The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has paid tribute to industry stalwart Ron Chapman after he was made a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
The association’s CEO, Stuart Lamont, said the Australia Day recognition was “incredibly well-deserved”.
Ron Chapman has been involved in the Australian RV industry since 1966, and “in that time has demonstrated incredible dedication to the industry and its people”.
“The process of being awarded an OAM is a long process with the original nomination being made back in 2016,” Mr Lamont said. “There are very few people who have done as much for the Australian caravanning and camping industry as Ron, and we appreciate the recommendation from the Council of the Order of Australia in recognising Ron’s contribution over many decades to the industry.”
Mr Chapman began his industry career as a advertising and PR manager for a Brisbane caravan manufacturer, before becoming a national marketing manager with another manufacturer. He later operated his own retail dealerships and operated caravan parks in Maryborough, Qld.
In the 1970s, Mr Chapman returned to Brisbane and spent several years working with a number of businesses in the industry before 17 years of involvement as director of an advertising and promotional agency, with continuous involvement in the caravan industry through that business.
Mr Chapman has been CEO of Caravanning Queensland for more than 25 years, was manager of the Queensland Caravan and Camping Show for 36 years and has been on the organising committee of all held.
He has also been involved in a number of national roles in addition to state duties and has led a number of industry groups on overseas study tours.
Mr Chapman was the second recipient of the industry’s highest award, the Eric Hayman Award for Excellence (behind Eric Hayman himself), as well as being the inaugural recipient of the Richard Davis Award for Outstanding Contribution to the national body in 2016.
In 2018, a ‘Living Legend’ luncheon was held in Mr Chapman’s honour at the industry’s National Conference to recognise his efforts.
In 2014, he was the inaugural recipient of the CTIA Queensland Ron Chapman Award for Outstanding Contribution and Commitment to the Caravan Industry.
Outside of the caravan industry, he was awarded Queensland Tourism’s highest award, the Marie Watson-Blake Award for Services to Tourism By an Individual in 2009. More recently, he was made a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.