The Rubbish Rambler is our first class citizen
HE IS one of Warwick's most recognisable good Samaritans, and after 10 years of keeping Warwick clean and tidy, has earned some well-deserved recognition.
Leonard Monaghan, affectionately dubbed "the Rubbish Rambler” will today receive the Australia Day Citizen Award - Northern Region and he couldn't be more proud.
Over the years, Mr Monaghan has scoured every square inch of Warwick, walking with his trolley, picking up every skerrick of rubbish from the Eight Mile to Murray's Bridge and out to Leslie Dam.
In all, Mr Monaghan has collected more than 49 tonnes of rubbish and acknowledges that what started out as a little exercise has grown into an obsession.
"In 2007, I decided to start walking and the one thing I noticed, that I'd never noticed driving around was the amount of rubbish lying about,” he said.
"So at the start I started taking a few plastic bags in my pockets and picking up anything I came across.
"Then I got a backpack and wore that for a while, until one day I found an old stroller and realised how much easier that was.
Mr Monaghan said the whole thing had evolved.
"Much like my stroller,” he said.
"I certainly didn't start out to clean up Warwick, it just happened.”
Mr Monaghan said he was often asked what the strangest thing was he'd ever found.
"It's all strange to me,” he said.
"I can never understand why people would drop rubbish anywhere but in a bin. The most valuable thing I've ever found is an easy one and that's a sense of purpose.”
Mr Monaghan said every day was Australia Day to him.
"We're supposed to love and be proud of our country - it's something people should do every day of the year,” he said.
Mr Monaghan said Australia was his country.
"I'm definitely a proud Aussie,” he said.
"But not in a loud, boastful way. I'm just trying to contribute something to my beautiful country and I won't be stopping just because I've now won an award.”