The J. I. Scarr Gold Medal for Outstanding Service to the DIAA is awards each year to a person who has had a distinguished career in the dairy industry and the DIAA.
It is named after Jack (John) Irwin Scarr, who's had a long and distinguished career in the dairy industry.
Nominations for the J. I. Scarr Gold Medal come from the DIAA State branches and are open only to DIAA members, with a minimum membership requirement of ten years. Candidates are not resticted to members of the nominating State branch. The recipient is then selected by the DIAA Awards Committee.
About Jack Irwin Scarr
Jack (John) Irwin Scarr had a long and distinguished career in the dairy industry.
Having left school at 13, it was not until 1929, at age 26, that Jack applied for further education and was awarded a scholarship to undertake a Diploma in Dairying at Hawkesbury Agricultural College.
Throughout his career, Jack was driven by a thirst for knowledge, undertaking further study and research through international travel.
In the year leading up to World War II, at 34, he travelled to Europe to look into processing surplus milk using spray drying technology. The production of powdered milk also meant an opportunity for export and Jack saw markets in Asia and the UK.
In 1943, Jack became the general manager at Raymond Terrace Dairy Co., which in 1944 became the Hunter Valley Co-operative Dairy Co. Jack was instrumental in the negotiations with neighbouring Bowthorne Valley Co-operative for the sale of surplus milk to Hunter Valley. He also pioneered Hunter Valley’s artificial breeding centre at Aberdeen and encouraged staff development with the formation of the Dairy Industry Apprenticeship Committee in 1954 which made dairy education more available to young people.
Taking note of moves by Victorian and Swedish companies, Jack did away with individual can collection, making Hunter Valley one of the first NSW dairy companies to begin bulk milk collection. This saved on pick-up frequency and meant increased capacity, further building the Hunter Valley name.
In the 1960s, Jack helped further cement the Co-operative’s Oak brand in the marketplace, extending the name to products such as ice-cream, yogurt, UHT milk and milk powder.
During this time, Jack also initiated the idea of the Hunter Valley Museum of Rural Life and assisted with its opening.
In 1970, Jack helped organise the International Dairy Congress in Sydney. He represented the Institute of Dairy Factory Managers and Secretaries (one of the DIAA predecessors) at the congress.
It was also in 1970 that the Institute created the medal to recognise his 47 years of service to the dairy industry.
Jack retired in early 1971. His retirement dinner was attended by hundreds of company and industry personalities. Ten years after retiring, Jack passed away in Newcastle. Described as a “man of firm convictions” as well as a “gentleman”, Jack Scarr had a career at Hunter Valley Co-operative Dairy Company marked by his drive for perfection and innovation, and the respect gained from both colleagues and staff.
Download an article about Jack Scarr published in Australian Dairy Foods magazine (pdf 89kb).