STAWELL - Former Stawell resident and long-time contributor to the Stawell Athletic Club, Robert Irvine has been awarded with a Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2013 Australia Day honours list.
The medal was bestowed on him in recognition of his service to education, to regional development and to the community.
"We are delighted for the recognition of regional education and development," Mr Irvine, who now lives in Bunbury, Western Australia, said.
"Regional communities are great places to work and live."
Mr Irvine moved to the Grampians region in 1980 with his wife Alison, taking up a teaching position at the Stawell Technical School.
He went on to be a joint founding co-ordinator at the Stawell Campus of the Wimmera Institute of TAFE.
In 1998 he became the program manager for the School of Business for the University of Ballarat's Western Campuses and then relocated to Horsham in 2001 to take on the position as Head of Western Campuses. Another relocation came in 2008 when he and Alison shifted to Western Australia and Robert was instated as Dean, Faculty of Regional Professional Studies at Edith Cowan University in Bunbury.
He continues in this role today.
"Education is a great enabler," Mr Irvine said.
"We are pleased to have been able to support the high quality of education, training and research in regional Australia."
As well as these professional pursuits, Mr Irvine has also had a strong commitment to the support of community groups and regional development opportunities wherever he lived, contributing time to groups such as Rotary, Karkana Support Services and the Wimmera Development Association.
Chief among these is his involvement with the Stawell Athletic Club, where he was president for two years, secretary for twelve years and made a Life Member in 2007. Even living on the other side of the country he remains active with the club, returning at Easter each year to assist in the running of the Stawell Gift Carnival.
"The Stawell Athletic Club has been part of our lives for 25 years and we will continue to support it," Mr Irvine said.