2017 Michael Chin Humanitarian Award
Dr. Michael Chin, a long serving General Practitioner in the Karrinyup area, was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Karrinyup serving the Club in various roles and was the first member of our Club to be named a Paul Harris Fellow. He passed away in 1998. The Michael Chin Humanitarian Award was created in 2000 to honour outstanding individuals who serve the community and those in need, for their humanitarian and volunteer activities. Recipients are those whose daily dedication and caregiving epitomises the highest standard of quality and personal commitment.
This year’s recipient is nature lover and educator of over sixty years Eric McCrum OAM. Eric has given a life time commitment to the community starting as a newly qualified teacher with his first posting at Reid on the Nullarbor. He spent spent many years in remote, regional and central WA, passing on his knowledge of nature before spending time in Papua New Guinea as a patrol officer, where he joked that he was "paid to walk through the jungle".
Upon his return, the Perth Zoo opened up a Zoo Education Centre, and Mr McCrum was offered the role of the centre's teacher, which he took eagerly and had 10,000 children coming through the classroom each year. He spent a decade in that position before taking up a spot at the Gould Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre.
His key achievements have been to foster interest and help protect the wildlife of this country by education of the next generation. Sometimes called 'The Birdman', Eric, who can imitate the call of almost any bird found in the Australian bush, takes children on a magical journey into the world of birds and bird-calls. An environmentalist of the first order, Eric was awarded the OAM and Centenary Medal for his work in natural history.