One of Victorias leading caravan industry identities, Tom Harding, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Australia Day Honours.
The industry veteran received his OAM for service to the community through historical and service organisations.
In addition to his many contributions to the caravan industry, Tom was recognised for his service to aged care, Lions, the Army Reserve and Victorian Athletics.
Toms OAM follows his induction last year by the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria (CIA) as an inaugural member of the Victorian Caravan Hall of Fame (Pictured above).
CIA Chief Executive Officer Rob Lucas said the OAM was a fitting tribute to Toms community work, not least to caravanning in Victoria.
The remarkable thing is that Tom is just as highly regarded in athletics, Lions, the Army Reserve and several aged care organisations as he is in the caravan industry, he said.
He is also well known as the founder of the Farina Restoration Group, a team of caravanners and campers restoring this pioneer town in outback South Australia.
Tom ran a successful caravan parts, accessory and repair workshop for 25 years, and over that time and since he has made a huge contribution to CIA Victoria.
He served for 15 years on our State Council, including five years as president and four years on the National Council, and was Convenor of the Melbourne Caravan Show for 10 years.
Rob Lucas said Tom was an outstanding ambassador for the industry, and had introduced many newcomers to the caravanning and camping lifestyle.
He has shared the joys of caravanning with thousands of people through his caravan safaris, training sessions and popular presentations at caravan and RV shows, he said.
Lately he has harnessed the volunteer spirit of caravanners to help restore the historic township of Farina, adding another chapter to his remarkable caravanning career.
Tom continues to be a valued adviser to the CIA Board and we congratulate him on his OAM a richly deserved honour if ever there was one.