Barbara Lynch awarded Service Medal

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Well known Hinkler volunteer Barbara Lynch will today receive the Civilian Service Medal 1939-1945 for her efforts during WWII.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said he was honoured to be presenting Ms Lynch with the well-deserved accolade.

“Ms Lynch was a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) between 1943 and 1945,” Mr Pitt said.

“As Ms Lynch tells it, she was quite naïve as a young volunteer and her colleagues liked to act the goat with her. They gave her some very important initials after her name, which stood for Officer-in-Charge of Bed Pans and Bandages.

“I suspect toilet humour may have been a way for them to lighten their spirits in an otherwise sobering situation. Providing care to our returned service personnel would have been a very confronting for young civilians who hadn’t directly experienced the battle on the frontline.”

Mr Pitt said Ms Lynch became a Justice of the Peace (JP Qualified) at the age of 18, while working in Brisbane as a legal stenographer.

“She volunteered in hospitals around the country. Today – just weeks away from celebrating her 88th birthday – Ms Lynch continues to volunteer at St Stephen’s Hospital in Hervey Bay. She assists the Queensland Police with cases involving young offenders and provides a JP service at a local shopping centre.

“Ms Lynch is a role model for young Hinkler residents. Her story is proof of the positive impact volunteers can have on regional communities.”

The Civilian Service Medal is awarded to civilians who served in arduous circumstances in support of the war effort as part of organisations with military-like arrangements and conditions of service. Information about the important work of VAD can be found at www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/vad/

 [ENDS]

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