Timber stalwart honoured

MORE than three decades of committed service to the sustainable timber industry has been rewarded with sawmill manager Paul Madden being recognised in the Queen's birthday honours.

"I like to be busy. I'm happiest when I've got plenty of things to do," he said.

HONOURED. Paul Madden, OAM.

HONOURED. Paul Madden, OAM.

That philosophy, combined with a passion for his job at Koondrook's historic Arbuthnot Sawmills and his commitment to his local community resulted in Paul Madden being awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

His OAM recognises his service to primary industry and the community of the Riverina.

Mr Madden started at the mill in the 1980s, initially as a trainee manager, having moved from Bendigo to Murrabit with wife Lyn in the late 1970s.

It didn't take long for Mr Madden to realise the significance of the mill and the need to maintain its viability. He also saw the value of community in general and became an active member of Murrabit life.

Over subsequent years he has been president and secretary of the Lions Club of Murrabit and District and president of Murrabit Tennis Club. He is currently in that position at the town's golf club.

Mr Madden has also played significant roles at Murrabit Football Club where he tackled administrative positions shortly after arriving in the town.

He is a long-term member of the Koondrook Development Committee and also belongs to the Gunbower Island Community Reference Group.

However, it is his ability to help keep the now 130-year old sawmill viable and active that is perhaps his most noteworthy achievement.

"The thing that's driven me since I've been here at the mill is to keep it going," Mr Madden said.

He recognises its importance to the community of Koondrook and surrounding areas and the impact its closure would have, both directly and indirectly, in terms of job losses.

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