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