BY BEV JORDAN
The top Australian honour awarded nationally by the RSL to a non-member for their outstanding support has been awarded to Castle Hill resident BRYAN MULLAN.
The nomination, backed by Castle Hill RSL sub-branch members, was approved by both the State Board and the National RSL Committee in Canberra.
The Certificate of Merit and Gold Badge was presented to Mr Mullan by President of Castle Hill RSL sub-branch David Hand and former President Don Tait at a dinner just before Christmas.
Mr Hand said: “It is an honour to be involved in the recognition of Bryan for the award. It is inspiring to have a nonmilitary person always willing to support the veteran community. A well-deserved award.”
Mr Mullan, former Principal at Castle Hill Public School, was nominated for “his outstanding voluntary service and support to the Castle Hill & District RSL sub-Branch and veterans over many years”.
Mr Mullan has been actively involved in enabling school students to understand the contribution veterans have made to Australia through both his role as a teacher and principal and, since his retirement, as a volunteer with Centenary of ANZAC and Armistice events in the Hills.
Former Chair of the Centenary of ANZAC committee Don Tait said that Bryan’s input had been “invaluable” as planning started in 2013 to present 22 commemorative events, including a conference for 65 schools, an essay competition, the on-going ANZAC ambassador program for high school students and the NAMBUS program.
The NAMBUS program gives local high schools the opportunity to have Vietnam veterans talk to students and answer questions utilising the NAMBUS travelling museum to supplement Year 10 studies on the Vietnam War.
The success of the 2015 program (650 students at eight high schools) has continued with Bryan as School Coordinator enabling over 4,000 students to attend the two-hour presentations in the subsequent years.
Mr Tait said: “Bryan’s invaluable support and advice made possible the huge success of the Centenary of ANZAC and Armistice events in the Hills and I thank him for all that he has done and continues to do for the sub-Branch and its veterans. This award is our way, the veteran way of thanking him”.