Local Identities Honoured For Their Service

Written by: The Hilltops Phoenix


Robert Nash and Gwen O’Sullivan received beautifully worked blankets as a thank you for their service.

Two locals have been honoured for their service to our country with a thank-you blanket.

Robert William Nash was born in Geelong in 1937 and educated at Geelong High School and Geelong College.

In the College Cadets, he was in a mortar crew.

During his tertiary education at the Victoria College of Pharmacy, Mr Nash did National Service.

He continued in the CMF as a gun sergeant in 19 and 38 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiments, before going on to be an MP.

Mr Nash commenced CMF full-time duty at 3 Camp Hospital in 1959 and joined the ARA shortly after as a pharmacist in the Medical Corps.

During his 22-year career, Mr Nash held a variety of medical supply appointments including command of three medical stores depots, medical supply staff appointments and DGMS and Logistic Command.

Mr Nash also attended the Australian Staff College at Queenscliff in Victoria and the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham in the UK.

His non-corps appointments included postings in the Army’s Scientific Advisors Office and the Office of Surgeon General Defence Force.

He retired from the ARA in 1982 and joined the Australian Public Service in medically aligned appointments such as the Aids Task Force and Department of Veterans Affairs with Allied Health professionals.

After retiring from the Public Service, Mr Nash returned to pharmacy doing locum work around NSW, Honiara in the Solomon Islands and Dili in East Timor.

Gwen O’Sullivan began her nursing career when she was just 17 years of age, following in her mother’s footsteps at Brisbane General Hospital (now Royal Brisbane Hospital) and Women’s Hospital and qualified as a Double Certificate Sister.

Ms O’Sullivan joined the RAAF Nursing Service serving at Laverton and Pt Cook Victoria, where she trained in Air-Sea Rescue in Port Philip Bay and Air Ambulance transfers decompression chamber.

Posted to Amberley Air Force Base Queensland, she continued at the Base Hospital performing Commonwealth inoculations to overseas military members unvaccinated, entering Australia.

Back in Queensland, Ms O’Sullivan worked at Mt Isa Base Hospital, Boonah Hospital and Esk Hospital near Ipswich as D.C. Sister and Matron.

Between 1970 and 1993, she joined the RSL and in 1986 was the second female president in Queensland and the third in Australia of a Sub-Branch.

Ms O’Sullivan has been a member of Young RSL for 25 years, 37 years overall, serving as vice president and president roles when required, welfare officer, assistant secretary and a willing helper to step in at short notice to take up the duties of secretary.

She has been instrumental in keeping the Legacy Branch flying in Young with several veterans and veterans’ wives at the forefront and visiting war widows and veterans in care when time and rules allow.

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