COTA WAEventsFreeSeniors AwardsWestern Australia

Professor Bob Ziegler leads an extraordinary life and continues to educate and inspire people, young and old.

Bob was born and raised in the US and has two PHDs – across science and education.

He has been based in WA, with his Perth-born wife Pat, since 1982. During that time he worked in China, Thailand, The Philippines and Pakistan, teaching and developing education curriculums.

He was evacuated from China during the Tiananmen protests in 1989.

Bob joined COTA (WA) as a volunteer in 2004 and has worked on many projects and programs. He is the Living Longer Living Stronger ambassador and is a tireless campaigner, delivering the healthy ageing message to a wide range of older audiences.

He said volunteering gave him something positive to do, related to his lifetime experience.

“Being a retired Professor, my life has been communicating with and educating people,” he said.

“My teaching was in both the school of medicine and the school of education.

“My other interests are travel, golf, reading and following research in exercise.”

He said the social interaction kept him stimulated and the healthy ageing message was important.

“It is important to keep older people interested in their own health,” he said.

“The most important influence in my life has been my wife and a happy marriage, which is the basis for a stable emotional, social and mental life.

“My most cherished honour was being given Emeritus Professor rank by the faculty and Board of Trustees at the university when I retired.

“My most humbling experience was sitting between two Nobel Prize winners in science during my years on the Science Education Committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.”

Bob said people should plan for a useful and active retirement and keep interested. He said volunteering could be just as valuable to the volunteer as to the people they helped.

“If you are thinking of volunteering, you should think how it fits with what you know and enjoy or what you would like to learn,” he said.