Queen’s honours for local heroes

The late Ron Fenton and his assistance dog Yogi. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 209108_01

By Alesha Capone

Former police officer Ron Fenton, who died in April following a long battle with cancer, is one of three Wyndham residents to be awarded a medal of the Order of Australia in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Mr Fenton worked as a police officer for more than 40 years, both before and after he survived being shot in the head during 1984 while pursuing a man who had murdered a security guard.

Mr Fenton later developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and became a passionate advocate for better mental health support for police and veterans.

He was a volunteer veteran peer support officer and involved with implementing the PTSD Assistance Dogs/Prison Inmate Training Scheme for police and first responders in Victoria.

Werribee resident Lynne Killeen has been awarded a medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to the indigenous community and women.

Mrs Killeen, originally from the Northern Territory, has been an Aboriginal wellbeing officer at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre (DPFC) for 25 years.

She has been involved with establishing an Elders Visiting Program and Koori Health Nurse Pilot Program, and has created a partnership with Elizabeth Hoffman House for family violence counselling programs.

Mrs Killeen said she enjoyed showing women at the DPFC that someone cares about and respects them.

“I love what I do and I think everyone knows that,” she said.

“For the most part, it’s just being able to help somebody, often the women have gone through a lot of trauma, difficulty and sadness.

“The funny thing is sometimes I can learn as much from them as they do from me.

“I don’t do it for the accolades, or for thanks – if you get a thank you at the end of the day, that’s worth a million dollars.”

Mrs Killeen said she has been fortunate to have great general managers, governors, officers and colleagues at DPFC.

Point Cook’s Nevil Knell, 85, has been a volunteer with Prison Fellowship Australia (PFA) for more than 28 years.

The PFA aims to help prisoners and their families both inside and outside of jail across the state.

A member of Point Cook Community Baptist Church, Mr Knell said that in addition to chatting to prisoners about the bible, he talks to them about topics such as football or weather.

“I’m still in touch with three or four men who have been out (of prison) for years,” he said.

Mr Knell said his family was “very happy and excited” about his OAM recognition.