Hawkins Booroopki Farms – committed to agricultural education for over 80 years
The Hawkins Family Courtyard was officially opened at Longerenong College on July 5 2021, honouring a family that has had an incredible 18 family graduates – spanning 80 years over three generations – go through Victorian agricultural colleges. These were Longerenong, Dookie (near Shepparton), Glenormiston (near Terang), and Marcus Oldham in Geelong.
The patriarch of the Hawkins family was a WW1 veteran who had wisdom to see the benefit of agricultural education.
Mr Hawkins Senior encouraged his eldest child, Alwyn, to enrol at Longerenong in early 1941 at the age of 16, followed by Mac in 1943 at just 14 years of age. The youngsters completed their education at Minimay Primary School, located in the far west Wimmera where the family has been based for generations.
Ron, the third of the brothers, enrolled as a 17 year-old in 1954 after completing his education at Edenhope High School; their cousin Graeme enrolled in 1959. Graeme was College captain in 1962 as well as captain of the Longerenong Rifle Club.
An unfortunate football accident at the College resulted in Graeme losing his leg, and almost his life. He farmed with his father for some years, but the limitations caused by his disability cut his dream of a career in farming short. He subsequently became a noted scholar, joining the Methodist/Uniting Church Ministry. Reverend Doctor Graeme Hawkins succumbed to his battles with prostate cancer in 2012.
Gavin, whose grandfather Alwyn was the first of the family to attend LAC, is currently the last of the Hawkins boys to complete his studies at Longerenong College. Time will tell if his twins, Tommy and Ollie, will continue the family tradition.
The Hawkins family were honoured for their ongoing commitment to not only Longerenong, but agricultural education in general.
Former west Wimmera councillor Ron Hawkins, who attended the college in 1954 and 1956, said the family thanked the college for the dedication.
“It’s a long involvement and a big day for the family,” he said.
Special guests to enjoy the celebrations and to see the unveiling of the plaque included Donald Carter, former President of Workco/Skillinvest; former long-standing college principal, Jim Lonsdale; and family friend and advisor for more than 50 years, Andrew Wyatt – all from Horsham. Students and staff were also in attendance, and enjoyed a historical display showcasing photos of family members who attended Longerenong College over the decades.
Hawkins family members to study at the agricultural colleges have been:
- Alwyn 1941-43 Longerenong / Dookie
- Mac 1942-44 Longerenong / Dookie
- Ron 1954-56 Longerenong
- Graeme 1959-62 Longerenong
- Wayne 1972-73 Glenormiston
- John 1976-77 Longerenong
- Rowan 1979-80 Glenormiston
- Peter 1981-82 Glenormiston
- Andrew 1986-88 Longerenong / Dookie
- Nick 1988-89 Longerenong
- Tim 1990-91 Longerenong
- Matthew 1991-92 Longerenong
- Barb 1995-96 Longerenong
- Tara 2006-09 Marcus Oldham
- Laura 2006-10 Marcus Oldham
- Kirsty 2009-11 Marcus Oldham
- Gavin 2011-12 Longerenong
- James 2016-17 Marcus Oldham
If you’re a recent ag graduate and want to further your career, visit our employment page. We always welcome applications from those who’ve committed to study agriculture.