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Monday 20 August 2018

His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland congratulates the following Queenslanders, recognised for their brave acts in the latest round of Australian Bravery Decorations:

BRAVERY MEDAL (BM)

The Late Mr Ryan Richard Martin

On the afternoon of 25 March 2016, Messrs Ryan Martin, Luke Robinson and several others were involved in the rescue of a woman and young girl from a rip at Fingal Head in New South Wales.

A mother and her young daughter were swimming at Dreamtime Beach at Fingal Head when they became caught in a dangerous rip. The pair were quickly swept out by the rip and towards the jagged rocks of the headland.

Seeing the pair in distress, Messrs Martin and Robinson separately entered the water and swam through the crashing waves to reach them. Mr Martin grabbed hold of the girl, and Mr Robinson the woman, and assisted them to stay afloat and away from the rocks. The group then continued to be pushed around the headland by the rip. 

When the two men became tired, others who had also entered the water to assist, took over helping the woman and child to stay afloat and managed to swim the woman back to the beach. By this stage Mr Martin was in difficulty and unable to stay afloat.

A rescue boat crewed by lifesavers then arrived and pulled one of the men and the young girl into the boat. They took them to the beach where they were assisted by others.

The crew returned the rescue boat to the group and pulled the remainder into the boat and took them to shore.

Tragically Mr Martin could not be revived.

By their actions, Mr Martin and Mr Robinson displayed considerable bravery.

Senior Constable Adam David Tickner 

In the early morning of 6 November 2014, Senior Constable Adam Tickner apprehended an armed offender at Noosa Heads in Queensland.

At about 4.45am a domestic violence incident occurred at a residence in Noosa Heads. A male discharged a firearm causing head injuries to a female who required hospitalisation. The offender fled the scene on a motorcycle before flagging down a motorist. In a distressed state the offender admitted to the assault, believing he had killed his partner. He surrendered his firearm to the motorist who then called triple 0.

Whilst waiting for police to arrive the offender opened the passenger door and retrieved the firearm. He then pointed it directly at the motorist before commandeering the vehicle and driving off.

Soon after, Senior Constable Tickner and a colleague arrived on the scene. The motorist got into the police car and provided vital information to the officers about the offender as they pursued the stolen vehicle.

A few kilometres down the road the offender crashed the stolen vehicle into a 7,000 litre liquid gas tank at a local service station before entering the service station shop. Senior Constable Tickner and his colleague immediately stopped the police vehicle and, with pistols drawn, ran across the forecourt. A strong smell of gas permeated the air and the gas could also be heard venting from the damaged tank.

Two other police officers then arrived at the scene. The offender left the shop and shuffled towards the leaking gas tank holding a jacket in front of his body which concealed his hands.

Senior Constable Tickner moved towards the man ordering him to stand down. Other officers, who were approximately 20m from the gas tank, were concerned about the danger from the leaking gas, particularly as bystanders were nearby. Senior Constable Tickner informed the offender of the victim's condition and convinced him to surrender before apprehending him with the assistance of another officer. The other officers quickly ran to the gas tank and attempted to shut it off.

By his actions, Senior Constable Tickner displayed considerable bravery.

Senior Constable Tickner is also receiving a Group Bravery Citation for this incident.

COMMENDATION FOR BRAVE CONDUCT

Plain Clothes Senior Constable Jeremy Michael Carter and Senior Constable Daniel Thomas Fysh

On the afternoon of 13 June 2013, Plain Clothes Senior Constable (then Constable) Jeremy Carter and Senior Constable Daniel Fysh went to the assistance of a man in difficulty in the Barron River near Cairns in Queensland.

Shortly after 2:45pm a man jumped from the Barron River Bridge into the water and began to struggle in the tidal river, known to be inhabited by crocodiles.

Senior Constable Fysh responded to the incident and when he arrived at the scene he could see the man panicking in the water.  As Senior Constable Fysh prepared to enter the river the man went underwater on three occasions. After removing his gun belt Senior Constable Fysh entered the water and swam half way across the river to reach the struggling man.

At this point Constable Carter arrived and, despite the danger, immediately entered the water and swam out to where his colleague and the struggling man were. Working together the two officers managed to get the man to shore, and out of the water where they remained with him until emergency services arrived.

For their actions, Plain Clothes Senior Constable Carter and Senior Constable Fysh are commended for brave conduct.

