1999-2000 Recipients & Citations

Click on the recipient to view the citation.

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6. CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

Retained Firefighter Michael Anthony Malouf, Condobolin;

Retained Firefighter Kenneth James Hall, Young;

Ambulance Officer Neil Atkinson, Summerland Point;

SES Controller Matthew Gerard Fanning, 16 Innes Street, Condobolin;

SES Officer William Charles Doyle, Condobolin;

SES Officer Peter Allan Haydon, Condobolin,

for their actions during the rescue of a man from a mine shaft on a property near Condobolin.

On 19 September 1996, members of the Condobolin Fire Brigade, together with members of the Condobolin State Emergency Service, were called to the rescue of an elderly man who had fallen down an abandoned mine shaft.

The shaft was found to be very narrow in diameter and the sides of it quite unstable, and the seriously injured man had fallen to a depth of 60 feet before his fall was broken by a quantity of old fencing wire.

After being lowered down the shaft, SES Officer Doyle initially assessed the man's injuries, and Ambulance Officer Atkinson was lowered down to stabilise the man's condition. Malouf then entered the mine, and together with Atkinson, they positioned the injured man on a litter. With the assistance of Hall, Fanning and Haydon, the rescuers finally raised the injured man from the mine after 6 hours of a difficult operation.


Darren Lindsey Tonkin, Bidwill;

John Dennis Willmington, , Luddenham,

for their actions at the scene of a motor vehicle fire at Kemps Creek.

On the night of 11 October 1997 a motor vehicle accident involving two vehicles occurred at Kemps Creek. Darren Tonkin and John Willmington arrived separately at the scene shortly after the collision.

After assisting one driver to a safe area, Tonkin returned to one of the vehicles, which at this stage had caught fire. Assisted by Willmington, the two men pulled the passenger from the burning vehicle. Willmington then went to the other vehicle and removed two children to a safe area.



Brett Matthew Holden, Campbelltown

for his actions at the scene of a motor vehicle fire at Leppington.

On 31 January 1998 Brett Holden was involved in a motor vehicle accident on Ingleburn Road, Leppington.

Although suffering minor injury, once his vehicle had stopped he went to the assistance of occupants of the other vehicle which had caught fire.

After removing a child to a safe location, he returned to the vehicle and pulled the driver clear, just before the vehicle became totally engulfed in flames.


Raymond Charles Fullerton (age:12), Gorokan

for his actions during a house fire at Gorokan.

At about 5.30 am on 26 May 1998, Raymond Fullerton woke to the smell of smoke, and, on investigating in the kitchen, discovered a fire at the back of the refrigerator.

He immediately woke his family and they exited the house to safety.

While his father was extinguishing the fire, Raymond re-entered the house to retrieve the family dog. Subsequently, Raymond and his mother and brother were treated at hospital for smoke inhalation.


Dean Vaughan, Turill

for his actions at the scene of a motor vehicle accident near Merriwa.

At about 1.30pm on 30 May 1998 a vehicle towing a caravan overturned about 15 km west of Merriwa.

Dean Vaughan witnessed the accident, and immediately went to the assistance of the occupants. He assisted the lady passenger to a safe area and then returned to assist the trapped driver.

The vehicle's roof was crushed against the driver's head, thereby restricting his breathing. After removing some of the interior parts of the vehicle, Vaughan released the seat belt and dragged the driver clear.

Medical staff who subsequently attended the scene indicated that Mr Vaughan's quick actions undoubtedly saved the driver's life.


Ian Spencer, Seven Hills;


Steve Hine, Abbotsford;

Graeme Fromberg, Belmont;

Dr Timothy Skinner, St.Heliers, Auckland, New Zealand;

for their actions during the rescue by CareFlight Helicopter of a man from rough seas at night off Clovelly.

On the night of 10 August 1998, three men were rock fishing from a ledge near Clovelly Bay, when one man was washed into the sea by a large wave. A second man went to his assistance, but was washed back onto the rock ledge.

Emergency services were alerted, but the ambulance and police personnel who attended the scene were unable to locate the man due to the darkness and very heavy seas that were running at the time.

Subsequently, the CareFlight helicopter was dispatched to the scene. After establishing communications with ambulance personnel on the ground, the helicopter began a search pattern from the rocks out into the sea, using the assistance of the aircraft's searchlight, hand-held spotlights and the aircraft landing lights.

