Wagin’s Malcolm Edward receives Order of Australia medal for service to merino industry and local community
A stalwart of the Wagin community has been recognised for his contribution to the Merino industry and his pivotal role in the creation of Wagin Woolorama.
Malcolm Edward now has the letters OAM after his name after receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia in Wednesday’s Australia Day Honours List.
Mr Edward said he was humbled to be accepting the award but argued it was a community effort.
“I certainly haven’t achieved (everything) on my own,” he said.
“In order to achieve things, you’ve got to get other people to help you and I have been very fortunate at finding lots and lots of people to give me help.”
Mr Edward has lived in the Wagin area for more than 50 years, having originally moved from Perth to help his father-in-law run the Belmont Park property just outside of the town.
Among Mr Edward’s biggest achievements was his part in the foundation of Wagin Woolorama, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
He said he came up with the idea for the event after visiting the Dowerin Machinery Field Days with his late brother-in-law Albert Toll.
“It was the first time I went to Dowerin and I thought, ‘That’s put Dowerin on the map, why can’t we do the same with Wagin?’”
The idea resulted in the revamped Wagin Agricultural Show being moved from its traditional October date to March in 1975, where it has remained ever since.
Mr Edward has a long list of achievements, including chairing the Wagin Bicentennial Committee, serving as president of the Wagin Lions Club, and instigating the wool stockpile debate with Australian Wool Innovation.
He is a life member of Wagin Agricultural Society and an honorary life member of the Stud Merino Breeders Association of WA, where he served as president in the 1990s.
When asked about his support for the local community, Mr Edward said Wagin’s continued survival came down to its community spirit.
“Narrogin tends to have its medical system with doctors and hospitals, and Katanning has got the saleyards and the abattoir, whereas Wagin has virtually only got the strength of its community — which is very, very strong,” he said.
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