South West trio acknowledged for years of hard work

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Mike Norton, Bruce Langoulant and Michael Tichbon were all named on the Australia Day honours list.
Camera IconMike Norton, Bruce Langoulant and Michael Tichbon were all named on the Australia Day honours list. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

Bruce Langoulant - AM for significant service to community health as an advocate for meningitis awareness and prevention.

When Bruce Langoulant’s daughter was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis shortly after Christmas in 1989 he was just a young father.

Within three years he had co-founded Meningitis Centre Australia and then 15 years later he was raising awareness internationally as the founding president of the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations.

Bruce Langoulant's daughter Ashleigh has been a driving force behind his work to raise awareness of meningitis and other disabilities.
Camera IconBruce Langoulant's daughter Ashleigh has been a driving force behind his work to raise awareness of meningitis and other disabilities. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

He said the Member of the Order of Australia honour was recognition for a lot collaborative work that had been done over a lot of years.

“It’s rewarding that something as niche as meningitis can be recognised and that individuals like us who work quietly but with determination over many years can be recognised as well.

“I think it’s important that people close to the action are known about because we do it through thick and thin.”

As well as his work directly relating to meningitis Mr Langoulant was also the chairman of the WA Disability Services Commission for 16 years.

After buying land just outside of Donnybrook in 2006, Mr Langoulant and his family moved to the area in 2011.

Mr Langoulant said he loves living in the region and was glad his family had made a treechange instead of a seachange.

Michael Tichbon - OAM for service to conservation and the environment.

When lifelong-Boyanup resident Michael Tichbon read the letter to tell him he would receive a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) 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.”

Michael Tichbon received an OAM for his services to conservation and the environment.
Camera IconMichael Tichbon received an OAM for his services to conservation and the environment. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

The 82-year-old has was founding president of the Capel Land Conservation Committee and 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.

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 also served on the Capel Shire Council for eight years and was a Justice of the Peace for 34 years until 2017.

Mike Norton - OAM For Service to the Livestock industry

Capel’s Mike Norton was not sure whether to accept his OAM for services to the livestock industry but ultimately did on behalf of all the hard work done by people around him.

“The letter asks whether or not you are prepared to accept the honour,” he said.

“I thought very hard about saying no because it can be embarrassing to get the award when you know there are many people out there who have done just as much as me without the recognition.

“I’ll accept it on behalf of the whole industry and all my mates that have been around me along the way.”

Mike Norton’s passionate and tireless work in the livestock industry saw him recognised with an OAM.
Camera IconMike Norton’s passionate and tireless work in the livestock industry saw him recognised with an OAM. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

He has spent his life on a cattle farm south of Capel and found his way into the “agri-political” industry when the local saleyards were shut down in the 1960s.

He was a WA delegate on the cattle Council of Australia from 1989 to 2008, vice-president for five years and also a former treasurer.

From 2008-2012 he was president of WAFarmers as well being senior vice-president for two years.

Within WAFarmers he also held many other different roles including two stints as president of the meat section, was given a distinguished service award in 2004, and was made a life member in 2015.

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