Voluntary Community Workers

In the post WW II migration waves of 1948-49, about 10,000 Lithuanian DP’s (Displaced Persons) came to Australia. They were, in fact, political refugees, having fled westwards before the onslaught of the Soviet army in 1944, which reoccupied their country. Most of the Lithuanians came to Australia from Germany, where they lived in Displaced Persons’ camps.
Among the Lithuanians, who chose to live in every State in Australia, were many persons who generously gave up their leisure time to further the well being of their countrymen, facilitated their adjustment to local conditions and got involved in the activities of the broader community, which has benefited by better communication, understanding and acceptance of common and differing goals and life styles, cultural values and political views.
These tireless workers for the common good are often not officially recognised and rewarded for their endeavours. However, ever since Lithuania has regained independence on March 11, 1990, quite a number of them have been honoured by the government of their distant homeland. The Australian government has also honoured them for their voluntary work in their adopted country.
The list of Australian - Lithuanians awarded BEM, MBE, OAM and AM medals indicated bellow is by no means complete. At present it stands at 22 persons, as listed on the www.itsanhonour.gov.au website. Two persons have been awarded the Centenary Medal.
The earliest recipients in the 1980s were awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal). The biggest number of recipients has been awarded the OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in the General Division. Three recipients have been awarded the AM (Member of the Order of Australia), two in the General Division and one in the Military Division, and two have been awarded medals in the Military Division.
The biggest number of awardees is from New South Wales, followed by South Australia, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania. This list only covers Australian awards recipients and, where known, the awards conferred upon these recipients by the Lithuanian Government are also indicated. The majority of Australian awards have been conferred "For Service to the Lithuanian Community". This is shown by the abbreviation "SLC". In a few cases the citations differ and this is indicated in full in the list below.

New South Wales
Mr Helmut Bakaitis
Centenary Medal (2001)
Mrs Anna (Ona) Baužė
BEM (1982),(General Division) "SLC".
Prelate Petras Butkus
MBE (1981),(General Division) "SLC".
Commander RAN Algirdas Petras Dičiūnas
National Medal (1977).
MBE (1998) (Member of the Order of the British Empire). "For Service to the RAN" (Military Division).
CSM (1992) (Conspicuous Service Medal), "For Service to the RAN as Fleet Marine Engineer Officer at Maritime Headquarters during the Gulf War" (Military Division).
Commander RAN Rimgaudas Adolfas Dičiūnas
AM (1990) (Military Division). "For Exceptional Service to Royal Australian Navy"
Award: (1991) Meritorious Unit Citation "For Sustained Outstanding Service in 1991 Gulf War Onboard HMAS BRISBANE".
National Medal (2000).
Mrs Ann (Onutė) Kapočius JP
OAM (2005),(General Division), "SLC through the Sydney Lithuanian Women’s Social Services Association".
Mr Antanas Viktoras Kramilius JP
OAM (1995),(General Division) "SLC".
Lithuanian Republic Gold Star Medal for Service to Lithuania.
Mrs Ruta (Ruth) Mataitis
OAM (1990),(General Division) "SLC and for work in the Immigrant and wider Community".
Silver Jubilee Medal (1977).
Presented to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh (1980).
Mrs Martina Reisgys
OAM (2009),(General Division) "SLC of Sydney”.
Hon.Consul General of Lithuania in Sydney, NSW, Viktoras Šliteris
OAM (2002) (General Division), "SLC Through a Range of Sporting, Recreational and Cultural Groups".
Lithuanian Republic Cross of the Knight Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas Categories 3 and 5.
Republic Of Lithuania Department of Culture and Sport Order Category 2.
Mr Viktoras Francis Šniukšta
BEM (Civil Division) (1975), "For Service to the State".
Mrs Tamara Vingilis
OAM (1999) (General Division), "SLC through the Lithuanian Women’s Social Services Association".

