Enid Machin, 83, is a giver with few comparisons — volunteering for half a century and raising life-saving funds for the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS). 

Key points:

  • Enid Machin’s volunteer work since the 1970s has helped found the modern ambulance service
  • Her 50 years of service have helped raise roughly $100,000
  • The Queensland Ambulance Service honoured her work with an intimate ceremony shared with family and friends

“We did work, I can tell you,” Ms Machin said, grasping her walking frame and looking over the old black-and-white photos from the QAS archives.

A life of service 

Ms Machin joined the Ipswich Local Ambulance Committee in 1971.

Family and friends celebrated her 50 years of service with an intimate ceremony where she received a commemorative plaque and badge few others get.

“Back in the day, when Enid started, the ambulance service was run and funded by community donations,” QAS West Moreton District chief superintendent Drew Hebbron said.

Ambulance committee

Ms Machin (centre) says she has helped raise about $100,000 through her years of service.(

Supplied: Queensland Ambulance Service


Mr Hebbron recalled meeting Ms Machin in the early days of his career in the QAS.

“Enid is a lady who’s always got a smile on her face and is a bit cheeky,” he said.

“She was always certainly the life of the party at the local ambulance committee meetings.”

Enid portrait

Enid Machin says she doesn’t like to brag about her life’s work. She’s just proud to have given back.(

ABC Southern Queensland: Jon Daly


‘A true inspiration’

Ms Machin estimated her efforts in the committee had raised a total of $100,000 over all those years, which was, at one stage, enough to buy an entire ambulance in the 1970s.

Though her memory is not what it used to be, Ms Machin recalled dear friendships she made through the years of service for QAS.

Her daughter, Jenny Orbell, did not mind bragging about her mother’s efforts.

“It’s very special to see her win that award,” Ms Orbell said.

“[Mum] is always volunteering, always helping and always giving.

“She’s a true inspiration.”

Even in her twilight years, Ms Machin is still volunteering at her local aged care facility.

Family and friends

Enid Machin’s volunteering was celebrated with an intimate ceremony with family and friends.(

ABC Southern Queensland: Jon Daly


‘Always volunteering, always helping and always giving’: 83-year-old honoured for half-century of volunteering for Queensland ambulance
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