Stalwart Richard Albert Winch Busselton awarded Order of Australia Medal

Suzanne AstonBusselton Dunsborough Times
Order of Australia Medal winner Rick Winch.
Camera IconOrder of Australia Medal winner Rick Winch. Credit: Suzanne Aston

Richard Albert Winch, who is known locally as Rick, is a familiar face to so many in Busselton, where he has devoted a great deal of his life to supporting myriad activities, sporting groups, and organisations has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal.

Mr Winch said he was humbled at the recognition.

“I’m truly honoured, it’s beyond my dreams to actually receive this medal, it’s a huge honour,” Mr Winch said.

The OAM adds to several other awards Mr Winch has received including the Western Australian Premier’s Citizen Award, 2012 and various service medals, including Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 with clasps for Malaysia and Vietnam.

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Mr Winch has been an active member of the Busselton branch of the RSL for 25 years, during which time he has served as president and treasurer.

“The Busselton RSL is a truly wonderful place, I would urge any young veterans in the area to come along,” Mr Winch said.

During his tenure with the RSL the Busselton facility became financially stable, and the RSL Hall has been completely overhauled.

Mr Winch also played a key part in the success of the ironman events at Busselton, and served as a director on ironman for 10 years.

For the half ironman events Mr Winch also worked as a volunteer manager, overseeing the immense volunteer operation that supports the athletes.

From his earliest days sport has been incredibly important, and Mr Winch has dedicated a great deal of his time to supporting community sports.

Having represented the navy in basketball, he continued this sport into civilian life, and has spent more than 40 years involved in basketball.

He is a Busselton Basketball Association life member, and has worked as a coach, player, and administrator for the association.

Mr Winch also worked in the Busselton Chamber of Commerce for 13 years.

In 1962 he enlisted in the navy following a family tradition, after his grandfather served in the British Navy in World War I.

In the navy he served as an electronics technician throughout his 12-year career, during which time he saw active service in Malaya and Vietnam.

Mr Winch has been married for 41 years, has six children, 10 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

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