Eventually, a person in a very weak state was located in the rough seas approximately 200 metres from shore, and with the helicopter hovering about 25 metres above the waves, Ian Spencer was winched down into the turbulent water near to the man. In the adverse prevailing conditions, both Steve Hine and Graeme Fromberg exhibited an extremely high level of skill and proficiency in maintaining the stability of the hovering helicopter.

Subsequently, Spencer was able to secure the victim in a rescue harness, and both men were winched up into the helicopter. Dr Skinner carried out resuscitation on the distressed victim while the aircraft returned to shore, where the patient was handed over to waiting ambulance personnel.


Bradley Silva, North Wollongong,

for the rescue of an elderly woman from a burning vehicle at Balgownie.

On the morning of 24 August 1998 fire broke out in a parked vehicle at Balgownie, trapping an elderly lady passenger inside. Her medical incapacity prevented the lady moving without assistance.

Bradley Silva noticed the vehicle fire and immediately went to the trapped passenger's assistance. Finding the car door locked, he reached in through a small window opening, unlocked the door and dragged the burning woman clear.

After extinguishing her burning clothing with his bare hands, he then assisted in extinguishing the car fire.

He was subsequently treated for burns at Wollongong Hospital and suffered permanent burn damage to both hands.

Regrettably, the passenger died in hospital some five days later.


Jill Baguley, Narrabri,

for her actions at the scene of a house fire at Narrabri.

During the evening of 25 May 1998, fire broke out in a house in Narrabri. At the time, Jill Baguley and four other persons were in the house.

On investigation, Baguley discovered that the lounge room was alight, and immediately shouted the alarm to the other occupants.

Realising the fire was blocking the front door escape from the house, Baguley assisted two persons through her bedroom window, then exited herself. She then heard screams from inside, and immediately went and assisted a third person to escape through the front door.

Realising the fourth person was still inside the burning building, Baguley entered through her bedroom window, located the person, who at that stage was very disorientated from the thick smoke, and assisted his escape from the building.

The house was completely destroyed by the fire, and two persons were transported to hospital for treatment.


Ralph Halwagy, Carlton

for the rescue of an elderly woman from a house fire at Carlton.

On the morning of 30 June 1998, fire broke out in a house in Carlton. Mr Halwagy and a neighbour went to investigate, as they knew an elderly lady lived in the house.

Seeing dense smoke coming from the roof of the house, Mr Halwagy screamed out through the front door, and tried to break down the door and some windows. The door was then opened slightly, and he could see the collapsed woman in the hallway.

The security door handle was red hot, but Mr Halwagy successfully kicked in the door, crawled into the smoke-filled premise and dragged the woman to safety.

19 & 20. BRONZE MEDALS (Posthumous)

Thai Dang, Fairfield;

Chung Duong, Cabramatta;


Evangelo Sarantakos, Fairfield West;

22 & 23 & 24 & 25. CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

Chandara Chey, Mt. Pritchard;

Geoffrey Hayward, Perthville via Bathurst; Zdravko Trkulja, Fairfield;

Robert Arness, Fairfield;

for the rescue of a number of persons from the surf at Cellito Beach.

On 15 December 1998 a large group of young people belonging to a Christian Youth Camp went swimming at Cellito Beach. A number of the youths had little swimming experience, especially surf swimming.

When the group, along with several leaders, arrived at the beach the sea appeared to be calm, so a number of young people went into the water and played along the shore line. After about 20 minutes the conditions changed and a rip developed. Approximately fifteen swimmers got into difficulty, being caught in the rip and slowly dragged out to sea.

Dang, Duong, Chey, Trkulja, Sarantakos and Arness all went into the water and saved a number of swimmers.

Dang entered the water several times trying to save swimmers. He successfully brought five young people back to shore. He died when he went out for the last time trying to save Duong. He developed a cramp and was unable to get back to shore.

Duong also entered the water many times and saved three to four lives, however he was finally brought back to shore deceased after going out yet again to try and save another swimmer.

Sarantakos and Arness also entered the water and saved four and two swimmers respectively.

Hayward entered the water and saved two children on a board. He then noticed another child in trouble and paddled to him taking him on board. They drifted further out to sea and came upon three more distressed children on a board. Hayward took hold of both boards and tried to settle the children before bringing them all safely back to shore. When he came closer to the shore he was assisted by another adult.


