Boyanup’s Michael Tichbon awarded OAM
When lifelong-Boyanup resident Michael Tichbon read the letter to tell him he would receive a Medal of the Order of Australia as part of this year’s Australia Day honours list he was shocked.
“I wondered if I was actually good enough to receive the honour,” he said. “Obviously a lot of people think I am and that’s what means so much to me — I actually found out who nominated me and they are very influential people in their field so it’s special.”
Mr Tichbon was recognised for his service to conservation and the environment.
It was a passion that blossomed early in his life.
“Even when I used to ride my bike to the Boyanup Primary School I used to stop in order to pick orchids on the way home,” he said.
“I used to write letters to CA Gardner who was the government botanist at the time and kept that ongoing to various government botanists as well.
“I have still have a lot to do with some of the guys at Kings Park at the moment.”
The 82-year-old was the founding president of the Capel Land Conservation Committee as well as a founding member of the Capel River Action Plan.
He has been an ongoing supporter of Bush Heritage Australia as well as a the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.
One of his proudest moment came when the Frank Hann Park was expanded shortly after he contacted to the then lands minister HD Evans in the 1970s.
“The park had been set up but they only had a mile on either side of the road,” he said.
“I wrote to the honourable HD Evans requested that consideration be given to increase the size of the park.
“A few later I got a letter back from the under-secretary of lands saying that he had received communications from HD Evans that the park had been increased by a considerable amount.”
As an orchadist he was president of the Donnybrook Fruit Growers Association during the mid 80s and even co-bred a variety of pear, the Goldrush Pear.
He was also on the Capel Shire Council for eight years and was a justice of the peace for 34 years until 2017.
“This kind of recognition comes around only once in a lifetime,” he said.
“I’m very fortunate to have had so many people who have thought enough of me to recommend me.”
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