Don Johns to receive Federation University honorary doctorate at graduation

HORSHAM’S Don Johns will receive a Federation University honorary doctorate at a graduation ceremony on Thursday.

Mr Johns received a letter from the university informing him of the news.

“I had no idea it was coming – the letter was the first I knew of it,” he said.

“I am very humbled and shocked – it is an extreme honour and I’m very grateful to the university.”

Mr Johns is a former Horsham businessman, mayor and councillor.

In the past, he has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal and a Centenary Medal.

One of Mr Johns’ many community roles is as Wimmera Health Care Foundation’s chairman.

Wimmera Health Care Group is focusing on establishing a state-of-the-art oncology service in Horsham.

Mr Johns said the project was driving him to continue his work.

“I would love to see it happen,” he said.

“I’m 80 now, so I think I still have a few more years left in me.” - Don Johns

Mr Johns is also the Wimmera Information Network chairman, Wimmera Regional Art Gallery chairman, Horsham Tidy Towns chairman and GWMWater advisory committee chairman.

He is a Horsham Uniting Church elder, a Horsham City Lions Club charter member and a Masonic Lodge 50-year member.

He is a life member of Keep Australia Beautiful, Wimmera Base Hospital and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

“I enjoy working with the community and I enjoy helping organisations,” he said.

“Horsham has been good to me and I like to give back to the community.

“I like keeping active too.”

Mr Johns said a big part of his life was being involved in local government.

“I’ve had a wonderful career and a great life,” he said.

“I’m 80 now, so I think I still have a few more years left in me.”

Mr Johns said he did not expect to be recognised for the work he did.

“You do the work you do and don’t expect to get things like this,” he said.

“It is also an honour for all the organisations I have worked with over the years, not just for me.

“You do what you can.”

Mr Johns said he was fortunate to have the support of his wife and family.

“You can’t get anywhere without that type of support,” he said.

“We are busy with the grandchildren nowadays – that’s the biggest thing that’s going on at the moment.”

Mr Johns said he looked forward to the graduation ceremony.

Mr Johns is the second Wimmera resident to receive an honorary doctorate. Nhill’s John Magrath was awarded one from University of Ballarat in 2005.

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