Sharon Walsh
Royal Australian Air Force

Medals and awards
Defence Long Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal
Australia Day Medallion 1997

‘In reflection the reason to serve my Country was to protect our rights and the respect the privilege of those who have done so before my time. Inspired by many stories of family members who have joined the Australian Defence Force and the reason as to why we have freedom to enjoy life. My father served in the Merchant Navy, and it is in my blood to serve my Country and from my mother a proud Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Carmel to serve Community. The combination of serve Country and Community is still deeply ingrained in my daily life.

I am involved in many Community groups today and the history of being involved in Community groups began when I was a young teenager when I was in the Albury Marching Girls. Now this is rather amusing as when I joined the Royal Australian Air Force, I had to learn to march a new style – forced to step out to keep up with others in my Flight. There were no fancy march steps and learning military style gave me a new learning curve and direction for my life.

I served my community as a teenager by raising funds annually for the 2AY annual Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal, and Legacy Week Badge sales. My mother instilled the importance to be grateful for good health and to raise funds for those less fortunate with many tales of her days struggling in younger years due to racial standards to Indigenous people and those in poverty.

I attended North Albury High School which is now James Fallon High School and at school volunteered to be on the Social Committee to organize the school “disco” dance nights as being part of the School Community. My mother has since painted an Indigenous Mural at James Fallon.

The support from Albury Legacy was a big part of supporting our family when my father passed, I was the eldest child, only 8 years old and felt lost. I had tried to enlist in the Navy to follow my dad for an Apprenticeship with a Trade at 16; I was not allowed as females were not accepted for Apprenticeship Training at that time in history. The guidance from my Legatee Mr. Jack Guy who was a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Pilot gave me the courage to look ahead and reach my potential to enlist in the Royal Australian Air Force.

Joining the RAAF was realising a dream come true to be part of a big community to protect and serve my Country. I served 18 years and 10 months and can honestly say that time went quick. I left Albury to join the RAAF and only came back home a few years ago and have got involved in many community organisations and I continue to serve my community and country with pride.

Anzac Day 2022 was a huge moment of pride to march with the RAAF banner as a proud Wiradjuri woman returning home to country.’ – Sharon Walsh 2023