Sharon Bown Honoured – Member of the Order of Australia

Vietnam50 Commemorative Dinner in Canberra Honours Veterans and Bridges Generations

Sharon Bown, a Royal Australian Air Force veteran and ambassador for the Air Force Association, has been honoured with an appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia.

The award recognises her extraordinary dedication and service to Australian veterans and their families.

Sharon’s military journey is one of awe-inspiring resilience. While serving as an aeromedical evacuation nurse in East Timor, she was involved in a devastating helicopter crash. Despite sustaining severe spinal injuries, a shattered jaw and aviation fuel burns, along with the long-term struggle with chronic pain and PTSD, Sharon fought her way back to active duty.

In her subsequent roles, she served as Aide-de-Camp to the Minister for Defence and commanded an Air Force health unit. She even took on the responsibility of being a commander in the theatre of war in Afghanistan.

Moving beyond her military service, Sharon continues her advocacy work as a Member of the Council of the Australian War Memorial. Her involvement extends to other critical roles: she is an Ambassador for Phoenix Australia, a member of the AWM Roll of Honour Committee and Vivian Bullwinkel Sculpture Committee and a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing.

She also holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science, melding personal experience with academic understanding. 

“Sharon Bown embodies the very essence of resilience and courage. This award pays tribute not only to her professional achievements but also to her tireless efforts for the wellbeing of Australian veterans and their families,” said Carl Schiller, the Air Force Association National President.

“Her appointment to the Order of Australia is a well-deserved honour that serves as a testament to her exceptional life of service.”

Pictured – Wing Commander Sharon Bown (Retd) with her sons Austin (left) and Ty (right) and husband Conway. Image courtesy of Stu Riley at SR Photography


New grants available to help tackle veteran homelessness

Applications are now open for eligible organisations to apply for a share in $30 million in grant funding to build more crisis and transitional housing and provide specialist services for veterans and families who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. ...

Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs expand across north west Tasmania

Veterans and families in north west Tasmania will now have improved access to tailored services and support following the opening of the new Veterans’ and Families’ Hub in Burnie on 13 June 2024.  Established by the North West Tasmanian Veteran Welfare Board, the hub...

New leadership for Air Force Association following AGM

The Air Force Association is pleased to announce the election of new leadership following its Annual General Meeting held in Melbourne today. Air Vice-Marshal Joe Iervasi (Retd) has been elected as President, while current board member and Director of Communications...

Veterans and Families Mark ANZAC Day with Remembrance and Reunion

On a surprisingly mild morning, Vietnam Veterans and members of the Air Force Association (AFA) Victorian Vietnam Veterans (V V) Branch, alongside two ex-WRAAFs, assembled on Flinders Street, Melbourne before the St Paul's Cathedral. With no rain or harsh winds to...

Battle of the Coral Sea Commemoration 2024

RAAF Association members from Townsville and Cairns converged on Cardwell for the 2024 Battle of the Coral Sea Commemoration Service to pay tribute to the eight ships and more than 600 lives lost. The Battle of the Coral was a major naval and air battle fought 800...