more sporting facilities, more funding to not-for-profits, a local swimming pool, change in laws, drop in cost-of-living expenses or more things for young people to do, and more inclusive multicultural programs. These are only suggestions. 

“In the last few years, the Greater Springfield city has seen population growth, with more families moving and living in the area and wanting to engage in sports. As a result, many parents in the Greater Springfield City always talk about the lack of sports facilities and athletics clubs in the areas. Sports bring people together, and having a Little Athletics Centre for children to have fun is necessary for a family friendly community. 

“Volunteers make great contributions, which do not require cabinet approval, but the approval from the kind-hearted person who humbly invests in others. That is what inspired me every day to volunteer!”

How have you smashed the glass ceiling with your community commitment and compassion?

“I have continued to volunteer in the community for the last 20 years on the issues I am passionate about. I sit on many government and organisation boards and volunteer in many community services and sports clubs. I am currently the chairperson of Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland (ECCQ) Ltd, vice-president for the Youth Affairs Network Queensland, member of the Settlement Advisory Council with the Federal government, Australia Day ambassador, and Safer Gambling advisory committee with Queensland Government. These are voluntary roles where I provide input into policies and give advice.  Also, I volunteer in many fundraising activities with organisations that support vulnerable people in the community.

“Volunteering is very important, and I believe the strength of the Greater Springfield City cannot be found anywhere but in our spirit of making it a better place for others. Identity and pride that make volunteers unique is the passion and ability for volunteers to go beyond the boundaries of their reach. We restore hope to those who lost it, we bring smiles to helpless faces. 

Avatar photo

Nayda Hernandez