For Newtown’s Frank Herd, being awarded a medal of the Order of Australia was both an “incredibly proud” and “strange” experience.
Having worked in the meat industry since he was 18, he said he never expected the honour, recognising his service to the meat processing industry and the community.
“I’m surprised to say the least,” he said.
“But to know that someone out there has seen what I’ve done and thinks it was worthy of a nomination is very humbling.”
Mr Herd has served as the managing director of Geelong’s M.C Herd Family Abattoir, as well as a founding member and former chairman of the Australian Meat Industry Council.
He said he never set out to get involved with industry bodies, but it was something that developed over time.
“You just do it when you’re asked,” he said.
“Things like that evolve over time – I have a sense that you have a commitment to give back to your industry and do what you can to help it prosper.”
But just as important as his contribution to meat processing was his commitment to the community.
A life member of both the Old Geelong Football Club, Mr Herd said he had a passion for supporting local football.
“Country and suburban football are so important to our social fabric, and we need to support that,” he said.
He has also been a strong supporter of the Anglesea Surf Lifesaving Club, the Royal Geelong Agricultural Society, St John of God and Carols by the Bay.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of fundraising for St John of God, which people always find a bit odd because I’m not Catholic, but I’m someone who likes to put their hand up to help,” he said.
“And it can be a selfish thing too, you get a lot of satisfaction when you look back at projects that you have been involved in.
“But they’re never a one person job, there’s always a group of great people involved in anything you do.”