Wimmera OAM honours for high achievers

THREE Wimmera achievers have joined the Order of Australia Medal honours list.

Christina Hindhaugh and William Falkenberg of Balmoral, along with Minyip's Stan Henke have been recognised for their outstanding achievements and service.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce unveiled the 2014 Australia Day Honours List yesterday.

Mrs Hindhaugh said she was honoured to be recognised for her service to the Balmoral community and to women in agriculture.

"It's very exciting, but I'm totally astonished," she said.

"I'm humbled because of all the other people who deserve to receive it more."

Mrs Hindhaugh paid tribute to the people of Balmoral.

"It's a wonderful town," she said.

"My husband and I are semi-retired to Buninyong but we come back to the family farm to help with harvest and to sow. We definitely call Balmoral home."

Mrs Hindhaugh is the executive director of Glenelg River Rosemary Farm, the Southern Hemisphere's largest commercial rosemary farm.

She has written four best-selling books, along with articles for The Age and The Australian, on what life is like for women on farms.

"There are books on women in the outback, but the life of women on modern, high-tech farms was not portrayed," she said.

"I think country women are the backbone of country society. They run the committees, they run the towns and a lot of them are full-time farmers themselves.

"I'd particularly like to dedicate this award to farming women."

Mrs Hindhaugh has been patron of Balmoral Bush Nursing Centre since 2007 and was a committee member and fundraiser during the 1980s.

She has been secretary of the Friends of Buninyong Botanic Gardens since 2010, is a patron of the Balmoral Health Appeal, a former Balmoral branch president of the Australian Red Cross and regional president in 2005.

She co-produced The First Eleven documentary on the first Australian Aboriginal cricket team for ABC television and is a concert performer and corporate public speaker.

Mr Falkenberg was recognised for service to primary industry through executive roles with apiculture associations.

He was a Victorian Apiarists Association executive council member from 1968 to 1974 and has been the Western District resources committee regional manager since 1994.

Mr Falkenberg has been a member of the Apiculture in Public Land Liaison Group, co-ordinated through the former Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, since 2007 and was involved in its establishment.

He was also involved in negotiations during the Wimmera native title claim by the Wotjobaluk people, which resulted in retaining access to hives in the region.

Mr Falkenberg has been a senior member of the Department of Environment and Primary Industries state quarantine response team since 2005.

He was a board member of Balmoral Bush Nursing Centre from 1977 to 2009, a member of Balmoral North Fire Brigade since 1972 and secretary since 1980, secretary of the Balmoral group of fire brigades from 1984 to 2000, member of Balmoral's State Emergency Service unit since 1980 and a member of the Balmoral Mechanics Institute Hall Committee since 1980.

Mr Henke has been honoured for his service to the communities of Minyip, Rupanyup and Murtoa.

He has been a member of the Rupanyup unit of the State Emergency Service since 1980 and served as a training officer, controller, deputy controller and committee member.

His expertise has been used in local government, where he served as the unit's representative on the Municipal Management Planning Committee.

Mr Henke has also been a member of the Boolite Fire Brigade since 1957 and volunteers for the Driver Reviver program.

He is a founding member of Minyip and District Field and Game Club, serving as trapper co-ordinator for many years.

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