Doctor answers the call
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.
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.