RAAF Veteran Appointed Vice President of the AFA
RAAF veteran, Wing Commander (Retd) Sharon Bown is the Air Force Association’s new National Vice President, it was announced at last month’s Annual General Meeting.
A decorated RAAF Nursing Officer and veteran, Sharon is a highly regarded motivational speaker and author, a Member of the Council of the Australian War Memorial and is also the Air Force Association’s representative on the Female Veterans and Families’ Forum.
Working in East Timor as a RAAF aero-medical evacuation nurse in 2004, Sharon was seriously injured and narrowly escaped death in Timor-Leste when the UN helicopter she was travelling in crashed in a violent storm. She survived a broken back, a shattered jaw, and aviation fuel burns, and not surprisingly, was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sharon later served as a commander of a surgical team in Afghanistan in 2008.
Today, Sharon continues to be of service to the men, women and families who serve, providing a valuable insight into the sacrifice and unique qualities of their lives in the service of others.
This year, Sharon was invited to deliver the national address to commemorate Anzac Day.
In her address, Sharon encouraged Australians cast themselves in the image of the ANZAC:
“Let us do more than just honour those who have defended Australia.
In this time of crisis, let us recognise our innate capacity to do the same.
To unite and protect the more vulnerable among us.
To realise that the qualities for which we honour the ANZAC's, live on within all of us.
Endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour, mateship and devotion - to duty, to each other, to Australia.”
You can read Sharon’s full ANZAC Day Address on the Australian War Memorial website: https://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/speeches/anzac-day-2020-veterans-response.