Rodney Alan Sly, Malabar,

for the rescue of a man from the surf at Coogee.

On the morning of 27 December 1998, Rodney Sly, while jogging on Coogee beach, was alerted to a swimmer in difficulties in a rip about 40 metres from shore.

He immediately went to the swimmer's assistance, and on reaching him, rolled him on his back, administered a number of quick breaths and then brought him back to shore.

On shore, Sly performed CPR procedures on the unconscious man until the arrival of emergency services personnel.

Unfortunately, the man could not be revived.


Ellen Maree Feenan (age: 8), Green Valley,

for her actions in the rescue of her 5 year old brother from the waters of Lake Cathie.

On 6 January 1999 Ellen Feenan and her young brother were wading in the water at Lake Cathie. This area consists of many sandbanks, some extending 2 to 3 metres from shore, then suddenly disappearing into deep water.

The children were happily playing and being watched by their parents from the shore nearby, when the boy suddenly stepped off the edge of a sandbank and disappeared beneath the water. He surfaced once and then panicked and sank again. Ellen acted instinctively and dived after her brother. She grabbed him and stopped him going under a third time. Even though the boy was struggling against her, Ellen found the strength to keep him afloat until their mother reached them and helped them back to the shore.


Beau Kinnear, Caloundra,

for his actions at the scene of a house fire at Bondi.

At about 6.00 am on 9 January 1999 Mr Kinnear was alerted to a fire in St Annes Convent at Bondi. He went to the assistance of four nuns who were calling for help from a first floor balcony.

Unable to gain entry to the building, Kinnear ran back to his unit to call the Fire Brigade and alert others to the fire. He then returned to the convent, scaled a wall to the balcony, and immediately assessed that there were no other persons trapped inside.

He arranged for a ladder to be placed against the balcony, and although breathing was difficult because of the thick smoke, he assisted three of the nuns to descend the ladder to safety. The fourth nun was rescued by the Fire Brigades personnel.


Robert James Clifford, Woy Woy;

Michael Desmond Clifford, Woy Woy;

Michael John Connaughton, Umina,

for their actions at the scene of a garden shed fire on a property at Woy Woy.

At about 4.00 pm on 19 January 1999 a fire broke out in a wood and fibro shed in the back yard of a house in Woy Woy. At the time three boys were playing in the shed.

Robert and Michael Clifford were in their home nearby when they heard screams for help. They quickly went to the scene of the fire. Michael removed his shirt and placed it over his face, then assisted by his brother, both men entered the shed in an effort to save one of the boys who was trapped inside. The fire was extremely hot and giving off dense black smoke, making rescue attempts extremely hazardous. They could see the boy crouched in a corner but were unable to reach him.

Todd Parker also entered the shed for a short time, but could not reach the boy. He subsequently smashed a hole in the side wall, but smoke and heat prevented any rescue that way.

Michael Connaughton was visiting friends in the area when he was alerted to the fire. He tried to extinguish the flames with a hose and buckets of water. He removed his shirt, and placing it over his head, crawled halfway into the shed, but the heat was so intense he was forced to exit. He tried a second time without success. He also could see the boy crouched in the corner, but realised he was already deceased.

Mr Parker received a Letter of Commendation for his actions during this incident.


Kevin Laurence Parker, Upper Orara,

for his actions in the rescue of a swimmer from the surf at Diggers Beach, Coffs Harbour.

On the morning of 6 February 1999, Mr Parker noticed a swimmer in difficulties in the rough surf at Diggers Beach.

Mr Parker immediately paddled out on his board to assist the swimmer, who at this stage, had been swept out several hundred metres. As he approached the distressed swimmer, Parker noticed him go under a number of times, and immediately dragged him onto his board.

Due to the rough conditions, and his own exhaustion, Parker signalled for help, and a rescue boat subsequently came to take the distressed swimmer back to shore. Parker returned to the shore on his board.


David Ross Campbell, Glenhaven;


Scott Gregory Cook, Mooney Mooney;

Timothy Bruce Ringrose, Berowra,

for the attempted rescue of a man from a submerged vehicle at Berowra Waters boat ramp.

