2006-2007 Recipients & Citations

Click on the recipient to view the citation. Bronze Medals

Crewmembers of the trawler “Moira Elizabeth”

Thomas Francis Bibby, Portland, Victoria

Andrew Aian Hogg, Mt Gambier, South Australia

Steven Lloyd Lee, Portland, Victoria

Justin Leigh Meier, Portland, Victoria

for their actions in the rescue of crewmen from the yacht “Team Jaguar” during severe sea storms 70 miles south of Eden.

Over a period of 14 hours on 27 and 28 December 1998 the crew of the trawler “Moira Elizabeth” (25 metre steel hull trawler) navigated mountainous seas, with swells of 8-9 metres and gale force winds to locate the yacht “Team Jaguar”.

Brilliant seamanship enabled the “Moira Elizabeth” to chase and eventually locate the yacht “Team Jaguar” in horrific weather conditions.
In the end the “Moira Elizabeth” took “Team Jaguar” in tow and returned to port (Eden) with all hands safe.

5.6.7. Bronze Medal

Crewmembers of the trawler “Josephine Jean”

Thorualdur Hreinsson , Eden

Jason Cole, Eden

Martin Bowden, Frankston, Victoria

for their actions in the rescue of crewmen from the yacht “Mintinta” during severe sea storms 40 miles east of Eden.

Over a period of 19 hours on 27 and 28 December 1998 the crew of the trawler “Josephine Jean” (a 26 year old timber vessel) navigated into the heart of a most severe storm.

After being battered by giant waves and swells for 8 hours the “Josephine Jean” reached the yacht “Mintinta” and proceeded to tow. Following the loss of the towline, the members of the crew on the “Mintinta” were transferred by life raft, one by one, to the trawler. All six members of the crew of the “Mintinta” were rescued without injury and repatriated to Eden by the crew of the “Josephine Jean”. Bronze Medal

Senior Constable Timothy James Brown, NSW Police
Senior Constable Bradley Nathan Muddle, NSW Police
Constable Christopher John Fowler, NSW Police
Mr Douglas Kenneth Finucane, Windella Downs

for their actions at the scene of a house fire at Windella Downs.

Called to a house fire at Windella Downs at 9.30 pm on 4 September 2004, with no fire service present at that time, Senior Constables Brown and Muddle entered the building searching for occupants.

They located an unconscious woman being assisted by Mr Finucane. Senior Constables Brown and Muddle then removed the woman to safety.

Re-entering the building, despite dense smoke, Senior Constables Brown and Muddle were able to find an unaccounted for child whom they assisted to safety.

Suffering disorientation, vomiting and nausea and breathing difficulties Senior Constables Brown and Muddle were unable to continue. Constable Fowler then carried out the last search of the building. Certificate of Merit.

Constable Kylie Maree Burke, NSW Police
Probationary Constable Vanessa Marie Bolas, NSW Police
Constable Paul Charles Charman, NSW Police
Constable XXX, NSW Police

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

On patrol in Woolloomooloo at 4.10 am on 16 October 2004 Constables Burke and Bolas came upon a residence on fire in Cathedral Street. They immediately called for police assistance (Constables Charman and XXX) and attempted to alert the house residents.

Gaining access to the house Constables Burke and Bolas escorted a man, woman and child from the building. Proceeding upstairs Constables Charman and XXX, despite large quantities of smoke, were able to locate the fire and eventually extinguish it.

16.17.18. Bronze Medals

Inspector Paul James Devaney, NSW Police
Keith Walter Sewell, Allambie Heights
Robert Arthur Smith, Harrington

for their actions at the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident at Beacon Hill.

At about 12.35 am on 6 March 2003 while driving at Beacon Hill, Mr Sewell and Mr Smith discovered a crashed utility on fire with two men trapped inside. While Mr Sewell attempted to extract the driver, Mr Smith attempted to assist the passenger from the vehicle. Despite strenuous efforts by Mr Sewell and Mr Smith neither the driver, trapped by his legs, nor the passenger, trapped by the vehicle door could be released from the burning vehicle.

