David Vanderuit
Tall Trees

"I don't want any accolades. I like to help. I enjoy being a 'silent partner' in the community"

David Vanderuit has operated wholesale tree nursery Tall Trees in Balnarring with his partner Garry Evans since 1988.

As a successful business, Tall Trees has provided advanced trees to developers, landscapers, councils and other wholesalers throughout Victoria. Some of Victoria's most prominent developments, such as the Rod Laver Arena, Caroline Springs Estate and the new Melbourne Museum have gardens landscaped with plants from Tall Trees.

Dave has a strong sense of community and over the years he has donated plants to community projects such as schools, charities and the local dirt bike and BMX track.

His most recent involvement has been to support financially the Westernport Warriors football team. Dave has also attended some games to assist with first aid. The team was started by a local policeman and provides opportunities for men who are long-term unemployed, have alcohol and drug addictions, mental health problems or other disabilities.

Dave said that the team aims to help members to help themselves through providing them with opportunities to get involved productively in the community, developing positive relationships with others and raising their self esteem.

Dave maintains that his involvement in supporting the team has allowed him to observe amazing and positive changes occur in the lives of the young men who play in the team. He said that his own outlook about what is possible to achieve with young people who appear to be seriously struggling with their lives has changed dramatically.