A HIGHLY regarded stock and station agent and a media dynamo have been recognised for their contribution to the livestock and property agents industry.
Long-time Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association supporters David Corcoran and Viki Thomas were honoured with life membership of ALPA during its annual general meeting in Orange last Friday.
Mr Corcoran, of Delta Agribusiness at Young, was elected president of ALPA in 2013 and held the position for four years.
He had previously served many years on ALPA state committees and the board.
Current ALPA chief executive Peter Baldwin described Mr Corcoran as a pillar of ALPA.
"His reputation in agency is at a level that we all aspire to," Mr Baldwin said.
"He is a gentleman of the first order and he has been a great supporter of our organisation."
Former ALPA chief executive Andy Madigan, who worked closely with Mr Corcoran, described him as an ideal leader to represent ALPA members due to his industry experience and knowledge.
"He helped set our course into the future," Mr Madigan wrote in his annual report to members in 2017.
"David Corcoran as president has led ALPA in the same vein as past presidents and he has put ALPA first and stood up for all agents at all levels."
Mr Corcoran said he enjoyed contributing to the industry during his time as ALPA president.
"The nature of ALPA is that it's a combined effort of many people being involved and it was a privilege to have contributed and worked with the people on those boards and committees during that time," he said.
ALPA was re-examining its strategic plan during this period to make it more relevant and helpful to its membership. Mr Corcoran said the aim was to make the organisation more productive in an evolving industry landscape.
"It was pretty special to be involved in that," he said.
"Another issue, that was at times controversial, was the discussion around RFID [radio frequency identification] in Victoria and trying to get some sensible discussion around how this affected agents and the extra load on them for no gain.
"Animal welfare issues were also evolving during this period and ALPA took a lead role in being involved in many committees trying to lift the standard of producers and agents when dealing with livestock."
Mr Corcoran was born and bred in the Boorowa district and joined the Delta Livestock team in 2006, bringing many years of experience in the livestock and real estate agency business.
Before that, he was involved in a family farming operation with some 20 years experience in a Merino sheep, cattle and cropping enterprise.
"It really was a lovely surprise to be honoured with ALPA life membership," he said.
Viki Thomas, Freemans Reach, has the honour of being the first woman to be appointed as a life member of ALPA.
Mr Baldwin described Ms Thomas as being very dear to the organisation and its members.
"We recognise Viki's help to ALPA from a media perspective and the tireless work that she has done in the Young Auctioneers Competition," he said.
"You could not have ever found a better 'go to person', a person with more compassion, more giving of her time and such a pleasure to work with."
From one ALPA life member to another, Peter Homann of Elders (also a past ALPA president) described Ms Thomas as "absolutely outstanding in all ways" and said her life membership was "an absolute credit and very well deserved".
"Viki has been an absolute help to our organisation over many years," he said.
AWN Langlands Hanlon director and past ALPA board member Geoff Rice, Parkes, said Ms Thomas was a wonderful person and a wonderful advocate for ALPA.
"I enjoyed what I did working with the members of ALPA, so it never really felt like work to me," Ms Thomas said.
"I'm just so humbled by the recognition and this honour means the world to me."
Ms Thomas sold the advertising for the Young Auctioneers Competition preview and report for 25 years up until her retirement from The Land in 2020.
During this time, she worked with numerous up-and-coming agents who were finalists in the competition.
Many of those agents are now at the height of their career, but their warmth for Ms Thomas is reflected in the fact some still call her "Aunty Vik".
"Although for some it may be 'just selling ads', for me I was dealing with friends and that meant there was 100 per cent trust," she said.
"That trust meant we could get things done, get the results that we all needed and have a bit of fun along the way."