Doc­tor an­swers the call

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE -

Doc­tor Neville Marchant is just one of three lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers who have been com­mended for their com­mit­ment and ser­vice to the na­tion. Their life­time ef­forts have been recog­nised with the re­lease of the Aus­tralia Day Hon­ours List.

THREE lo­cal men have been ac­knowl­edged for their ser­vice to the na­tion and have been cel­e­brated on the 2016 Aus­tralia Day Hon­ours List.

Como res­i­dent Neville Marchant, Vic­to­ria Park res­i­dent Mil­ton ‘ Snow’ Fair­clough and South Perth res­i­dent Bruce Walker have all led very dif­fer­ent lives but have at least one thing in com­mon: they have made a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on Aus­tralia.

Dr Marchant was ap­pointed a Mem­ber of the Or­der of Aus­tralia and said he was chuffed by the ac­co­lade.

He has con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cant ser­vice to con­ser­va­tion and the en­vi­ron­ment in WA as well as to na­tive plant tax­on­omy and to re­search and education.

He worked at the WA Her­bar­ium for 50 years, serv­ing as di­rec­tor from 1992 un­til he re­tired in 2005.

“I have such an in­ter­est in the un­known, and here in WA we have such a di­ver­sity of plants but ours aren’t very well known which is why I’ve al­ways wanted to en­cour­age more col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween groups so we can build our knowl­edge,” Dr Marchant said.

Dr Marchant was re­spon­si­ble for ex­ten­sive botany train­ing on state, na­tional and an in­ter­na­tional level.

“I was very much in­volved in the spread of in­for­ma­tion of her­bar­ium tax­on­omy in South­east Asia, in be­tween In­dia and the Philip­pines,” he said.

“Now I’m based at Kings Park and do the same sort of thing, in­ter­act­ing with peo­ple and telling them about botany, spread­ing the in­for­ma­tion.”

As an ex-pris­oner of war, Mr Fair­clough has fought many a hard­ship in his 95 years and was awarded the Medal of the Or­der of Aus­tralia.

He said this achieve­ment was a great hon­our.

Mr Fair­clough has been a mem­ber of the Burma Thai­land Rail­way Me­mo­rial As­so­ci­a­tion since 2002, and has spent count- less hours ed­u­cat­ing young peo­ple about his time as a pris­oner of war.

“Now I mainly teach and tell sto­ries to stu­dents with the Burmese Rail­way Thai­land com­mit­tee,” Mr Fair­clough said.

“We go for a tour each year to Thai­land for about 13 days with 20 or so ju­niors, and we take them to where we worked on the rail­way.

“The kids are such ex­cel­lent pupils, I’ve got stacks of cards and let­ters from kids thank­ing me.”

Mr Fair­clough has been an ac­tive mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion, the Ex­tremely Dis­abled Veter­ans As­so­ci­a­tion and re­mains the vice pres­i­dent of the 23rd Ma­chine Gun Bat­tal­ion.

“I’ve been on the ma­chine gun bat­tal­ion since the 1940s when we first started,” he said.

“Out of the bat­tal­ion there are only three peo­ple out of 141 left.”

Now Mr Fair­clough is fac­ing the bat­tle of blad­der can­cer, but he said his fight­ing spirit will not be bro­ken.

“Fun­nily enough the only place I could have caught the bac­te­ria that caused my can­cer was in the muddy streams in Thai­land when we were build­ing the rail­way for the Ja­panese,” Mr Fair­clough said.

“But I’ve fought so many things in my life, I’m de­ter­mined to beat this.”

Pro­fes­sor Walker is one of Aus­tralia’s lead­ing fig­ures in the chi­ro­prac­tic and os­teo­pathic fields, with more than 30 years of clin­i­cal prac­tice and an equally im­pres­sive con­tri­bu­tion to aca­demic re­search.

He has been ap­pointed a Mem­ber of the Or­der of Aus­tralia.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing in 1975, Pro­fes­sor Walker worked for three decades as a chi­ro­prac­tor in Mel­bourne and Townsville, si­mul­ta­ne­ously ob­tain­ing a Masters and Doc­tor­ate in Pub­lic Health.

Pro­fes­sor Walker is cur­rently the Head of Chi­ro­prac­tic and As­so­ciate Dean of Re­search for the School of Health at Mur­doch Univer­sity.

He has long ad­vo­cated for chi­ro­prac­tic to be­come part of main­stream al­lied health medicine by call­ing for the pro­fes­sion to em­brace sci­ence and re­search.

Pro­fes­sor Walker said he was proud of his ap­point­ment and that it was a tes­ta­ment to the chi­ro­prac­tic pro­fes­sion the ev­i­dence­based chi­ro­prac­tors who had helped guide the pro­fes­sion in a sci­en­tific di­rec­tion.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d448886

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d448886

Dr Neville Marchant has made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to con­ser­va­tion and the en­vi­ron­ment. In­set top: Prof Bruce Walker is a leader in the fields of chi­ro­prac­tic and os­teopa­thy, and bot­tom: For­mer PoW Mil­ton ‘Snow’ Fair­clough serves on var­i­ous veter­ans as­so­ci­a­tions.

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