On the morning of 6 February 1999, Scott Cook, David Campbell and Timothy Ringrose observed a car, driven at high speed, enter the water at the Berowra Waters boat ramp.

Ringrose and Campbell immediately swam out to the vehicle, while Cook paddled out in a small boat.

As the vehicle was sinking, all three men attempted to release the driver. Repeated efforts to pull the driver clear, including smashing a window, failed, and it was obvious the driver was reluctant to be rescued.

After the vehicle sank, Campbell dived down in a further attempt to rescue the driver, but was unsuccessful.

Emergency services subsequently retrieved the vehicle and the deceased driver.

36 & 37 & 38. BRONZE MEDALS

Jason Smit, Oatley;

Michael Peter Catts, Strathfield;

Constable Andrew Duncan Dante, Bondi Police Station,

for their actions during a surf rescue at Bondi.

In the early morning of 6 February 1999, a man was caught in a rip while swimming in the surf at Bondi. His cries for help were heard by persons on the beach who alerted emergency services.

Although still dark, Constable Dante, Mr Smit and Mr Catts entered the water in search of the distressed man.

Smit eventually located the man, who was in a high state of panic. Smit removed some of the man's clothing, clamed him down and proceeded back towards shore.

Smit and the distressed swimmer eventually reached a sand bar, and then, assisted by Dante and Catts, all were able to reach shore.


David Christopher Wilson, Coogee,

for the rescue of a woman who attempted suicide by hanging at Coogee.

On 10 March 1999, David Wilson was alerted to the scene of an attempted hanging suicide by a woman at Coogee.

Wilson immediately climbed the tree from where the woman was hanging, and lifted her onto a branch and commenced first aid. An ambulance officer climbed the tree to assist, but due to difficult access, Wilson had to continue holding the victim until a safety line could be secured.

Wilson was then helped to a safer location and the woman rescued.


Michael Francis Penhey, Goonellabah;

Brendan Jon Whipps, Herston,

for their actions in the attempted rescue of two youths from rough seas at Angels Beach, Ballina.

On the afternoon of 4 April 1999, Michael Penhey and Brendan Whipps were alerted to two boys who were in difficulties in the rough surf at Angels Beach.

Penhey and Whipps entered the water to assist the boys, but soon found themselves in difficulties in the turbulent seas.

Subsequently, an emergency services boat rescued both Penhey and Whipps, and the two boys made it back to shore themselves.


Tye Webb (age:8), Grawin,

for his actions during a house fire at the Grawin Opal Fields.

At 3.00 am on 1 May 1999 Tye Webb awoke and realised there was a fire in his house. He went immediately to his parents' room and woke them.

Tye's father, on becoming aware of the smoke and hearing a smoke alarm sounding, proceeded to evacuate the house, gathering his two other young sons. All members of the family, and their pet dog, escaped the fire safely, although Mr Webb sustained minor burns to his arms.

The house was completely destroyed by the fire.

Tye Webb was also awarded a Letter of Commendation for his actions in this incident.

43 & 44 & 45 & 46. BRONZE MEDALS

Stephen Robinson, Marayong;

Kevin Matthew Loveridge, Marayong; Brendan Michael Handley, Marayong;

Neville Prior, Marayong,

for their actions at the scene of a house fire at Marayong.

On the evening of 8 May 1999, a fire broke out in a house at Marayong. Sleeping inside the house were a mother and her three young children. Neighbours alerted the family, and the mother and two of her children escaped. The third child could not be located.

Messrs Robinson, Loveridge, Handley, Prior and Spedding attended the scene of the fire.

Kevin Loveridge smashed a front window and kicked in the front door in his attempts to enter the premise, but both avenues were blocked by smoke and flames. Assisted by Brendan Handley, he then entered the laundry and proceeded to crawl through the house searching for occupants. He was forced back by smoke, but crawled back a second time, continuing to search until eventually forced to exit through the laundry with the assistance of Robinson.

Both Neville Prior and Brendan Handley entered the house through the bathroom window, but after searching unsuccessfully for the lost child, were forced to exit due to the thick smoke and intense heat.

Stephen Robinson climbed in a front bedroom window, but was forced back outside by the heat and thick black smoke. He again entered in search of the lost child, but was again forced back out by the conditions. He then went to the bathroom window and assisted Brendan Handley to escape from the burning house. Robinson sustained a cut wrist in this action.