When Inspector Devaney arrived at the scene with the fire raging the driver was deceased and the passenger was still trapped, his legs crushed by the firewall of the vehicle. After attempts to douse the fire and with risk of an explosion, Inspector Devaney stayed with the passenger until he was released by Ambulance and Rescue Services. The passenger died after arrival in hospital.

The horrific nature of this accident and the complications involved in the rescue of the vehicle’s occupants has been incorporated into a practical exercise scenario for training emergency services personnel.

19.20. Bronze Medal

Martin Langham, Enmore

Richard Anthony Cooper, Enmore

21.22. Certificates of Merit

Evan Keith Winstanley, Everton Park, Queensland

Evan Alexander Jones, Sydenham

for their actions at the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident and fire at Mascot.

At about 10.30 pm on 23 October 2003 a BMW driven at high speed collided with another vehicle driven by Mr Cooper at an intersection in Mascot. The BMW became airborne before hitting a tree. The crashed vehicle caught fire with the driver and passenger trapped inside.

Mr Cooper and his passenger, Mr Langham then attempted to first release the driver and then his passenger from the burning vehicle. Eventually Mr Cooper and Mr Langham managed to drag the bleeding passenger into the back seat and out of the vehicle.

Mr Winstanley and Mr Jones who had arrived at the scene then assisted Messrs Cooper and Langham to pull the driver through to the back seat and clear of the wreckage just before the vehicle exploded. Unfortunately the driver was deceased.

23.24.25. Bronze Medal

Senior Constable Scott Andrew McRae, NSW Police

Senior Constable Maxwell Raymond Sikkema, NSW Police

Bernie James McKerlie, Eden

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

On patrol in the Eden area at about 9.30 pm on 21 November 2004 Senior Constable Sikkema and Senior Constable McRae came across a flat in a house on fire where the occupant, trapped by the flames, was calling for help. Flames engulfed the only entrance to the flat. Assisted by a neighbour, Mr McKerlie, who knew the layout of the building, the three men entered the building where Mr McKerlie directed the officers to force an entry to the flat through the fabric of the building.

Despite the efforts of the officers in finally gaining entry to the flat the fierceness of the fire made rescue impossible. Later, Fire Brigade personnel wearing breathing apparatus, using the entrance forced by Senior Constables Sikkema and McRae entered the flat where they found the occupant deceased.

26.27. Bronze Medals

Senior Constable Roland Samuel Curll, NSW Police

Constable Robert John McMahon, NSW Police

for their actions at the scene of a home unit fire at Koonawarra.

At about 9.45am on 16 January 2005 Senior Constable Curll and Constable McMahon attended a fire in a block of units at Koonawarra where an elderly man was trapped inside. Although hampered by dense smoke Senior Constable Curll and Constable McMahon entered the building where Senior Constable Curll succeeded in locating the trapped man.

Guided by Constable McMahon’s verbal directions Senior Constable Curll succeeded in dragging the man from the room. Eventually all three men were able to exit from the smoke filled building.

28.29.30. Certificate of Merit

Detective Inspector Michael John Willing, NSW Police

Leading Senior Constable Shawn Winston Schussler, NSW Police

Senior Constable Paul Gary Williamson, NSW Police

for the attempted rescue of a youth from the waters of the Macquarie River, Dubbo.

On the afternoon of 16 September 2003 a youth attempting to swim in the waters of the Macquarie River at Dubbo got into difficulties due to the fast flowing current. With delay expected in the arrival of a rescue boat Detective Inspector Willing, Leading Senior Constable Schussler and Senior Constable Williamson entered the river after the youth called for help indicating he was drowning.

Despite the best efforts of the three police officers the youth was swept away before he could be rescued. The youth’s body was recovered downstream the next day.

