Irymple’s Owen Lloyd has been recognised for his many years of volunteer service to the Mallee Catchment Management Authority.

IRYMPLE dried fruit grower, and Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) committee member, Owen Lloyd, PICTURED, has been recognised for his contribution to the Mallee at a celebration marking 20 years of integrated catchment management.

Held in Melbourne last week, Owen was joined by Mallee CMA chair, Sharyon Peart, and Chief Executive Officer, Jenny Collins, who both said they were delighted to see Mr Lloyd presented with the award by Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Water, Anthony Carbines.

“Owen has been committed to supporting the work of the CMA from the very outset,” Ms Collins said. “He has generously given us the benefit of his time, knowledge and experience and the region is undoubtedly better off for it.”

Mr Lloyd was reportedly humble in his acceptance, saying he was surprised by the recognition, and proud of the Mallee CMA’s many achievements over the last 20 years.

“The event brought back memories of all the good people I’ve worked with over the years – they deserve acknowledgement too,” he said.

“Together we’ve worked to find solutions to problems we knew were there and we figured out what worked and what didn’t with guidance and advice from people within government.

“I love going and looking at the country around our creeks and rivers – it’s no hardship to go out there.

“The longer you do it, the more appreciation you have for the natural beauty of the bush in northwest Victoria.”

Ms Peart said Mr Lloyd has been an active committee member, advising the CMA on numerous issues since the organisation’s inception, while also leading the way in community-agency collaboration.

“Owen quietly contributes so much to our region, never seeking attention, driven purely by the desire to see the Mallee prosper,” she said.

“His incredible knowledge of the region’s history and the environment is only matched by his passion to ensure that the region is protected so that generations to come can enjoy life in the Mallee just as he has.”

Mr Lloyd – an avid sportsman in his downtime – spent years running and riding on the tracks and roads around the Mallee, and in more recent years has embraced a new love for kayaking.

When he is not working on his dried fruit property, he can usually be found exploring the Mallee’s creeks, lakes and rivers.

Now in his late 70s, Mr Lloyd said he has no intention of slowing down, with his commitment to supporting the work of the CMA “as strong as ever.”

“It’s people like Owen who have helped make our region great. He has never asked for thanks or recognition, but we are so glad that he has received it,” Ms Peart said.