Anthony Spedding also assisted Prior in entering the house, as well as removing broken glass from a window and attempting to break open the back door.

The lost child was eventually located by fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus, but unfortunately they were unable to revive her.

Anthony Spedding received a Letter of Commendation for his actions during this incident.


Dennis Broad, Brunswick Heads,

for the rescue of two women from a house fire at Winmalee.

On the evening of 20 June 1999, Dennis Broad was alerted to a fire in the rear of a neighbour's house at Winmalee.

He immediately obtained a hose and went to extinguish the flames.

On hearing screams from inside the burning house, he forced an entry, and although breathing was difficult in the thick smoke, he located a woman and assisted her outside to safety. Knowing there was another woman still inside, he re-entered the blazing house and eventually found her. Although the woman was reluctant to leave her home, Broad convinced her of the danger of the situation, and eventually moved her outside to safety.

Broad and the two women were treated for smoke inhalation at hospital.


Emma Cowan (age:6), Copmanhurst,

for the rescue of her twin sister from a flooded post hole on a property at Copmanhurst.

On 11 July 1999 twin sisters Alex and Emma Cowan were playing with their cousins at their uncle's Copmanhurst property when Alex accidentally fell head first into a flooded post hole. The hole was about 18 inches in diameter and 3 feet deep. Due to recent rain the hole was three quarters full of water.

Alex states that when she fell into the hole, her shoulders became stuck, she couldn't get out and she was forced to hold her breath. Emma quickly grabbed hold of her sister and pulled her out of the hole.

For her quick-thinking actions in this incident, Emma also received a Letter of Commendation.


Graeme Hodder, Balgownie,

for the rescue of two women from the surf at Wollongong. On the afternoon of 11 July 1999,

Graeme Hodder was board riding in the surf at South Beach when he noticed two women swimmers in difficulties.

He paddled over to them to assist, and placed one woman on his board and had the other hold on to his leg rope. He then commenced to paddle to shore.

After battling the heavy seas for about thirty minutes, Hodder was able to return the two totally exhausted swimmers to shore.


Luke Joseph Allan, Bateau Bay,

for the rescue of his friend from the surf at Shelly Beach on the Central Coast.

On the afternoon of 29 August 1999, Luke Allan was surfing with a friend at Shelly Beach. Allan returned to shore, but his friend remained in the surf.

Allan subsequently noticed his friend was missing, although he could see his board floating beyond the breakers.

Allan immediately paddled out to the board, and located his friend submerged beneath it. Realising the seriousness of the situation, he tried to paddle his friend back to shore, but because of the surf turbulence, discarded his board and swam on his back with his unconscious friend lying across his chest.

Allan was then assisted by another surfer to bring the unconscious man ashore.

Allan's friend was placed on a life support system at Gosford Hospital, and subsequently made a full recovery.


Robert Ginn, Goulburn,

for his actions at the scene of a home unit fire at Goulburn.

On the morning of 7 February 1999, a fire broke out in a home unit occupied by Robert Ginn, a woman and her young child. The woman alerted Ginn to the fire, but after his unsuccessful attempts to extinguish the blaze, he and the woman exited the unit.

On realising the young child was still inside the burning unit, Ginn re-entered the unit. He fell on the burning carpet and was badly injured by both flame and smoke, but eventually found the boy, pulled him towards a window, and after smashing the glass, both he and the child escaped to safety.

Mr Ginn suffered severe burns to a large portion of his body, and a neighbour was able to provide first aid and comfort until the arrival of ambulance personnel.


David William Arnold, Mildura,

for his actions during a motor boat fire on the Murray River at Gol Gol.

On 10 January 1999 at Gol Gol, fire broke out in a boat containing David Arnold, three other adults and a young child.

The flames had badly burnt Arnold, and he and the other occupants quickly rolled over the side into the water. At that point, Arnold, not knowing whether the young child had escaped the fire, climbed back into the boat in search of the child.

After a search of the burning craft, Arnold noticed the child in the water and quickly jumped overboard.

David Arnold spent eighteen days in hospital with burns to over 40 percent of his body.


Sean Anthony Frazer (age:9), Woy Woy,

for his actions at the scene of a petrol fire at Woy Woy.

