Richard Elkington honoured

Richard Elkington was awarded an Order of Australia Medal.Photo: Contributed

Gippsland community worker Richard Elkington, 71, has been honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Mr Elkington has been cited “for service to the community through a range of roles”.

Mr Elkington paid tribute to his wife Kathleen, the couple’s sons Jeremy and Andrew and their families, as well as professional and community colleagues.

Mr Elkington was recognised for a range of community activity, particularly in the promotion of the Latrobe Valley, as a former chair of Regional Development Gippsland, and as a former board member of Gippsland Development Limited.

The long-time Traralgon resident is Grand Master of Freemasons Victoria, a men’s fraternity with 7500 members across the state, with an emphasis of self-improvement and charity to others.

Born in Yallourn and raised in Newborough, Mr Elkington was an executive general manager at the Loy Yang Power Station, following on from various operations and engineering roles at the Yallourn Power Station.

He and Kathleen met in 1973 when he was a cadet engineer with the State Electricity Commission.

Kathleen, a nurse, went on to become director of nursing at Brookfield Park Nursing Home in Traralgon.

He chaired Gippsland Water from 2000-2007, and was a former director of East Gippsland Water.

He was an executive council member of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and its regional president.

Some of Mr Elkington’s other community involvements have included work with the Latrobe Valley Authority, the Regional Policy Advisory Committee, Coal Resources Victoria, and the Regional Transport Advisory Group.

He had senior memberships of Gippsland Ports, Gippsland Farm Plantations, the Latrobe Valley Task Force and the Gippsland Tertiary Education Council.

Some of his community

activities have involved Gippsland community radio, Mid Gippsland Football League, the Baw Baw District Scout Association, and the Latrobe Light Opera Society.

He joined the Heyfield Lodge, and was later a foundation member at Lodge Cornucopia at Warragul.

His current role as Freemasons Grand Master sees him involved seven days a week with leadership duties.

Mr Elkington prizes strategic and conceptual thinking, and seeks to include as many people as possible in decision making, whether it be with professional, fraternal organisations.