Wednesday 9th August 2017
Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) – Along with many current and former MPs and family and friends I recently attended the service at St Paul’s Sale to celebrate the life of Isobel Arbuthnot. As her husband Alex said Isobel was an outstanding manager of their farming business an outstanding community person a national leader and a really wonderful mum to their children. Isobel’s passions were her family their dairy farm and the National Party of which she was made a life member in 2006.
Isobel won the Young Farmers state debating competition as a 16-year-old. She had a very good speaking voice and great communication skills which she put to good effect throughout her life. Whether it be as chair of the Nambrok school committee as a member of the Sale District School Committee starting the Macalister Dairy Ladies Group or as a member of the National Party she used those skills well. Isobel was The Nationals state vice-president chair of the women’s section and on the national executive. She was a forthright debater at state conferences and always had the strength of her convictions leaving those attending in no doubt about her views on the issues at hand.
Throughout all this Isobel continued to manage the family’s 500-cow dairy farm. I am told that as the farm grew over the years and the number of cows increased Isobel maintained the ability to still remember the cows by their names and took a personal interest in the calf raising.
As I have walked life’s road with this wonderful person I reflect on her strengths as a mentor as an adviser as a leading farmer as a real friend and a very precious wife and mother of our family.
Vale Isobel Arbuthnot.