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Yamatji Man – Frank Mallard

Mr Mallard, a Yamatji man from Northampton and member of the stolen generation was named WA’s 2019 Senior Australian of the Year. Frank, who has always spoken out and acted to help other people, was recognised for his voluntary, charity and unpaid work by the City of Swan on Australia Day in 2018 and in October last year, was recognised in the Australian of the Year Awards, arguably the country’s most prestigious awards program.

Mr Mallard said he had been surprised and shocked to get awarded “When the City of Swan told me I had been nominated for an award I thought I might have been a ring-in’’.

Mr Mallard joined the Australian army in 1962. He retired from the army in 1985 after serving in Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam and joined the army reserves where he served until 1999.

Along with other retired personnel he joined the fight to have their superannuation pensions maintain their purchasing power in line with aged pensions.

A long wait for recognition (Echo News, December 3, 2015) reported Mr Mallard was one of the people on posters organised by the Department of Veteran Affairs to acknowledge the military service of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In October, 2015 Mr Mallard received a Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.

He was eligible for the award after serving in Vietnam in the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment under the command of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade, which was in Vietnam from May 5, 1965 to May 31, 1966.

When Aboriginal soldiers like Mr Mallard, who served as equals when at war returned home, they faced discrimination including rejection by the RSL which saw them as First Australians not soldiers.

Mr Mallard is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Association of WA treasurer, a member of Honouring Indigenous War Graves WA.

Mr Mallard helps various communities through his status as an elder of the Yamatji tribe, as well as providing them with guidance and assistance. He also organised a volunteer group to build an amphitheatre in the Wheatbelt town of Hyden. He is chairman of the voice of the Voiceless Ministry, which helps people with drug addiction, mental illness and social issues.

In the lead up to Anzac Day – Frank is launching his biography at a special event at Dymocks Ellenbrook. First issue copies of the book can be purchased and signed by Frank at the event.

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