FORMER Tamborine Mountain RSL Sub Branch president and life member John Brookes has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to veterans and their families.
He is one of 788 Order of Australia recipients in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Mr Brookes was a senior vice-president of the Gold Coast District RSL Branch in 2011 before he became a welfare officer for three years.
He then dedicated 22 years to the Tamborine Mountain RSL Sub Branch, taking on various committee roles before retiring in 2016.
Mr Brookes said he felt humbled to receive an OAM.
“It is rewarding to have acknowledgement after putting in many years of volunteer work but I could not have done it without a good support team and fellow veterans behind me,” he said.
“I sincerely hope I have made a difference in the sub branch, which is something I always strove to achieve.”
Some of his achievements included being involves with the administrative process of incorporation, the construction and completion of the Circle of Remembrance memorial and the installation of the granite Anzac Centennial Commemoration seats at the memorial.
Mr Brookes said the death of his father and father-in-law, who both fought in World War II, was the catalyst to joining the sub branch in the hope of not only being a member but to make a difference.
“I saw first hand how difficult it was for them to have lost a loved one, especially a husband and as a result of war and serving their country. It became a higher ideal for me to make an effort to help the sub branch,” he said.
“It was hard and tedious work at times but I enjoyed doing it and would not take it back in an instant.”
The Vietnam War veteran said he was always eager to attend Anzac Day services at local schools to see the passion students showed.
“The sub branch would always involve students at services too...you’re reassured the future of Anzac Day will be carried on long after you have passed on.”
Council of the Order of Australia chairman Shane Stone said the awards in the general division of the Order of Australia recognised those who provided outstanding community and public service to the wider community.
“These merit-based awards considered by the independent Council of the Order of Australia recognise ‘quiet achievers’ and excellence in our broader Australian community across a wide spectrum of activity,” Mr Stone said.
Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia. For information visit gg.gov.au