AUSTRALIAN HONOURS AND AWARDS
QUEENSLAND BRAVERY RECIPIENTS
ANNOUNCED – Thursday, 29 March 2018
AWARDED THE BRAVERY MEDAL (BM)
Senior Constable Stephen Ian BARLOW
Acting Sergeant Scott Ronald HILL
Senior Constable Catherine Maureen NIELSEN
Constable Brittany Rosemarie POULTON
On the afternoon of 29 May 2017, Acting Sergeant (then Senior Constable) Scott Hill, Senior Constables Stephen Barlow and Catherine Nielsen, and Constable Brittany Poulton were involved in an incident with an armed offender at Ringwood, Queensland.
The officers were travelling in Tactical Crime Squad (TCS) vehicles, in pursuit of a known offender whose vehicle had turned onto a rough dirt track. Senior Constable Nielsen and a colleague were in the lead vehicle, while Senior Constables Hill, Barlow and Constable Poulton were in the second vehicle, travelling a short distance behind.
The offender, armed with a fully automatic weapon, stopped his vehicle where he had a vantage point of the approaching police vehicles. He fired a number of shots at Senior Constable Nielsen's vehicle, injuring her colleague.
Senior Constable Nielsen returned fire and immediately called for backup. She managed to exit the vehicle and, realising she couldn't move her injured colleague, returned inside the vehicle and provided information to other police officers by radio.
Meanwhile Senior Constables Hill and Barlow, and Constable Poulton exited their vehicle and proceeded on foot towards their colleagues. When the officers reached them, Constable Poulton provided cover whilst their injured colleague was removed from the vehicle. Despite the continued gunfire, Senior Constable Barlow began first aid.
Sensing the urgency for medical help Senior Constable Barlow fetched another police vehicle and drove back to the scene. The injured officer was placed into this vehicle. Constable Poulton quickly reversed the vehicle down a steep incline and drove to a safe area.
Senior Constables Barlow, Hill and Nielsen remained at the damaged TCS vehicle as gunfire continued. Once they were aware that their colleagues were safe they moved away from the scene.
By his actions, Senior Constable Barlow displayed considerable bravery.
By his actions, Acting Sergeant Hill displayed considerable bravery.
By her actions, Senior Constable Nielsen displayed considerable bravery.
By her actions, Constable Poulton displayed considerable bravery.
The late Mr Norman Linburgh OLSEN
On the afternoon of 22 February 2016, Mr Norman Olsen went to the assistance of a young woman who was being assaulted in Toowoomba, Queensland.
Mr Olsen and his wife were driving along Bridge Street in Toowoomba when they saw a man assaulting a young woman. The woman was lying on the ground holding onto her young daughter. The attacker was known to the woman.
Mr Olsen immediately pulled his car over to the side of the street and rushed to the assistance of the woman. When he reached the pair he grabbed the offender's arm and attempted to pull him away. At this point the woman managed to get up and, holding onto her daughter, run away from the scene.
The offender then punched Mr Olsen which caused him to fall backwards from the footpath onto the road and hit his head. Soon after the police arrived and arrested the offender.
Sadly, after being transferred to a hospital in Brisbane due to the nature of his injuries,
Mr Olsen did not survive the assault.
By his actions, Mr Olsen displayed considerable bravery.
AWARDED THE COMMENDATION FOR BRAVE CONDUCT
Mr Adam John WILLIAMS
On the afternoon of 10 October 2015, Mr Adam Williams was involved in the rescue of a boy who was swept into the sea at Fingal Head, New South Wales.
A woman and three young children were playing in an area known as Echidna Rock at Fingal Headland. The children were two metres from the water line when a large wave crashed onto the headland and caused one of the children, a nine year old boy, to lose his footing, fall onto the rocks and into the water. The remaining two children also lost their balance, but did not enter the water.
The woman immediately jumped into the water and swam to the boy and, on reaching him, held his head above the water. Another man quickly entered the water and made his way towards the woman who was struggling in the difficult conditions. He got hold of the boy and swam him back to shore.
Mr Williams became aware of the situation and entered the water and swam to the woman. In difficult conditions, he struggled to keep her calm as she was swallowing water and panicking. After a lengthy period of time the woman became unconscious. Mr Williams was then joined by another swimmer on a surfboard. Despite the strong currents and several attempts, they managed to get the woman onto the surfboard and commenced CPR.
Mr Williams and the man were making their way back to shore with the woman when a rescue boat arrived and took them back to shore. Sadly the woman did not survive the incident.
For his actions, Mr Williams is commended for brave conduct.
Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron John BURKE
On the evening of 19 September 1994, Detective Senior Sergeant (then Plain Clothes Constable) Cameron Burke was involved in an incident with an armed offender at Newstead in Queensland.
