Jurien Bay veteran and volunteer Ian Stiles awarded OAM in Queen’s Birthday Honours List
Special Air Service veteran and long-time Jurien Bay volunteer Ian Stiles says being an ambulance officer was sometimes like combat when “all sorts of things are going through your mind”.
Ian Stiles from Jurien Bay is an SAS veteran and community volunteer
He assists the RSL, sea rescue, ambulance and Men’s Shed among other organisations
The 75yo is one of 992 Australians recognised on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia
The 75-year-old’s decades of volunteer work on the land and sea today saw him recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
“I am very surprised and honoured,” Mr Stiles said from his home in Jurien Bay.
Mr Stiles has spent many years volunteering with organisations including St John Ambulance, the Returned and Services League, Marine Rescue Jurien Bay, the Men’s Shed, and Victoria’s Country Fire Service.
‘Beam me up’ rescue
At sea, one rescue he took part in involved coordinating with a search helicopter to help find people who had ended up in the water but who had managed to set off an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB).
“All of a sudden there was a big beam of light and there were three people in the water waving and it looked like ‘Beam me up, Scotty’,” he said.
He said fellow volunteers were “a great bunch of people”.
“All the emergency services volunteers deserve more recognition than they get,” he said.
Mr Stiles has lived with his wife, Sharon, in Jurien Bay for more than 20 years after spending time in Leeman and Eneabba.
A former diver, he also helped with an artificial reef in town and ‘reef balls’ containing human ashes.
Getting things done
He said volunteering had been a way of making a positive change in the community.
“I like to see things done,” Mr Stiles said.
“A lot of the time people talk about things but do not actually get them done.
Mr Stiles was one of 992 Australians recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, including 669 in the General Division of the Order of Australia.