White family recognised for outstanding contribution of service to the nation

This article has photo gallery Published on Mr Josh Williams (author), CPOIS Cameron Martin (photographer)

Location(s): Canberra, ACT

Topic(s): Honours, Awards and Trophies, Federation Star, Long Service Medal

The three White brothers, from left, Commander Derek White, Wing Commander Paul White, and Mr Mark White (RAN Ret'd) following the presentation of their awards at Navy Headquarters in Canberra. (photo: CPOIS Cameron Martin)
The three White brothers, from left, Commander Derek White, Wing Commander Paul White, and Mr Mark White (RAN Ret'd) following the presentation of their awards at Navy Headquarters in Canberra.

The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, has joined the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld in presenting a number of service medals to three brothers who between them have accumulated more than 80 years of service to our nation.

The White brothers, Paul, Derek and Mark, have received awards in recognition of their service in the Australian Defence Force, serving 82 years between them.

Commander Derek White received the fourth clasp to his Defence Long Service Ribbon and currently works with Joint Operations Command. Commander White says family has always been a focus.

“Having the support of family is so important, not just in the Australian Defence Force but in every career. We all joined within five years of each other and have given each other incredible support.

“Having that connection and a supportive family has enabled us to have long careers in the Australian Defence Force,” Commander White said.

Former Leading Seaman Cook Mark White received the Australian Defence Medal which is awarded after four years of service. Leading Seaman Cook White had given seven years of service.

Wing Commander Paul White received the Federation Star, for an impressive 40 years of service. Wing Commander White is currently the Deputy Director of Force Structure Design - Air Force, and was excited when thinking about those just starting their career in the Australian Defence Force.

“When I started, we didn’t have a lot of the benefits and equipment that we do now. Parental and maternity leave didn’t exist and we didn’t have access to the cutting edge technology and platforms that we do today.

“I feel honoured to receive this award. I couldn’t have achieved what I have without my family and all the people that I’ve served alongside,” he said.

The small ceremony was held in Chief of Navy’s office in Canberra. Vice Admiral Noonan praised the dedication of the three brothers to the Australian Defence Force.

“It is an incredible achievement and sacrifice from the White brothers and their families.

“It was great to recognise their service with the Chief of Air Force and have a chance to congratulate them on their careers so far,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

The three White brothers, from left, Commander Derek White, Wing Commander Paul White, and Mr Mark White (RAN Ret'd) are joined by Wing Commander White's wife Squadron Leader Lynette Howell, following the awards presentation. Between them they have given over 100 years of service to the Australian Defence Force.

The three White brothers, from left, Commander Derek White, Wing Commander Paul White, and Mr Mark White (RAN Ret'd) are joined by Wing Commander White's wife Squadron Leader Lynette Howell, following the awards presentation. Between them they have given over 100 years of service to the Australian Defence Force.