Chairman's Report

30 June 2016


The Society is most grateful for the Vice-Regal patronage it is accorded by His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC CSC Governor of New South Wales.  His interest in the Society’s work since his appointment and his support are greatly appreciated.                                                                                                                                               


The Society is grateful for the enthusiastic involvement of our new President Mr Donald McDonald AC in our activities and we appreciate the support Mrs McDonald provides.


It was with great pleasure that the Society accepted an invitation from His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley to present the awards for 2014-2015 on Friday 26 June 2015.  The warm hospitality extended by His Excellency and Mrs Hurley following the ceremony was greatly appreciated by the recipients and guests.


The Society’s Annual General Meeting was conducted on Monday 7 December 2015, when Councillors and Office Bearers were elected for the ensuing twelve months.


At a Special General Meeting held on Monday 7 March 2016 several small, but significant updating changes to the Society’s Constitution 2010, were passed and adopted.


The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) was inaugurated in 2013 with a requirement that all charities within the Commonwealth must be registered with the Commission. For several decades previously the Society had been registered under NSW Law as a registered charity. However, with the national register in place, the Society submitted an application and received recognition (ABN 68581296689). The Society’s Registration has continued in 2014, 2015 and now in 2016.


The Society’s Audited Balance Sheet as at 30 June 2016 and its Income and Expenditure Account for the year then ended 30 June 2016 appear at the back of this annual report.


The financial position was only achieved through the generosity of those donors who are listed later in this report.  The New South Wales Government is a long time annual helper.
In addition the NSW Roads and Maritime Services through its “Partnership Programme” provides the funds for the calligraphy services for the certificates presented.

A donation was also received from the Employees of the NSW Fire Brigades Relief & Welfare Fund Incorporated.

In addition the NSW Roads and Maritime Services through its “Partnership Programme” provides the funds for the calligraphy services for the certificates presented.

A donation was also received from the Employees of the NSW Fire Brigades Relief & Welfare Fund Incorporated.

2014–2015 AWARDS

As set out in the 2015 Annual Report, the Council reinstated the Society’s Gold Medal in 2013.  It had not been awarded since 1958.  At last year’s ceremony His Excellency presented to Mr Andrew Cochran for his exceptional bravery at a petrol tanker fire at Mona Vale on 1 October 2013 the Stanhope Gold Medal as well as the Society’s Gold Medal and the Galleghan Award.

2015-2016 AWARDS

The awards presented for 2015-2016, described in this Annual Report, comprise 1 Galleghan Award, 4 Silver Medals, 11 Bronze Medals and a Sir Neville Pixley Book Award.  To all recipients, the Society conveys the thanks, admiration and congratulations of the people of New South Wales.


A warm relationship continues with our kindred Royal Humane Societies in the Commonwealth of Nations.  This has also been developed with the Australian Bravery Association and the Foundation for Civilian Bravery Sri Lanka largely due to the efforts of Maj. Roland Millbank our Honorary Secretary.

Each year we make the NSW submission to the RHS in London for the “bravest of the brave” award, The Stanhope Gold Medal, with nine being successful since 1963.

The RHS of Canada arranged for the Lt Governor of Manitoba to present our silver medal to a recipient, Mrs. Michael Learned (Case 2009-09), who has moved there after it being awarded by us for her bravery here.


We welcome two new Councillors this year.   Colonel Fred Dangar (Retd), a descendant of our founding President, who following service in the Australian Regular Army is now a senior State transport officer.  In addition we welcome Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM from the Rural Fire Service.

Our new Auditor is Mr Mark O’Connor BComm CA CIA, a partner of Cutcher & Neale.


We are delighted that our Past Councillor and Chairman (2001-2003) Vice Admiral I.D. Mac Dougall AC AFSM RAN (Retd) has accepted a Life Governorship of the Society granted for his special service to it particularly as Chairman and in cementing the close and beneficial relationship we have with the Fire Service which he led after retiring from the office of Chief of Navy.


On the 12 June, 2016, the Sunday of the Queen’s Birthday weekend, the Governor and Mrs Hurley opened Government House to the public to celebrate the occasion.  His Excellency also invited some half-dozen of the charities of which he is Patron to establish a presence on and around the verandah, looking out onto the garden.  This with the accompanying music of the Police Band created a festive air in beautiful surroundings.  The organisations included The Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Far West Society and ourselves.  Each presented a display which explained the work they do.  The RFDS, for instance, set up an equipped aircraft with a uniformed pilot and nurse explaining their equipment and operations to those who came aboard.

We and our neighbours, the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Far West, explained our activities from our “manned stalls” displaying colourful posters and literature.  Our Society had the assistance of volunteers including Councillors, Office Bearers and uniformed service members from the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services in our presentation.

The Society’s theme addressed to the public, was:


Nominate a Hero because proper recognition:
Encourages Humane Actions
Good Citizenship
and it says


There remains no shortage of heroes in the State of New South Wales.  Ordinary people rising to meet extraordinary challenges bravely.  Such actions deserve public recognition as part of the community’s thanks and as an encouragement to others to follow the same spirit when life is at risk and they can help.

Alywnne Rowlands AO