Neville’s story: Rural community hero honoured by Order of Australia Medal
With a love of the land and a passion for his community, 87 year old Neville Thompson has helped shape his beloved town of Temora, a rural town located in the NSW Riverina region.
On Australia Day, Neville, who is now a resident at a Temora aged care home, was recognised for decades of service to agriculture and the Temora rural community with an Order of Australia medal.
“It feels fantastic.” Neville said of receiving the accolade that pays tribute to his extensive farming career and his incredible contributions to the social fabric of Temora.
A third generation Temora farmer, Neville moved to ‘Marnoo’ in 1946 to work on the family farm purchased by his grandfather in 1908. He managed the property with his wife Catherine from 1970 before they took ownership of it ten years later.
Neville opened the farm for educational field days in crop and pasture production and to help university, TAFE and school students learn more about farm management. He also participated in a number of agricultural trials, and in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, grew new varieties of seed to provide the cropping community with seed for the next planting season.
“Running a successful business with the help of my wife, two sons and daughter was a highlight of my career, along with being able to implement change and new systems in agriculture.” Rural community hero Neville said.
“I enjoyed giving back to my community and working with universities, TAFE colleges and schools to help share information and make improvements for following generations.”
The list of committees that Neville has contributed to is extensive and includes the Executive Council of Agricultural Bureau of NSW, Charles Sturt University Wagga Agricultural Advisory Committee, Temora Silo Committee and the Agricultural Bureau of Temora as the inaugural president.
One of Neville’s most important and rewarding civic contributions has been his role with the Rotary Club of Temora. Still an active member, Neville joined in 1976 and has given an incredible 41 years of service. Neville looks forward to attending weekly meetings and loves giving back to his community.
“The Temora community supports anyone needing help. It’s a great little town to live in and be part of.” Neville said.
Neville is a true community hero. He shows great courage, resilience, kindness and generosity, has inspired new generations of farmers and made an extraordinary contribution to the lives of others in his community.
With the help of his family and the aged care home where he now lives, Neville plans to attend a special ceremony at Government House in Sydney, where he will be presented with the coveted medal.