Se­nior award proud mo­ment

Geraldton Guardian - - NEWS - Ge­off Vi­vian

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.

Pic­ture: Na­tional Aus­tralia Day Coun­cil

Frank Mal­lard

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