Geoff Allemand has been digging up and sharing local history for many years, reminding us just how important it is to celebrate our town’s rich heritage.
Born in Kyabram, Mr Allemand made the move from Maryborough to Shepparton for his career as a school teacher.
After a rewarding 13 years as a teacher at Bouchier Street PS, Kialla Central PS and Guthrie Street PS, Geoff was inspired to do something different.
Allemand had an epiphany whilst driving to and from Queensland with his four young boys, as he stopped at every toilet block and playground to entertain them.
“I was kept awake for two or three nights thinking about what we could do. I thought if we could build a big playground, we could bring more tourism to Shepp.”
From Geoff’s humble idea and entrepreneurial spirit, SPC KidsTown was created and the project was completed in 1996.
“I like to create things.”
It was from his work on KidsTown that many of Geoff’s passions were realised, and his inspiration to support the community was ignited.
“I realised out in the community, if we don’t support one another, we will lose.”
Mr Allemand is constantly thinking about how he can best support local businesses and enrich their lives.
“I’m trying to promote as much as we can to support local businesses.”
“Businesses need to support the community and offer great customer service. There needs to be awareness, otherwise we will lose young people and local employment opportunities.”
Busy working full time at the Lost Shepparton Shop, Geoff also coordinates the Lost Shepparton, Unreal Shepparton Customer Service and Show Me Shepparton Facebook pages. He also created many other rural ‘Lost’ pages, such as Bendigo, Undera and Mooroopna before passing them over to locals.
“It is my labour of love. I’m able to combine all of Shepparton’s past and foster support for the community.”
When asked about future projects, Mr Allemand said there is always something in the pipeline.
Geoff and the Shepparton Historical Society are currently exploring the idea of re-building the Shepparton Post Office to its former grandeur.
“We are looking for locations at the moment.”
Lost Shepparton and Heritage Museum is open 10am-4pm Monday to Saturday.