Bunbury’s Bill Ivory awarded OAM for services to boxing and youth in 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours

Headshot of Luke McPherson
Luke McPhersonBunbury Herald
Bunbury’s own boxing legend Bill Ivory has received the Medal of the Order of Australia. Kelsey Reid
Camera IconBunbury’s own boxing legend Bill Ivory has received the Medal of the Order of Australia. Kelsey Reid Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

Bunbury’s own Bill Ivory has received one of the nation’s most prestigious titles, being one of almost 1000 Australians recognised in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Mr Ivory, who celebrated his 100th birthday in April, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to boxing, and to youth, for his volunteer work at the Bunbury PCYC.

One of the icons of boxing in the State, Mr Ivory has spent a majority of his life inside the ring where he fought professionally, refereed and coached — which he continued to do in his back shed until last year.

After relocating to WA in the 1940s, Mr Ivory began with the PCYC in Subiaco before moving to Bunbury — remarkably being made a life member in 1958.

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Mr Ivory was a star professional boxer in his own right before retiring in 1946, and won all but five of his 55 bouts.

Bunbury boxer Bill Ivory
Camera IconBunbury boxer Bill Ivory Credit: Unknown/Supplied

After his retirement, the WA boxing heavyweight volunteered for 60 years as a coach, where it was said he helped impact thousands of young people, particularly males, in the Bunbury community.

At his birthday celebrations in April, Mr Ivory told the South Western Times the work he did was only ever for the love of boxing.

“It wasn’t because of anything other than the fact that I not only enjoyed boxing, I enjoyed being with people, both youngsters and adults, and possibly trying to make their life a little bit better,” he said.

“It sounds like a big step to think that you could do that in any shape or form, but I felt that if you can help people in their physical well-being automatically the mental side has got to improve.”

Boxing legend Danny Green said at the time volunteers like Ivory had enormous impacts on helping youngsters stay out of trouble.

“Guys like Bill are integral in helping form, shape and mould younger people and mostly disenfranchised young men in the community,” Green said.

“He was able to help shape and mould their attitudes moving forward into the community, so he had been a massive help and a massive boost for the local community, particularly in Bunbury.”

99-year-old Bill Ivory pictured at the Bunbury PCYC. The former boxing coach has a room named after him in the centre after he dedicated most of his life to the sport.
 Picture: Kelsey Reid
Camera IconBoxing legend Bill Ivory, who turned 100 in April, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Kelsey Reid Credit: Kelsey Reid/The West Australian

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