On the afternoon of 6 September 1999, a group of boys were playing in the backyard of a residence at Woy Woy.

The boys were playing with pressure cans, petrol and a cigarette lighter. During this, some petrol splashed onto the clothing of one boy, and this subsequently ignited.

This boy immediately ran around the yard screaming, and Sean Frazer tried to douse the flames with a garden hose. Frazer also pushed the boy to the ground and attempted to stamp out his burning clothes with his feet.

Adult assistance arrived, and subsequently, emergency services personnel attended the incident.


Benedict Crute Morgan, Port Macquarie,

for his actions at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on South West Rocks Road, Austral Eden.

On the evening of 10 October 1999, Benedict Morgan, Matthew Hollis and Tarmia Burgess came upon the scene of a motor vehicle accident at Austral Eden. They witnessed a vehicle on its side and two young injured children nearby.

While Hollis and Burgess comforted the children and contacted emergency services, Morgan checked the vehicle and found the unconscious driver. Although fire had broken out in the cabin, Morgan was eventually able to remove the driver to safety.

Mr Hollis and Miss Burgess received Letters of Commendation for their actions during this incident.


Arthur John Earl, Weston,

for his actions at the scene of a house fire at Weston.

On the morning of 11 November 1999, fire broke out in a home at Weston. Mr Earl noticed smoke coming from the roof of the house, and told his wife to call the fire brigade while he went to assist.

Believing people were inside, Mr Earl kicked in the back door but was unable to enter due to the thick smoke. He then kicked in the front door, and crawled inside the house.

After checking the lounge room and the two bedrooms without finding anyone, he exited the burning house and continued to hose down the building until the arrival of the fire brigade.


Michelle Reed, Forresters Beach,

for her actions at the scene of a motor vehicle accident at Chittaway.

On the afternoon of 1 January 2000 at Chittaway, Michelle Reed witnessed a motor vehicle roll a number of times after the driver lost control.

She immediately went to the assistance of the driver, and after establishing there were no passengers in the upturned vehicle, she pulled the driver out to safety.

Petrol had been leaking into the interior of the vehicle, and there was the danger of fire during the rescue of the driver.


Geoffrey Allan Kaslar, Marsfield,

for the rescue of a man from the surf at Angourie.

On the afternoon of 1 January 2000 at Angourie, Geoffrey Kaslar noticed a swimmer in difficulties in rough surf about 150 metres from the shore.

Mr Kaslar immediately swam out to the man who at that stage was quite distressed.

Although he was initially pulled under by the swimmer, Mr Kaslar took hold of the man by the neck and proceeded to swim towards shore.

They were subsequently helped ashore by a board rider, and the swimmer was later treated at Maclean Hospital for immersion and shock.


Graham Lindsay Davis, 11 Lumeah Avenue, Wamberal,

for his actions at the scene of a motor vehicle fire at Gosford.

On the evening of 7 January 2000 at Gosford, Graham Davis witnessed a vehicle accident in which the female driver was trapped in the vehicle.

Davis went to assist, but found the driver's door jammed and fire had broken out in the vehicle. The driver was eventually able to twist her legs, and Davis was then able to drag her through the window to safety.


Dylan Storrie (age:7), Gymea,

for the rescue of his younger sister from a backyard swimming pool at Lilli Pilli.

On the morning of 20 January 2000, Mrs Rachael Storrie took her four children to a friend's house for a swim in their pool. Their friends had given permission for them to use the pool whilst they were away. On arriving, Mrs Storrie opened the pool gate for Dylan, but she did not realise the gate had not closed properly as she went to the neighbour's house to warm a bottle for her baby.

On her return about 3 minutes later, she found her three year old daughter distressed and out of breath. Dylan, who was also out of breath, advised his mother that his sister had jumped into the deep end, and when she surfaced and realised she was not wearing her floatie, she panicked and began to drown.

Dylan recognised his sister was in trouble and tried to dummy tow her, ie: hug her neck and pull her to the edge of the pool. The little girl, in her distress, began to push Dylan under, so he decided to approach her from underneath.

In doing so, he was able to keep her head above the water, and push her about one and a half metres to the side of the pool. Once at the edge, Dylan managed to push his sister up and out of the pool.


