Ian Armstrong was President of the Victorian Antique Dealers Guild Inc. and held the E.W. Cole Award as 'Australia's Greatest Collector'. His collection, which he believes to be 'the second largest in the world', includes penny farthings, Georgian shoe buckles, candle snuffers, shoe horns, Toby jugs and old portraits.
After graduating from the University of Melbourne Armstrong became the third generation to join the family shoe retailing business. While running a large business he also ran an extensive cattle stud on the Victoria peninsula and built up his collection.
Armstrong and his collection have featured many times in the media; he also played Mulga Bill in Banjo's Australia on Network 10.
Ian Armstrong was Victorian of the Year in 1988, the year of the Bicentennary. He personally commemorated the honour by having a medal struck, one of which he presented to the Museum. He received the Order of Australia Medal in 1990.
Saxton Speakers' Bureau website http://www.saxton.com.au/speakers/Armstrong.html.