Mr Jason Peter Emeny

On the morning of 19 May 2017, Mr Jason Emeny went to the assistance of two people after a motor vehicle accident near Georgetown in Queensland.

Mr Emeny was travelling approximately 40kms east of Georgetown when he witnessed the car and caravan travelling in front of him hit a large pothole, leave the highway, and roll down an embankment.

He quickly stopped his own vehicle, called emergency services, and then went to the embankment. He could see smoke coming from the engine bay of the overturned vehicle as he approached.

He immediately returned to his own car and grabbed a fire extinguisher. Despite the warnings of other witnesses about the danger of the fire, he ran down the embankment towards the rolled car and caravan.

With the presence of smoke and possible flames inside the car, he emptied the fire extinguisher in the direction of the engine bay and was able to douse the fire.

Mr Emeny then assisted the two occupants out of the vehicle and helped them to the road.

For his actions, Mr Emeny is commended for brave conduct.

Mr Fletcher William Ericson and Senior Constable Michael John Gray

On the afternoon of 18 October 2016, Mr Fletcher Ericson and Senior Constable (then Constable) Michael Gray went to the rescue of two swimmers in difficulty at Elliott Heads Beach, near Bundaberg in Queensland.

At approximately 1pm Constable Gray, who was off-duty at the time, witnessed two distressed swimmers about 100m from the shore at Elliott Heads Beach. Realising they were in difficulty, and being dragged further out to sea with the quickly moving tide, he immediately entered the choppy water and swam towards them.

Constable Gray attempted to communicate with the swimmers, who were in a panicked state, with one swimmer intermittently falling below the water. At this point another man also entered the water and began to swim in the direction of the struggling pair.

Mr Ericson arrived at the scene and without concern for his own safety he also entered the treacherous water and swam out to the struggling pair. On reaching them he saw that the male was barely conscious and in need of medical attention.

When the rescuers reached the swimmers they linked arms with them and began making their way to shore where emergency services were waiting. The swimmers were transported to Bundaberg hospital and both recovered from their ordeal.

For their actions, Mr Ericson and Senior Constable Gray are commended for brave conduct.

Mrs Helen Louise Evans

On the afternoon of 9 March 1991, Mrs Helen Evans (then Ms Gibney) and Mr Gerard Woodward went to the rescue of three young boys who were caught in a rip at Surf Beach in New South Wales.

Ms Gibney and Mr Woodward were at Surf Beach when they observed three boys (between the ages of 6-12 years) playing in knee deep water. After a short period of time the boys had drifted into deeper water and then they were suddenly caught in a rip and taken out to sea.

Ms Gibney and Mr Woodward attempted to alert other beachgoers before swimming out towards the boys. They also got caught in the rip and were carried towards the boys as one of the boys was taken further out to sea.

Initially Mr Woodward reached and held onto the bigger boy before handing him to Ms Gibney. He then swam towards the smaller boy. Ms Gibney struggled with the bigger boy who was panicking and pushed her under the water numerous times.

Despite being battered by the waves Ms Gibney managed to get the boy onto his back and they made their way towards the rocks where she pushed him out of the water.

Meanwhile, Mr Woodward reached the smaller boy who grabbed him around the neck and they swam towards the rocks where Ms Gibney and the other boy were located. As they were climbing onto the rocks they were hit by a wave and sucked back out. Still holding the smaller boy, Mr Woodward swam for the rocks again and was able to climb out with the boy. Mr Woodward desperately called to bystanders that one child was still missing.

Unfortunately the third boy didn't survive the incident.

For their actions, Mrs Evans and Mr Woodward are commended for brave conduct.

Mr Warren George Francis and Inspector Robert James Graham

On the evening of 26 April 1993, Mr (then Senior Sergeant) Warren Francis and Inspector (then Constable) Robert Graham went to the assistance of a vessel in distress near Wide Bay in Queensland.

Queensland Water Police Officers, Senior Sergeant Francis and Constable Graham boarded police vessel P.W.Cahill at around 6.00pm and headed towards the Wide Bay Bar crossing to provide support to the Tin Can Bay Volunteer Coast Guard who had gone to assist a stricken cruiser that was in difficulty in treacherous seas.