Australian Capital Territory
Ms Aurora Kristine Andruška
PSM (2006 Public Service Medal) in Australian Public Service. "For outstanding public
service in the development of a new national framework for vocational education and training in Australia".
Mr Bonifacius Casimirus Minius
OAM (1981) (General Division), "For Public Service in the Field Of Plant Propagation”.
Mrs Barbara Šilinis
OAM (2009) (General Division), "SLC of Canberra”.
Dr. Antanas Stepanas
AM (1999) (General Division). "For work in Endocrinology and Diabetes in Children".
Lithuanian Republic Cross of the Knight Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, Category 5 (1999).
Dr Vida Viliūnas
OAM (2019) (General Division). "For Service to Medicine in the Field of Anaesthesiology".

South Australia
Mr Petras Bielskis
OAM (2021) (General Division). "For service to the Lithuanian community of South Australia".
Mrs Isolde Ira Poželaitė - Davis
AM (1995) (General Division). "SLC and for Education in South Australia".
Lithuanian Republic Cross of the Knight Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, Category 5.
Mr Jurgis George Jonavičius
OAM (2006) (General Division). "For service to the Lithuanian community, particularly through administrative roles in a range of sporting organisations".
Mrs Sofija Kanas
OAM (1993) (General Division). "For Services to the Ethnic Communities Council, Immigrant Women’s Issues, specially elderly Women’s Issues".
Mr Vytautas Neverauskas JP
OAM (1998) (General Division). "SLC, particularly as President of Adelaide Lithuanian Association".
Mrs Nemira Aurelija Stapelton
OAM (2024) (General Division). "For service to the Lithuanian community of Adelaide"..
Mr Vladas Statnickas
OAM (1992) (General Division). "SLC".
Senior Sergeant Stephen John Šapauskas
National Medal (1991), National Medal - 1st Clasp (2000), Australian Police Medal APM (2007).
Hon. Consul of Lithuania in Adelaide, SA, Janina Vabolis
OAM (2001) (General Division). "SLC through Radio EB FM Cultural Issues".
Centenary Medal ( 2001).
Mrs Genovaitė Vasiliauskas
OAM (1993) (General Division). "SLC".
Vilnius University 400 Years Jubilee Medal.

Tasmania
Dr. Algimantas Patricijus Taškūnas
OAM (1991) (General Division). "For Service to Tertiary Education Administration and Service to the Baltic Communities".
Vytautas Magnus University Jubilee Silver Medal (1998), for contributions to Vytautas Magnus University.
Mr. Ramūnas Tarvydas
OAM (2004) (General Division). "SLC".
Mr. John Paul Mackonis
ESM (2006 Emergency Services Medal) in Tasmania Emergency Services.

Victoria
Mr Vladas Juozas Bosikis
OAM (2001) (General Division). "SLC".
Mrs Halina Statkus
OAM (2003) (General Division). "SLC through the Lithuanian Catholic Women’s Welfare Organization in Melbourne".
Lithuanian Republic Order of the Officer’s Cross (2003) "For Service to Lithuania".
Mrs Jonė Žalkauskas
OAM (2002) (General Division). "SLC through the Lithuanian Welfare Organization Melbourne".
Mrs Dalia Antanaitis
OAM (2006) (General Division). "SLC particularly through dance".
VMC Multicultural Volunteer Award 2001 - International Year of Volunteers awarded by Victorian Multicultural Commission
Mrs Alena Karazija
OAM (2007) (General Division). "For service to the Lithuanian community of Melbourne through cultural and school groups".
Mr Algirdas Pranas Šimkus
OAM (2007) (General Division). "SLC through cultural, school and youth groups."
Mr Stan Šutas
OAM (2016) (General Division). "SLC for service to the Lithuanian community of Geelong".
Meritorious Service Award for service to the Lithuanian Community, Victorian Multicultural Commission, 2006
Mr Manfred John Zabinskas
OAM (2020) (General Division). "For service to animal welfare."
Dr Rimas Liubinas
OAM (2021) (General Division). "For service to medicine as a general practitioner."

Western Australia
Ms Pauline Bagdonavicius
Public Service Medal (2020). "For outstanding public service, particularly through advocacy roles in Western Australia."



The list of awardees will, no doubt, grow in future years, as their descendants distinguish themselves in serving their country.

Isolde Poželaitė-Davis AM