Community stalwart honoured

Jacinta CantatoreSouth Western Times
David Marshall has been awarded the medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the community of Harvey.
Camera IconDavid Marshall has been awarded the medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the community of Harvey. Credit: Harvey Reporter, Jacinta Cantatore

David Marshall has joined the likes of Ita Buttrose and Hugh Jackman to be awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.

The born and bred Harvey boy was named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for service to the Harvey community.

The Order of Australia Medal recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement – service worthy of particular recognition.

Humble does not begin to describe Mr Marshall’s feelings on the award.

“I am hugely honoured by the award and the recognition that comes with it,” Mr Marshall said.

“And it’s for doing something I’ve always loved doing.

“I don’t feel worthy.”

The number of committees, projects, events, meetings, clubs and ambassadorships Mr Marshall has worked on are mind-blowing.

But he said his need to “do” was not something he was born with but came from positive role models, especially his parents, to whom he also dedicated the award.

“They were absolutely brilliant role models,” he said.

“Growing up, I can’t remember the word ‘volunteer’ ever being used in our household – you just did it.”

Mr Marshall shies away from sole credit for the projects he has worked on.

“I can’t think of anything I have done on my own – there have always been other people on board,” he said.

“There are so many people doing lots of good stuff to make our community what it is.

“So many people have put decades of work into this community.”Mr Marshall said the sense of community was what he loved most about Harvey.

“You can have a town made up of residents, or you can have a town filled by a community of people doing all they can to make that town better,” he said.

Mr Marshall said volunteering had “massive rewards” you did not set out to receive.

“I have met so many people I wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise, who have gone on to become my very dear friends,” he said.

Helping the Harvey family has sometimes gone hand-in-hand with sacrificing time with his own family, but having the full support of his wife Susan has made it easier.

“My wife has been an absolute rock,” he said.

“Not just as support, but jumping on board and bringing her own unique ideas to a project.”

But Mr Marshall said he wouldn’t have it any other way, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

“I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world and meet incredible people, but the best part of all that is coming home.”

A man of many hats

Mr Marshall has been manager at the Harvey Recreation and Culture Centre since 2005 and a Justice of the Peace since 2007.

He has been the project coordinator of the Harvey Diversion Enhancement Project since 2010, and a member of the Harvey Recreation Grounds Advisory Committee since 2008.

He contributed as player, captain, coach or president in Harvey’s cricket, hockey, basketball and netball teams for about 30 years.

He was a founding member and chairman of Harvey Community Radio since it hit the airwaves in 1999 and has been vice-chairman of the Harvey Mainstreet Committee since 2001.

The Harvey Australia Day Breakfast, Harvey Anzac Day commemoration service and Harvey Harvest Festival would not be the same without Mr Marshall, who has been a committee member and event compere of these events since 1995, 1996 and 2000 respectively.

Mr Marshall performed a similar role for the Harvey Carols By Candlelight for 20 years.

He was the council’s ‘Count Me In’ ambassador at the Western Australian Disability Services Commission in 2013.

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