Ken Jasper is a former member of the National legislative council representing the Murry Valley. He became a parliamentarian in 1976, and after ten elections, he officially retired in 2010. Hence, he served the Murry Valley for 34 years and earned respect as a few famous politicians to gain full confidence from their electorate.
He has been a partaker of the annual Celebrity Grape Tread Challenge, which takes place at the country fair for years but only winning in 2008. Later in 2009, he competes against Tony Robinson (then Victorian Gaming and Consumer Affairs minister) and Greg Aplin (Albury’s state member).
His full name is Kenneth Jasper. He was a visionary, innovative, and tenacious leader with significant influence on his community. He worked his way from below to the top with self-development training and a deep connection to his community. He succeeded Bill Baxter, who went against his people because of redistribution, and is succeeded by Tim McCurdy after retirement.
Ken Jasper served the Murry valley for over thirty-four years (from 1976 to 2010), organising various programs that aid the town’s development. One of his achievements is the opening of the respite unit at the Mary McKillop Centre in Nurmurkah. In 2021, the Mae Street respite unit will be thirty-four from its establishment.
The respite was born out of support from a group of Numurkah and has functioned as an accommodation to homeless people with disabilities from the twentieth century. Subsequently, the decision led to more services in Numurkah, which Volunteers’ service has facilitated.
Ken has also made his mark in the Agriculture sector. Little wonder, he was honoured with a plaque at the annual event (Rutherglen Show) for his numerous contributions to their society (Rutherglen Agricultural Society) in 2007. Essentially, his influence has led to the Government’s successful applications with respect to show funding. Even more, he has also facilitated the reconstruction of a new multi-purpose pavilion for the poultry exhibition.
He is also a promoter of many events; for instance, he pushed the agenda for a parliamentarian visit to the famous Country fair organised by Winery Walkabout and Rutherglen (the event was the longest active drink festival in Australia). He also attended the Pioneer banquet that took place to celebrate Oxley Plains’ pioneer.
Mr Ken executed many construction projects, including the introduction of natural gas to the Murry Valley and the renovation of facilities such as healthcare centres, schools, and police stations. He also embarked on other construction projects that define today’s Murry Valley as a potential tourist centre.
Furthermore, Ken Jasper was among those who advocated for the upgrade of the Oaklands rail line upgrade. The railway established between 1883 and 1886 serves as a carriage-only railway line in Victoria. It initially runs 32 kilometres before it was extended to Yarrawonga by another 32 kilometres addition.
For his numerous contributions in the country’s service, he was conferred with the title “Member of the Order of Australia” on the 1st of June, 2012.