West Australian Medal of Honour recipient grateful for family support
Brian Landers AFSM OAM, already a recipient of six medals has been awarded with a Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division for dedication and service to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services Western Australia and St John Ambulance Kalgoorlie. Photo: Supplied.
By Amanda Murthy
Kalgoorlie-Boulder parishioner Brian Peter Landers AFSM OAM is one of 86 recipients from Western Australia to be awarded with a Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division for dedication and service to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services Western Australia and St John Ambulance Kalgoorlie.
The Governor-General and Chancellor of the Order of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) in January announced 732 awards in the Australia Day 2022 Honours List which recognise outstanding and inspirational Australians.
2022 marks the highest ever percentage of women recipients (47 per cent) and 45 per cent are for service to local communities.
The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia is scheduled to formally invest Western Australian recipients with the insignia of their appointments and awards at an Investiture Ceremony in April.
Mr Landers who was born and bred in Kalgoorlie, (and still living there) said that coming from a large family, and his faith upbringing naturally drew him to ‘lend a hand’, wherever he saw the opportunity to.
One of 14 children, and father of six, Mr Landers credits the values instilled in him by family and faith as the reason he started volunteering and reaching out to his Kalgoorlie community. Photo: Supplied.
“I am the fifth of 14 children and so naturally, my siblings and I have always helped my parents take care of the home affairs and of one another,” Mr Landers said.
“I studied at St Mary’s Primary School, then completed my tertiary years at the Christian Brothers College. I attended St Mary’s Church all my life and have been an acolyte for 41 years. I think all these experiences helped shape me, and it helped me recognise the importance of serving the community in need.”
A ‘jack-of-all-trades’, Mr Landers career path led him to take up roles of various fields, from a Baker Apprentice, a Fitter Assistant in an oil and gas company, to truck driving before finding his true calling with the Western Australian Fire Brigades Board for 45 years.
“I had met a few firemen that were doing part time driving trucks, and they encouraged me to apply – I remember that once I got the job, I had to go to Perth to do the training. This worked out to be the best job,” Mr Landers explained.
“My involvement with St John Ambulance Brigade started because I wanted to upskill and be prepared as a firefighter if I had to attend to an emergency call. Having these skills also helped when we attended traffic accidents and other jobs.”
The father of six and husband to Faye Landers says that he was ‘lost for words’ when he received the news of his medal, adding that Faye deserves all the credit for her support and equal involvement in volunteer work.
Mr Landers has served with St John Ambulance Kalgoorlie since the 70s’. He will be receiving his Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division at a formal ceremony this April. Photo: Supplied.
“Community support in today’s world is so important. People are finding it so hard to survive with added pressures including mental health issues, the pandemic, unemployment, and the impacts of all forms of abuse including drugs and alcohol, assaults, just to name a few,” Mr Landers said.
“I am a proud Australian who has been so blessed with the life God has given me. Wherever I can give back – I will continue to do so for as long as I am able to.”
Brian’s accolades include
Department of Fire and Emergency Services Western Australia
- Volunteer, Peer Support Program, since 1989.
- Volunteer, Kalgoorlie Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, since 2013.
- Volunteer Support Officer, Juvenile and Family Fire Awareness Program, since 2001.
- Firefighter, Kalgoorlie Boulder Fire and Rescue Service, 1968 to 2013.
St John's Ambulance Kalgoorlie
- Ambulance Officer, since 1970.
- Transport Services Volunteer, since 1970.
- Member, Friend of St John Order, since 2000.
- Superintendent St John Ambulance Brigade.
- Volunteer Driver, Meals on Wheels Kambalda, current.
- Acolyte, Kalgoorlie Catholic Church, 41 years.
- Emergency Medical Assistant.
Awards and Recognition include:
- National Medal, 1983 - 3 clasps.
- Australian Fire Service Medal, 2014.
- Service Medal, St John's Ambulance, 1982- clasps.
- Commendation for Brave Conduct, 1987.
- Officer of Order of St John.
- Emergency Services Diligent Service Medal 40-year clasp.
Mr Landers efforts with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services Western Australia and St John Ambulance Kalgoorlie has gained him a Queen’s Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division. Photo: Supplied.