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Change of pace gave Malcolm time to write debut book

Malcolm uses his retirement to write

After living what Malcolm calls a “full-on” life moving regularly across regional Queensland, settling down at Bolton Clarke’s Fernhill Retirement Village 18 years ago was an easy decision.

It’s also one that allowed him time to write the story of his 34 years as a permanent officer in the Queensland Ambulance Service, which took his family all over the state and earned him an Order of Australia Medal.

“We moved from Cairns to Julia Creek, then to Rockhampton, Maleny, Wowan, Gatton and Ipswich,” Malcolm said.

“While in Rockhampton, I was one of the few Aerial Ambulance Attendants. There weren’t many people that wanted to do it because you were in a light plane and had to land on bush strips, but I thought it was an essential service.

“I was then in Ipswich for 12 years where I coordinated SES, Fire and Ambulance emergencies and worked very hard to introduce cannulation and in-theatre training for Paramedics which was recognised by the award of an OAM.”

When it came time to retire, Malcolm said he and wife Valerie looked for convenience and a slower paced lifestyle.

“Val was Chairperson of the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade Ladies Committee which used to run fundraising activities, so it was full on for us for years and we couldn’t wait to retire,” he said.

“We wanted a place that was reasonable where the facilities were all there, so Fernhill ticked off all the boxes for us without being in a major city.”

Moving into the Caboolture community also gave him time to tell the incredible stories of his career in his book A Shot in the Arm, published in 2016.

“I still write and tinker to this day – I can’t help myself!” he said.

“We enjoy the lifestyle we have here. It’s nice because you can be fully involved in the activities or just enjoy your own interests and still be a part of the community.”

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