HONOR: Phillip Selwood (centre) was awarded the Australian Defence Medal by Delegate of the Naval Chief of Staff, Captain William Martin in the company of Coffs Harbour Naval Cadet representatives.
HONOR: Phillip Selwood (centre) was awarded the Australian Defence Medal by Delegate of the Naval Chief of Staff, Captain William Martin in the company of Coffs Harbour Naval Cadet representatives. Claudia Jambor

Ex-serviceman honoured 40 years on

AFTER 40 years, a local ex-serviceman was presented with an Australian Defence Medal recognising his service in the Australian Navy during the 1970s, by a delegate of the Australian Navel Chief of Staff.

In the presence of Coffs Harbour Australian Navy representatives, his family and grandchildren, ex-serviceman Phillip Selwood was finally awarded the military honour for his service to the Navy by Captain William Martin after paperwork issues caused decades of delays.

Mr Selwood said it was a long time coming with the medal symbolising a 'final recognition' for his years in the Navy.

"It's an honour for me, it's an honour for my family ... to receive it is an indication that you've been accepted," Mr Selwood said.

Graduating in 1970 from the Navel Recruit School in Victoria, Mr Selwood went on to serve on the HMAS ANZAC and Albatross as well as embarked on two tours of the South East Pacific region aboard HMAS Melbourne during 1971-72.

The Defence Force Honours and Awards introduced the Australian Defence Medal about 12 years ago for serviceman and women who completed an initial enlistment period or four years service.

Delegate of the Navel Chief of Staff, Captain William Martin said the award covers personnel like Mr Selwood and those who served in wars like Vietnam where people signed on for one to three years and completed short terms of service.

Captain Martin said the award was a fitting acknowledgement for Mr Selwood and his family.

"For someone who didn't qualify for an Australian Defence Force Long Service medal, he now has a medal or a ribbon he can wear to show that he served his country for a certain period of time and that's a great thing for Phil and his family," he said.

Petty Officer, Stacey Swan, of the Coffs Harbour Australian Navy Cadets, said it was a great experience for the younger cadets to attend the low-key service and acknowledge local ex-serviceman like Mr Selwood.



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