31.32. Certificate of Merit

Constable Barry James Heal, NSW Police

Constable Carly Michelle Fitton, NSW Police

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

At about 1.35am on 1 April 2005 Constables Heal and Fitton were alerted to a house fire at Kingsford. Despite the fire and smoke Constable Heal and Constable Fitton entered the building and finding an elderly lady lying in the hallway they were able to carry her from the burning building into the street.

33.34.35. Bronze Medal

Leading Senior Constable Paul Keith Nancekivell, NSW Police

Senior Constable Kelly Ronald Thomas, NSW Police

Constable Alison Mary Molyneux, NSW Police

for their actions in the rescue of two persons from the surf at Shoalhaven Heads.

At about 1.00 pm on 6 July 2005 a man and his 13 year old autistic son were caught in a rip at Shoalhaven Heads Beach. Arriving in a police rescue vehicle Leading Senior Constable Nancekivell and Senior Constable Thomas entered the water and after commandeering a surfboard and a boogie board managed to eventually reach the boy. After getting the boy onto the surfboard Leading Senior Constable Nancekivell and Senior Constable Thomas assisted him back to the shore.

Meanwhile the man who had attempted to rescue his son got into difficulties when trying to return to the shore. Constable Molyneux entered the water and assisted the man to stay afloat while the rip took them both out to sea. About 150 metres from the shore they reached calmer water where Leading Senior Constable Nancekivell was then able to reach them with the surfboard. With the man on the surfboard all persons were able to return to shore safely.

36.37. Silver Medals

Station Officer John Carlos Henry, NSW Fire Brigade

Constable Matthew Thomas McDougall, NSW Police Bronze Medal

Constable Daniel Scott Morgan, NSW Police

Constable Rodney John Lloyd, NSW Police

Constable Kyle William Rodger, NSW Police

Mr David Jamieson, Kingswood

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

On 26 July 2006 at about 8.15 am whilst preparing his two children for school Mr Jamieson became aware of fire in the upstairs area of the house where his partner and 3 year old son were sleeping. After removing the older children from the house Mr Jamieson attempted to go upstairs, he was able to alert his partner but unable to reach the child because of the fire.

Responding to an emergency call Constables McDougall and Rodger attended the fire where they entered the building and attempted to climb the stairs. Confronted by voluminous smoke and intense heat they were forced to exit the building.

Station Officer Henry was off duty when he attended the scene of the fire. Aware that a young child was trapped in the burning building he and Constable McDougall gained access to the roof. Station Officer Henry gained entry to the house through a broken window and assisted by Constable McDougall was able to locate the child and bring him to safety. Constable Rodger accessed a garden hose and continuously sprayed both men and the building throughout the rescue.

Constables Lloyd and Morgan also responded to the emergency call and attempted to gain entry through the rear door but were unable to reach upstairs due to the smoke and heat. They remained in the building using buckets and containers of water in an effort to extinguish some of the flames. They were forced to exit the building when the roof started to collapse.

Mr Jamieson and his son were transported to hospital and treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

42. Silver Medal

Stuart Harvey, Avoca

43. Bronze Medal

Bradley Sanders, Berkeley Vale

44.45.46. Certificate of Merit

David James Maguire, Tascott

Gregory Anderson, Terrigal

Craig Adams, Wamberal

for their actions in rescuing a man from drowning at Spoon Bay.

As Duty Officer in charge of patrolled beaches on the Central Coast, Mr Harvey was at Spoon Bay Beach at about 2.15 pm on 29 January 2006 when he became aware of two people caught in a rip. After reaching the two men in very heavy seas on a commandeered surf board Mr Harvey managed to get one man onto the board, but pounded by heavy seas the man was swept off and submerged.

