Senior award proud moment
A Yamaji man was named 2019 Western Australia Senior Australian of the Year at Government House in Perth last week.
Frank Mallard said he was “quite overwhelmed” to have been one of only four people short-listed for the honour.
“Knowing the three ladies in my category, I was sure that one of them would have been the senior recipient of the year,” he said.
“I am quite proud as an Aboriginal and a veteran of long standing to be selected as the senior for Western Australia.”
Mr Mallard said he left Northampton in 1953 for seven years of boarding school at St Patrick’s in Geraldton. He left to work farms at Yuna and in 1962 enlisted in the Australian Army at 17.
“As soon as I was old enough, I was gone to explore the world,” he said. “I spent 36 years in uniform — 23 years in the regular army and 13 as a reservist.”
Mr Mallard said during this time, he served for four years in Bosnia and Croatia with UN forces, and 10 years as a prison officer in Townsville’s maximum security prison.
Since 2005, he has lived in Ellenbrook in Perth’s northern suburbs, where he has kept busy with what he modestly described as charitable work for his church, school Parents and Friends committee, and the RSL. Australian of the Year documents tell a different story.
“Regard is given to the nominee’s achievements in the year immediately prior to receiving the award, as well as their past achievements and ongoing contribution
to the Australian community and nation,” the website reads.
According to his citation, Mr Mallard is media officer at Ellenbrook RSL and chairs the Voice of the Voiceless Ministry helping people
with addiction, mental illness and social issues.
“He received a Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation as a member of the 1RAR Group, and was City of Swan Citizen and Senior Citizen of the Year in 2018,” the citation says.
Mr Mallard said he would soon be bringing out a self-published autobiography entitled They Couldn’t Stop Me.