From a very young age - Valerie (better known as Val) had a love for animals. Born in 1933 to pioneers of the area who came from Ireland with a dream to succeed as farmers at Lake Carmody (south east of Hyden). Her 'no nonsense' country up-bringing set her up in life to accomplish great things.
Val was taught penmanship, painting, sewing, cooking and good English by her mother. She is well read and has always loved looking after animals, often having baby featherless birds in the warming oven of her stove administering hourly feeds even throughout the night. Her mother often spoke about a memory of a fixed vision of Val walking hand in hand with her father, Elliott going to the lamb pen carrying the milk bucket - rain, hail or shine, in return the animals loved her.
After completing her senior schooling in Kobelya College in Katanning, Val married the love of her life - Russel Mourtiz on 31st October 1953. They were the first couple to be married in the Hyden Town Hall and many farmers were involved in the completing of the building for the special day. The couple went on to have four children in six years. Val smiles with admiration while discussing what amazing people they have become. She says "I can see their determination to succeed and I am very proud of them."
Since 1982, the Wave Rock Wildlife Park has absorbed Val's interest and energy. She is the owner / operator of the park and has built it up to be a pleasent place where you can wander the natural gardens admiring the birds and animals. Her love and dedication for the animals is plain to see. Please take time to enjoy the beautiful surrounds.
Val is also a director of Wave Rock Management and the Wave Rock Tourist Development Company. She has interests in the Lace Place Museum, the Miniature Soldier Museum and the Pioneer Museum.
Val has dedicated her life to the animals at the Wave Rock Wildlife Park and can still lift a bag of pony cubes! She is an amazing woman!
All unknown the future lies, let it rest
God who veils it from our eyes, he knows best
Ask not what shall be tomorrow, by content
Take the cup of your joy or sorrow, he hath sent
How lucky and blessed I am