Mr Harvey made the difficult decision to rescue the second man who was semi-conscious and struggling to stay afloat. After getting the man on the surf board they eventually reached calmer water where Mr Harvey supported the man while the inflatable rescue boat (IRB) operated by Mr Anderson and Mr Adams was searching for the submerged man. A second IRB operated by Mr Maguire and another man arrived and the rescued man and Mr Harvey were finally taken ashore.

Mr Sanders was also at Spoon Bay with his family that afternoon when he became aware of two men and several children in difficulties in the surf. Realising they were in a rip Mr Sanders entered the water. After reaching the children Mr Sanders grabbed a male child by the arm and swam with him to the shore.

47. Bronze Medal

Senior Constable Robert Cain, NSW Police

for his actions at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on the Pacific Highway, Jones Island.

Senior Constable Robert Cain went to the scene of a serious motor vehicle accident at Jones Island on the Pacific Highway on 8 February 2000. Confronted with an upturned station wagon spilling fuel and a woman trapped inside, Senior Constable Cain entered the vehicle via the tailgate.

Although soaked by fuel Senior Constable Cain managed to release the trapped driver and after exiting the vehicle via the tailgate, was able to pull the driver free through the passenger’s side window. Senior Constable Cain tended the driver’s injuries until the ambulance arrived.

48. Bronze Medal

Michael Campbell Howes, Jerilderie

for the rescue of a man from a caravan fire at Jeriderie.

At about 9.00 pm on 3 July 2003 Mr Howes went to the scene of a fire in a caravan at Jerilderie. Faced with smoke and flames Mr Howes directed power to the caravan to be cut off. Using a hose he then directed water at the flames extinguishing the fire. Mr Howes was then able to enter the caravan and assist the badly burnt occupant to safety.

49. Certificate of Merit

Michael John Hudson, Oatley

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

At 2.30 pm on 25 July 2005 Mr Hudson became aware that a neighbour’s house was on fire. Arriving at the house he found his elderly neighbour on fire at the door. Using his bare hands Mr Hudson extinguished the flames on the man’s body.

After exiting the burning building Mr Hudson, assisted by his mother doused the man with water until the ambulance arrived.

50. Bronze Medal

Neil Alan Tate, North Haven

51. Certificate of Merit

Mark Anders, Engadine

for their actions in the rescue of a man from a submerged motor vehicle at North Haven.

On 28 September 2003 at Ocean Drive, North Haven the driver of a car lost consciousness and his car crashed through a fence and plunged into a river. Messrs Anders and Tate both entered the river and swam to the vehicle.

After Mr Anders was able to release the unconscious driver’s seat belt, Mr Tate entered the vehicle via the passenger side window. Mr Tate assisted by Mr Anders removed the driver from the vehicle. As a direct result of the rescue Mr Tate dislocated his shoulder.

52. Bronze Medal

George Forbes Watt, Bonny Hills

for the rescue of a young man from the sea at Port Macquarie.

Walking with his family on the sea wall at about 7.30 pm on 11 January 2004 Mr Watt saw a young man struggling in the run-out tide. After contacting emergency services on his mobile phone Mr Watt grabbed a surfboard and paddled towards the distressed swimmer. Overcoming the moderate swell Mr Watt eventually paddled to the exhausted man and got him onto the surfboard.

After being pounded by waves and being knocked off the board several times, Mr Watt eventually got the man safely ashore.

53. Bronze Medal

Stahy Zographakis, Annandale

for the rescue of a man from a house fire at Lake Conjola.

During a thunderstorm on 13 December 2004 whilst holidaying at Lake Conjola Mr Zographakis became aware his neighbour’s house was on fire. Mr Zographakis forced entry to the house via a window. Using a torch he found his way through the smoke to his neighbour’s study where he found the man slumped in a chair trying to extinguish a fire in the television with a garden hose. Fearing electrocution Mr Zographakis ran out of the house to turn off the water. He then re-entered the house and assisted his neighbour from the premises.