On attempting to cross the Bar the Volunteer Coast Guard vessel had to turn back due to the dangerous conditions and after crew members had sustained injuries. Senior Sergeant Francis and Constable Graham commenced crossing the Bar in their vessel and encountered violent waves, wind and driving rain.

They located the stricken cruiser which they observed being knocked down on three occasions by the high seas before righting itself. Senior Sergeant Francis carefully navigated the police vessel close to the cruiser and Constable Graham transferred fuel to the stricken cruiser. They then escorted the cruiser to a less treacherous area where both vessels anchored for the night.

At first light a Tin Can Bay Volunteer Coast Guard boat arrived and assisted the cruiser and the police vessel to more protected water inside the Wide Bay Bar. During the rescue the police vessel was significantly damaged by the high waves and winds and Senior Sergeant Francis and constable Graham sustained broken bones and other injuries.

For their actions, Mr Francis and Inspector Graham are commended for brave conduct.

Senior Constable Cameron John Mosley

On 13 February 1993, Senior Sergeant (then Acting Senior Constable) Shaun Furniss and Senior Constable (then Constable) Cameron Mosley assisted a woman during an attack at the Western Arrente community of Ntaria (Hermannsburg), in the Northern Territory.

Senior Constable Furniss and Constable Mosley were assessing a non-responsive man after a disturbance of approximately 40 people, armed with various weapons, surrounded them in a threatening manner.

At this time, a female came running down the road in their direction. She was yelling for help as the group indicated that she was responsible for injuring the non-responsive man. The officers saw a man raise a pocket knife above his head and stab the female.

Constable Mosley grabbed the female and Acting Senior Constable Furniss was able to put her behind the driver's door of their vehicle and shield her with his body. Constable Mosley went towards the offending male, restraining him as the pocket knife fell to the ground. He then collected the knife and came back to the police vehicle as Acting Senior Constable Furniss ushered the female into the rear seat.

The group remained aggressive as the officers yelled instructions for the deceased man to be driven to the local health clinic. The officers re-entered the police vehicle and proceeded to the clinic. Upon arrival they noticed a large group of armed people looking to avenge the male's death. Sensing the danger, Constable Mosley decided to stay at the clinic and offer assistance, whilst Acting Senior Constable Furniss drove the injured female to the police station.

Acting Senior Constable Furniss left the female at the locked police station and returned to the clinic. On his way he was confronted by an angry group of males who ran towards his vehicle with weapons raised. He quickly turned his car around and returned to the police station. He, and another officer who had arrived, discovered that the female had escaped and could not be found.

After a short time, the officers returned to the clinic in separate vehicles. During this trip, Acting Senior Constable Furniss was stopped and threatened by a male armed with a steel bar and a rock. The other officer drove his car in between Acting Senior Constable Furniss and the man. Both officers got out of their vehicles, assured the man that they were trying to look after everyone involved, and continued to the clinic.

On arriving at the clinic a group of about sixty people had now congregated and continued to act in an aggressive manner. The crowd dispersed after the deceased man was transported to Alice Springs.

Acting Senior Constable Furniss and Constable Mosley remained at the clinic assisting health workers who were dealing with a number of people coming in with stab wounds and other injuries caused by the violence that followed the murder.

For their actions, Senior Sergeant Furniss and Senior Constable Mosley are commended for brave conduct.

Ms Cherylyn Suzanne Richardson

In the early morning of 17 November 2015, Ms Cherylyn Richardson assisted with the evacuation of residents from a burning accommodation centre at Ashmore in Queensland.

Ms Richardson was working at a supported accommodation complex in Ashmore when she heard a fire alarm activate. When all the alarms on the premises sounded she went to investigate.

Ms Richardson made her way to the east side of the complex where she could see flames flickering under the door of a unit and opened the door slightly. She immediately saw three metre high flames coming from a bedspread on the floor of the small room.

She ran back down a corridor to get the fire extinguisher, informed a colleague to call triple 0, and returned to the unit. Realising that the fire was taking hold, and with a duty of care for the 34 residents, she began to check other rooms for occupants. As soon as she knew the nearby units were empty she ran back to the other building to assist residents.

Despite the danger and smoke, Ms Richardson crawled down a passage towards the office to obtain the 'roll call' book. She checked other areas for occupants before making her way to the carpark and conducting a roll call, ensuring everyone had been evacuated. Soon after emergency services arrived.

For her actions, Ms Richardson is commended for brave conduct.

