Clifton Park resident Dan Norton receives Order of Australia medal for service to agriculture and community

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Clifton Park resident Dan Norton has received an Order of Australia medal.
Camera IconClifton Park resident Dan Norton has received an Order of Australia medal. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

The former head of a South West irrigation group has been recognised for his contributions to agriculture and community in the King’s Birthday honours list.

Clifton Park resident Dan Norton was awarded an Order of Australia medal on Monday, joining a number of recipients across the region.

He said it was rewarding to have received the honour, noting it was his peers who thought he deserved recognition.

“I think the work we did with the irrigation industry at a national level was terribly rewarding because I was working with some really dedicated people,” he said.

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While his achievements stretch back to his time as the South West division president of Western Australian Junior Farmers in 1962, Mr Norton might be best known for this time as chair of Harvey Water between 1996 and 2013.

As part of his time with the co-operative, the group convinced the State Government to provide $90 million in funding to shift the Harvey and Waroona irrigation systems from a channel to pipe.

The change helped reduce water loss and allowed Harvey Water to hand back its Stirling Dam water allocation, freeing up supplies for use in Perth’s scheme water system.

At a national level, he served as vice chair of the Australian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage from 2001 to 2005 and was awarded life membership in 2006.

Mr Norton has served as president of a number of community organisations, including the Brunswick Agricultural Society, Brunswick Junction Lions Club and the Brunswick River Cottages.

In 2006, he was recognised as Western Australian Rural Achiever of the Year.

There was no single motivating factor for Mr Norton in being involved with so many community and advocacy groups.

“I always had a thing as far as agriculture was concerned, and then when you’re doing something reasonably well, people will ask you to do other things,” he said.

“I think it is part of the country — when you’re asked to do something, you put your hand up.”

Mr Norton said he had received calls congratulating him on the honour.

“It’s not a thing that you aspire to, but other people have said, ‘look, it’s about time Dan, because you did an enormous amount of work for the country’ and that’s satisfying,” he said.

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