Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Mulwala's Doug Evans' OAM honour

Doug Evan’s mother had a motto she lived her life by, ‘I consume myself by serving others’.

FIONA BLICK January 30, 2014 9:34am

Doug has adopted this rule and has been a valued member of many community groups including Rotary, SES, Yarrawonga Mulwala Tourism and Yarrawonga Health for many years.

On Australia Day he was awarded for his passion for serving the community by receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

“I fell out of my tree when I found out I had been awarded an OAM,” Doug told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

“This award is such an honour.

“The hardest part when I found out was not being able to tell anyone about it until after Australia Day.”

Doug, along with his devoted wife Dianne, has owned operated water, gas and electrical manufacturing businesses throughout Australia and internationally for 50 years.

Their two sons, Craig and Stuart, have now taken on leadership roles but both Doug and Dianne are very much involved in the day to day running of the company.

“We started off in Wangaratta after I finished studying at RMIT,” he said.

“We then shifted to Melbourne in 1992 and had factories in Wangaratta and Hobart.

“There were offices in Manchester, Singapore, Turin, Texas and Switzerland and Di and I used to travel around the world up to four times each year visiting each site.

“We still employ directly 34 people but in the heyday we had up to 130 people working for us.”

Doug said he and Di have worked in the same office together for the past 50 years and she is “his rock”.

“Our business has had its ups and downs like everyone’s but it has been successful and very good to us,” Doug said.

Doug knew from an early age he would be involved in community work, it was in his blood.

“My father was a local government councillor and my brother was a member of parliament so it was natural I would follow in their footsteps,” he said.

“I have been a councillor for the Benambra electorate, the Federal President of the Young National Party, a councillor for the City of Wangaratta for 12 years and Mayor for two years.

“I like to see things getting done and quite often if you don’t act on those things yourself then they won’t get done.”

Even with all of his achievements, Doug is a humble man.

“So many people have contributed to me receiving this award,” he said.

“This OAM is only possible through the support and help from them.

“We all have hard times during our lives but it is the friends we make that stick by us that count.

“There are so many people out in our community doing good things; you just can’t do everything on your own.

“You get inspired by different people and help from other people.

“There are some great role models out there who have never been recognised.

“And as a Christian, I thank God for being given the opportunity to serve the community and work with so many great friends over the years.”

Doug believes if everyone put in an extra 10% than they do already the Yarrawonga Mulwala community would be an even more fantastic place to live.

“We can all put in just a little bit more,” he said.

“A good part of living in a small community is that an ordinary person can make a big difference.”

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