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Hendy Cowan was the chancellor of Edith Cowan University, and president of the Cancer Council Australia board. From a background in farming, Mr Cowan became one of the longest-serving parliamentarians in WA. For 27 years he was elected a member of the WA Legislative Assembly in the seat of Merredin, including 23 years as leader of the National Party and eight years as Deputy Premier of WA. During his two terms in government, he held the portfolios of commerce and trade: regional development and small business. Following his resignation from Parliament in 2001, Mr Cowan again pursued farming whilst undertaking appointments to various boards. Mr Cowan holds two honorary doctorates - in Commerce from ECU and in Science from Murdoch University, and in the WA Citizen of the Year Awards in 2005 won the Governor’s Award for Regional Development.