VETERAN Western Australian cattle producer Dick Vincent, and western Queensland grazier and dinosaur fossil hunter David Elliott were among beef industry identities honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours announced yesterday.
Dick Vincent was one of Australia’s most highly respected cattle breeders and judges and was a former president of the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association.
He played major roles in the introduction of Simmental cattle to Australia, the establishment of the National Beef Recording System and the introduction of Computer Aided Marketing of Livestock to Western Australia. He established the Hamelin Park stud at Williams, WA, which was a leading Simmental stud herd in Australia for more than a decade until it was dispersed to breeders in every mainland state in 1991.
Mr Vincent played prominent national roles in the development of the Simmental breed, and was the inaugural president from the late 1970s of the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association.
He saw the many challenges facing the registered cattle industry and the need for a pro-active peak council to help breed societies face these challenges in a coordinated way.
During his term as president, ARCBA membership grew from 12 to 35 breeds and the organisation became truly representative of the national seedstock industry.
Mr Vincent, now retired in Wonnerup, WA, became an Officer in the General Division (AO) in today’s awards, for distinguished service to the beef cattle industry through leadership roles with state, national and international livestock organisations, and to Thoroughbred horse breeding and racing.
Click here to view the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association’s tribute to Mr Vincent, following yesterday’s Queen’s Birthday honour.
Also honoured yesterday was Winton grazier and dinosaur expert David Elliott, who received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).
Mr Elliott is a cattle and sheep farmer with a passion for conserving Australian natural history. For the last decade he has devoted himself full-time to the founding and developing the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History, a non-profit organisation that finds, prepares and presents Australia’s prehistory to the world.
He has revolutionised the way dinosaur fossils are found and collected from the field, and developed new innovative fossil preparation techniques for unprecedented productivity. What once took decades of work is now done by the museum in a matter of months.
Mr Elliott was mustering on his property, Belmont 15 years ago when he made a discovery that changed the course of paleontology in Australia. Sticking out of the rich Winton blacksoil was a dinosaur femur, or leg bone.
After extracting the bone himself, it was sitting on his homestead’s kitchen table when a visiting paleontologist dropped by in 2001. Scott Hocknull, now senior curator of geosciences at the Queensland Museum, said what he saw knocked his socks off.
“My mentors had told me there’s no chance you’ll find big dinosaur bones in Australia, or if you do, they’ll only be fragments left,” Dr Hocknull said.
A dig was soon organised on Mr Elliott’s property, and what was found changed the course of dinosaur paleontology in Australia.
Paleontologists found three times as many dinosaurs in a few weeks of excavations than had been found in 150 years of surface excavations in Australia.
Fifteen years later, David and wife Judy run the Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum at Winton, a passionate project they founded, staffed mostly by volunteers, and sustained by donations.
David’s unwavering commitment to the Museum has increased tourism to the Winton area and attracted significant support from volunteers, the community and the government.
Published below is a list of other stakeholders with connections to the beef industry include in this morning’s Queen’s Birthday Honours:
MEMBER (AM) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION:
Adrianus de BRUIN, Mount Gambier, SA – For significant service to business, particularly to the timber and forestry sector, to the beef cattle industry, and to regional development. Mr de Bruin has developed Mayura Station into a showcase fully-integrated Wagyu beef supply chain.
Duncan Alistair FRASER, Hay, NSW – For significant service to primary industry, particularly agriculture, to professional associations, and to education and training. Mr Fraser has for many years served on the National Farmers Federation, and NSW Farmers.
“Duncan Fraser has been a passionate advocate and a dedicated member of the agricultural community and his contributions to Australian agriculture have been outstanding” said NFF president Brent Finlay.
Mr Fraser’s role as an agricultural representative began when he was elected president and secretary of the Hay branch of the LGPA, the precursor to the NSW Farmers Association. Since that time he held many executive positions within the Association, including places on the general council and committees for wool, sheepmeat, meat and livestock, education, workplace relations and conservation and resource management. He was the chair of Farmsafe NSW from 1999 to 2000 and the Vice President of the NSW Farmers’ Association from 2001 to 2003.
In November 2010, Mr Fraser was elected Vice-President of the NFF, and in 2013, he became President of the NFF when then President, Jock Laurie, stood down.
“Duncan was an integral part of the leadership of the NFF through a time of change, and dealt with significant and challenging issues for Australian agriculture,” Mr Finlay said.
In his association with the NFF, Duncan advocated for farm sector profitability, food security, trade, farm safety, workplace relations and the needs of grass roots farmers right through to the whole of the supply chain. Duncan is well known both nationally and internationally, and is highly regarded for his professionalism, dedication and significant contributions to Australian agriculture.
“On behalf of the NFF Board, its Members and Staff, I congratulate Duncan Fraser, AM on this well-deserved honour” said Mr Finlay.
Dr Timothy Rex KUCHEL, Stirling, SA – For significant service to veterinary science, particularly the humane care and treatment of animals in research activities.
Dr George Edward RAYMENT, Toowong, Qld – For significant service to the primary industry sector through a range of expert roles in soil and plant analysis and research.
MEDAL (OAM) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION
Mr James Robert CONROY, Bacchus Marsh, Vic – For service to the cattle breeding industry in Australia, and to polo.
Mr Mark Anthony HILL, Tarlee, SA – For service to the agricultural and livestock industries, and to the community of Tarlee.