Mr Peter Neil Steer

In the early morning of 6 November 2014, Mr Peter Steer was involved in the apprehension of an armed offender at Noosa Heads in Queensland.

At about 4.45am a domestic violence incident occurred at a residence in Noosa Heads. A male discharged a firearm causing head injuries to a female who required hospitalisation. The offender fled the scene on a motorcycle before flagging down a vehicle driven by Mr Steer.

In a distressed state the offender admitted the assault to Mr Steer, believing he had killed his partner. He surrendered his firearm to Mr Steer who placed it in his vehicle and then called triple 0.

Whilst waiting for police to arrive the offender opened the passenger door and retrieved the firearm from the car. He then pointed it directly at Mr Steer before commandeering his vehicle and driving off.

Soon after two police officers arrived on the scene and Mr Steer got into the police car and provided vital information to the officers about the offender as they pursued the stolen vehicle.

A few kilometres down the road the offender crashed the stolen vehicle into a 7,000 litre liquid gas tank at a local service station. A strong smell of gas permeated the air and the gas could also be heard venting from the damaged tank. Other officers then arrived at the scene. Despite the danger from the leaking gas an officer approached the offender and eventually convinced him to surrender.

For his actions, Mr Steer is commended for brave conduct.

GROUP BRAVERY CITATION

Sergeant Andrew John Bauer, Detective Senior Constable Stewart John Fairgrieve, Senior Constable Wesley Thomas Hopper and Mr Daniel Joseph MacFarlane

Awardees are members of the Queensland Police Service and the public who rescued a man from the ocean at Happy Valley, Queensland on 1 November 2015.

On the evening of 1 November 2015, three members of the Queensland Police Service and a volunteer surf lifesaver went to the aid of a man intending self-harm at Happy Valley beach in Queensland.

Around 9.00pm a male was observed to be struggling in the turbulent surf at Happy Valley beach in Caloundra. A volunteer surf lifesaver, who was at his home unit, went to investigate and was alerted to the man floating out to sea. The lifesaver ran to the beach and entered the water to assist.

A police officer, also alerted to the struggling man, had already entered the water and was making his way to the swimmer in distress. Due to the difficult surf conditions he began to tire as the lifesaver passed him in the water and reached the man.

The swimmer struggled against the lifesaver telling him he wanted to drown himself. Battling fatigue the police officer managed to reach the shore and alerted two other police officers of the situation.

The two officers then entered the water and swam 150 metres to the pair. On reaching them they assisted the lifesaver to forcibly swim the struggling man back to shore.

For their actions, the recipients are recognised by the award of the Group Bravery Citation.

Senior Constable Michael Romas Grigalius, Sergeant Gordon Dean Holmes, Senior Constable Peter Thomas Low and Senior Constable Adam David Tickner

Awardees are members of the Queensland Police Service who arrested a man following an assault and use of a firearm at Noosa Heads, Queensland on 6 November 2014.

In the early morning of 6 November 2014 four members of the Queensland Police Service were involved in the apprehension of an armed offender at Noosa Heads in Queensland.

During a domestic violence incident an offender discharged a firearm causing head injuries to a female. The offender fled the scene, later flagging down a motorist and admitting to the assault.  He surrendered his firearm to the motorist who then called triple 0.

Whilst waiting for police to arrive the offender retrieved the firearm, pointed it at the motorist, and then fled the scene in the motorist's vehicle. Two police officers arrived at the scene and the motorist got into the police car and provided vital information to the officers as they pursued the stolen vehicle.

After crashing the stolen vehicle into a 7,000 litre liquid gas tank at a nearby petrol station, the offender abandoned the car and entered the service station shop. The two police officers immediately stopped and, with pistols drawn, ran across the forecourt. There was a strong smell of gas in the air and the gas could also be heard venting from the ruptured tank. Two other police officers then arrived at the scene.

The offender left the shop and moved towards the leaking gas tank with his hands concealed by a jacket. One officer moved towards the offender and ordered him to stand down. The other three officers, who were approximately 20 metres from the gas tank, were concerned about the danger from the leaking gas as bystanders were nearby.

Once the offender had been convinced to surrender, he was quickly apprehended by two officers, whilst the other two officers ran immediately to the gas tank and attempted to shut it off.

For their actions, the recipients are recognised by the award of the Group Bravery Citation.