Federal Parliament - Mr Ian Murray OAM

16 February 2021


I rise to acknowledge Cowan constituent Mr Ian Murray, who lives in my suburb. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2021 Australia Day honours. It is an absolute acknowledgment of his tireless work in researching and documenting the history of Western Australia.

Mr Murray has worked to strengthen our understanding of Western Australia, its unique natural environment and its history since the 1960s. He was a founding member of the Western Australian Explorers Diaries Project. Currently he's working on the location and residents of business and residential areas across all of the WA Goldfields surveyed by the mines department. Those stories have been lost through the old systems, and he is rediscovering and redocumenting them for the benefit of all Western Australians.

As an honorary fauna warden, Mr Murray collected natural history specimens, especially butterflies and cicadae—which, I'm told, is the plural of cicada—for the National Museum of Victoria. He has volunteered for Landgate and produced a two-volume book, West Australian Gold Towns and Settlements, which includes original surveys, town maps and names of early Goldfields inhabitants—such an invaluable treasure in documenting the history of Western Australia.

Over half a century of service has seen Mr Murray author, co-author or jointly compile 12 publications on Western Australian history. They include stories about Aboriginal corporations, communities and outstations—books called Bulla Bulling, Incident at Afghan Rocks, The Overlanders: Crossing the Nullarbor 1870s-1970s, All Gold: The Death of Stephen Grace, The Connelly Story, For Those Who Remember Bob True, John Dunn and the Wealth of Nations, Where on the Coast is That? and Araluen to Zanthus: A Gazetteer of Perth Suburbs and Western Australian Towns.

I'm not a very good student of history—I didn't do too well in history at school; I think it was one of my weaker subjects—so I for one am particularly grateful and thankful that we have people like Mr Murray who do that work, who undertake that extensive research to collect information and preserve the past of Western Australia and its rich history, and document it in word for all to share for generations to come. Mr Murray, congratulations—a very well deserved recognition of your hard work and dedication to the state.