Anthony McAlinden (age:12), Collaroy;

James Kidner (age:12), Bilgola Plateau,

for their actions during a surf rescue at Narrabeen Beach. On the afternoon of 16 February 2000 at Narrabeen Beach,

Anthony McAlinden and James Kidner noticed three swimmers in difficulty in the rough surf.

Kidner immediately paddled out on a board to one of the swimmers, a young boy, and after assisting him onto the board, paddled back towards shore. McAlinden entered the surf, and assisted Kidner in returning the boy to shore.

Both McAlinden and Kidner then took the board out to one of the other distressed swimmers, and after some effort in placing the man on the board, they were able to return him to shore. Noticing this man was semi-conscious and vomiting, the boys then ran some distance to a surf club to alert the life guard to the incident. He immediately responded to the call.

On returning to the scene, McAlinden and Kidner found the man being treated with oxygen and emergency services had been called. In the meantime, the third distressed swimmer had been assisted ashore by an unknown surfer.


Anthony Blair, Bilambil;

Geoffrey Cox, Bilambil,

for the rescue of a man from the surf at North Kingscliff.

On the afternoon of 24 April 2000, Anthony Blair and Geoffrey Cox were surfing at Kinscliff Beach when they noticed two swimmers in apparent difficulties.

On paddling over to investigate, Blair and Cox found one swimmer supporting the other, who had apparently lost consciousness. They gave one board to the conscious swimmer and told him to paddle to shore.

After some difficulty, Blair and Cox got the unconscious man onto the other board, and they then paddled it back to shore. On reaching the beach, they began first aid treatment on the swimmer while emergency services were being summoned.


Tennealle Johnson-Roll (age:9), North Curl Curl,

for her actions after a boating accident on the Hawkesbury River.

On the afternoon of 25 April 2000 on the Hawkesbury River, Tennealle Johnson-Roll was a passenger in a boat, driven by her grandfather. Suddenly, the boat started to circle, and Tennealle noticed that her grandfather had fallen overboard.

As the boat circled, the driver yelled to Tennealle to switch off the motor, but not knowing how to, she decided to jump into the water.

Wearing a life jacket, Tennealle immediately swam over to assist her grandfather, who, by this stage, had become extremely exhausted.

Tennealle attempted to pull him towards shore, a distance of some 150 metres, but this was unsuccessful. Although her grandfather wanted her to swim ashore and seek help, Tennealle refused to leave him, and even attempted to have him hold onto her feet while she attempted to drag him ashore. Eventually, her grandfather convinced her to swim ashore and seek help, while he continued to float with the tide.

Tennealle subsequently reached shore amongst mangrove trees, and after negotiating the mangroves and bush, sort help from a nearby house. Finding it unoccupied, she then flagged down a passing motorist, who conveyed her to her home where the alarm was raised.

Tennealle was treated for shock and exposure, but regrettably, her grandfather drowned in the incident.


Gregory Philip Brown, Boambee;


Matthew Thomas, Sawtell,

for their actions at the scene of a house fire at Bayldon.

On the morning of 1 May 2000, fire broke out in a house at Bayldon. The house was occupied by a mother and her two young children. The woman and one child escaped, but the second child was still inside the burning building.

Matthew Thomas ran to the scene, grabbed a hose and attempted to control the fire. On learning a child was still in the building, he entered through the front door, but was driven back outside by the thick smoke. He grabbed the hose and re-entered the house, but was again forced to retreat because of the heat and smoke.

Lee Cooper also attended the scene, and kicked in the front bedroom window, but was unable to crawl through the small hole. Gregory Brown also arrived at the scene. He was able to clear the shattered window glass and crawl into the bedroom.

Although the smoke was very thick, Brown eventually located the young child, and crawled back to the window and passed him out to safety. Brown then exited the building.

Lee Cooper received a Letter of Commendation for his actions during this incident.

Letters of Commendation

During the year, the following awards were also made:

Gregors Janis Berzins, Eltham

Todd Anthony Parker, Woy Woy

Constable Stephen Grantham, Penrith Police Patrol

Constable Jason Weekes, Penrith Police Patrol

Tye Webb, Grawin

Anthony James Spedding, Marayong

Emma Cowan, Copmanhurst

Craig Jacob, Burbank

Matthew John Hollis, Port Macquarie

Tarmia Jane Burgess, Port Macquarie

Lee Cooper, Boambee