OAM: Leone Wilson was recognised for her
OAM: Leone Wilson was recognised for her "service to veterans and their families, and to the community of Bundaberg”. Mike Knott BUN250117LEONE2

Top honour after five decades of service to others

FINDING out she had been nominated for one of Australia's top honours turned Burnett Heads woman Leone Wilson's legs to jelly, but she had no hesitation in accepting it.

Helping others is just one of those things you start and keep going to achieve is the what is necessary according to the humbled 75-year-old.

Mrs Wilson will be awarded an Order of Australia Medal today and is where she is now because of the support from others.

Mrs Wilson enrolled in the Women's Royal Australian Air Force more than 50 years ago and since then has dedicated her life to support ex-service women.

She does not know who nominated her for the award but said she had her suspicions.

"It's lovely to see the people who you work to benefit appreciate it," she said.

"The award will recognise all the teams I have been part of."

Along with her work in the WRAAF Mrs Wilson has been part of the Bundaberg and District RSL and Citizens Memorial Club, a legatee of the Legacy Club of Bundaberg and a life member of the Bundaberg and District Ex-Servicewomen's Association.

One of the highlights of all her years of service would be helping to secure the Ex-Services Womans War Nurses Memorial which is located near the Bundaberg Hospital.

It is a white marble plaque which lists names of nurses who served in World War I and World War II.

She said it was made possible because of the support from the community and all the members who worked hard to secure it.

"By doing this we have left a beautiful legacy for Bundaberg to remember," Mrs Wilson said.

This isn't the first award the step-grandmother had received as she was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003.

Her belief is you grab what opportunities which are thrown your way and run with them, help and support where you can.

"I'm proud to have achieved this and never thought I would have," she said.

"It's just one of those things you start and it grows from there.

"But I couldn't have done any of it alone and thank everyone for their support."

Mrs Wilson, nee Golding, is a proud member of the community and said she moved from Gladstone where both her grandfather and great grandfather served as mayor.

She moved to the region at an early age and before joining the WRAFF in 1962.

You can see how humbled the OAM recipient is as she said today would be a "normal" Australia Day which would start with breakfast at Burnett Heads before heading to the AGM for the local ex-service Vietnam Vets.



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