54. Bronze Medal

Nino Biofava, Flinders

for the rescue of a man and a woman from the sea at Shellharbour.

On the morning of 28 February 2004 a honeymoon couple visiting Shellharbour were swept off rocks by a large wave. Although there were several onlookers only Mr Biofava, already in a wetsuit, came to their assistance, grabbing his body board and flippers and going to their rescue.

Against rough seas and a massive swell he succeeded in reaching the couple. With them holding onto his board he proceeded to paddle south until they finally reached the boat ramp in the harbour.

55.56.57 Bronze Medals

Glenn Mitcham, Nambucca Heads

Francis Mills, Nambucca Heads

James Sakker, Anna Bay

for their actions in the rescue of two men from the sea at Nambucca Heads.

At about 11.40 am on 15 May 2004 two men without lifejackets were thrown into the sea when their aluminium runabout breached in heavy seas at Shelley Beach, Nambucca Heads. Messrs Mitcham, Mills and Sakker immediately entered the water to retrieve one of the men who was unconscious.

Mr Mitcham and Mr Sakker brought one man, who appeared to be deceased, ashore. Mr Mills swam to the second man and towed him to the beach where, with assistance, the man was placed in the recovery position. He then went to assist the first victim further up the beach. Unfortunately on arrival ambulance officers were unable to assist the second victim who had suffered cardiac arrest.

Kevin Norwood, Loretta Harkess and Stephen Boyd received Letters of Commendation for their actions during this incident.

58. Bronze Medal

Arthur John Griffiths, Wollombi

for the rescue of two men from a vehicle fire at Wollombi.

On hearing a collision near his property at Wollombi on 17 September 2004, Mr Griffiths drove two kilometres where he found an upturned motor vehicle on fire in a paddock. Entering the vehicle through a broken window Mr Griffiths was able to pull the unconscious passenger to safety. He then re-entered the vehicle through the broken window and eventually was able to drag the driver from the wreck. Other people who had arrived on the scene assisted in removing both men to safety before the vehicle exploded.

59. Silver Medal And Galleghan Award

Clayton Ashley Harris, Bathurst

60.61. Certificate of Merit

Stephen Bates, Red Rock

Joe Benjamine Hansen, Red Rock

for their actions in the rescue of a woman from the surf at Red Rock.

At about 12.15 pm on 11 September 2004 at Red Rock, north of Coffs Harbour a young woman got caught in a strong current and swept out to sea. Mr Harris immediately went to her assistance and was also swept out to sea towards the nearby headland. At the time weather conditions were very poor with a 1.5 metre swell. Mr Harris made several attempts to get the woman onto the rocks to safety. During this time Mr Harris injured himself on the rocks and the woman lapsed into unconsciousness. Aware of Mr Harris’s predicament Mr Bates with a surf board and Mr Hansen with a floatation device entered the water and between them brought the unconscious woman back towards the shore. Unfortunately, despite CPR by ambulance officers the young woman did not survive.

Constable Sean Patrick Benefield and Anthony Marinus Lucas received Letters of Commendation for their actions during this incident.

62.63. Certificate of Merit

Senior Constable Stephen William Case, NSW Police

Senior Constable Dennis Richard Peter Rutland, NSW Police

for their actions at the scene of a motor vehicle accident and fire at Burrawong.

At about 5.45 pm on 26 October 2004 Senior Constable Case and Senior Constable Rutland attended a motor vehicle accident and fire at Burrawang. The female passenger of the car had freed herself but the unconscious driver remained in the vehicle. After unsuccessfully trying to extinguish the flames with a fire extinguisher the police officers managed to remove the unconscious driver from the wreck to safety before the vehicle exploded.

Letters of Commendation

During the year, the following awards were also made:

Kevin Norwood, Bomaderry

Loretta Harkess, Hyland Park

Stephen Boyd, Nelson Bay

Constable Sean Patrick Benefield, NSW Police

Anthony Marinus Lucas, Abermain