Busselton State Emergency Service unit member Des Austin received a surprise of royal proportions.
Mr Austin recently celebrated 60 years of volunteer work spread throughout the volunteer fire service, SES and Surf Life Savers Association.
He was presented with a letter from the Queen who recognised his service to units spread from Muchea to Bridgetown and more recently Busselton.
Mr Austin was shocked to learn that the unit had sent a letter to the Queen informing her of his long and valued career as an emergency services volunteer.
Lower South West superintendent John Tillman and regional district officer Leon Gardiner were invited to present Mr Austin with the framed letter sent to the Queen and Her Majesty’s response.
Superintendent Tillman expressed his extreme pride and gratitude to Mr Austin as he spoke of the framed letters.
He joked that many of the members present for the presentation were not even born when Mr Austin began his service to WA.
Mr Austin thanked the unit members and stated that the main goals in his career were to help the community as best he could and build a strong, well trained team in Busselton.
“But my main focus has always been to help others whenever they were in need of assistance,” he said.
In his career Mr Austin has attended over 200 bushfire incidents, was deployed to more than 70 land searches and countless flood and storm damage requests for assistance.
Even in his senior years, Mr Austin is seen actively working search lines, coordinating storm and flood operations and training hundreds of volunteers in all three services.
His dedication and commitment to the community is noteworthy of a royal pat on the back.