Constable Burke and a female colleague attended an armed hostage situation at a property in Newstead. As the officers were putting on their bulletproof vests a number of shots were fired by the gunman and another officer in attendance.
Constable Burke was at the side of the vehicle when the gunman suddenly burst out from some bushes and appeared at the rear of the car. The offender crouched and pointed his sawn-off shotgun directly at the female officer, who was standing near the driver's side rear wheel, and pulled the trigger of his weapon several times.
When the firearm failed to discharge Constable Burke moved around the car to his colleague. He simultaneously pulled his colleague out of the line of fire and moved towards the front of the car.
Both officers drew their guns and instructed the gunman to drop his weapon. As the offender began to flee he turned and again pointed his weapon directly at Constable Burke and his colleague. The offender ignored the repeated warnings and was fired upon by the officers.
For his actions, Detective Senior Sergeant Burke is commended for brave conduct.
Mrs Patricia Joan COMERFORD
Mr Robert John COOK
Mr Karl DUNBAR
Mr Nicholas Brett RAWLIN
On the afternoon of 30 June 2014, Mrs Patricia Comerford, Mr Robert Cook, Mr Karl Dunbar and Mr Nicholas Rawlin were involved in an incident with an armed offender at a supermarket in Maroochydore, Queensland.
At approximately 4pm a male customer entered the supermarket and approached the cashier. As she opened the cash register drawer the man, armed with a pair of scissors, lunged over the counter and grabbed bank notes from the till.
Mrs Comerford, an employee of the supermarket, noticed this occurring and quickly pushed the cashier away and grabbed hold of the offender's wrist. The offender threatened Mrs Comerford with the scissors who then yelled for assistance.
Mr Cook, the store manager, approached from the other side of the counter and assisted in holding the struggling offender who was making verbal threats about stabbing them with a syringe. Mrs Comerford momentarily let go of the offender and moved around to the same side of the counter to assist Mr Cook.
The struggle continued and the offender violently bit Mr Cook and Mrs Comerford suffered cuts to her hand. As Mrs Comerford and Mr Cook continued to wrestle the offender they fell to the ground.
Mr Dunbar and Mr Rawlin entered the supermarket and saw what was happening. They assisted in pinning the offender to the floor and, despite the man's continued threats, they maintained their hold on him until police officers arrived.
For their actions, Mrs Comerford, Mr Cook, Mr Dunbar and Mr Rawlin are commended for brave conduct.
The late Senior Constable Brett Andrew FORTE
On the afternoon of 29 May 2017, the late Senior Constable Brett Forte was involved in an incident with an armed offender at Ringwood, Queensland.
Senior Constable Forte, together with several other Queensland Police Officers, was in pursuit of a known offender whose vehicle had turned onto a rough dirt track. The three Tactical Crime Squad vehicles (TCS) involved in the pursuit followed the offender's vehicle. Senior Constable Forte, and another officer, was in the lead vehicle.
The offender, armed with a fully automatic weapon, stopped his vehicle where he had a vantage point of the approaching police vehicles and fired a number of shots at Senior Constable Forte's vehicle, injuring him. As he reversed the vehicle down the rough track to remove himself and his colleague out of danger, the vehicle rolled onto the driver's side trapping him inside.
His colleague immediately returned fire and called for backup. She managed to exit the vehicle and, realising that she couldn't move Senior Constable Forte, returned inside the vehicle and provided information to other police officers by radio.
Subsequently other police officers made their way on foot to their location. They were able to break the windscreen, remove Senior Constable Forte from the vehicle and commence first aid procedures. He was then placed in another police vehicle and driven away from the scene. Unfortunately Senior Constable Forte did not survive his injuries.
For his actions, Senior Constable Forte is commended for brave conduct.
Mr John Michael HEAD
Mr Darren Craig TAYLOR
On 21 March 2014, Mr John Head and Mr Darren Taylor rescued two elderly people from floodwaters at Kumerunga, Queensland.
Mr Head and Mr Taylor were driving near Kumergunga when they noticed a car floating in the rising water of a causeway. There was an elderly couple inside. The vehicle was quickly filling with water and was being pushed off the causeway by the fast flowing floodwater.
Mr Taylor immediately called emergency services. Mr Taylor and Mr Head then entered the fast flowing water and were able to pull the elderly woman through the car window, before tying a rope around her waist and carrying her to safety.
They re-entered the water, which had risen quickly, and made their way towards the elderly man who had managed to get himself out of the vehicle. He was pinned up against the vehicle by the force of the rushing water.
Mr Head and Mr Taylor were able to get the elderly man to safety and a short time later the vehicle was pushed off the road by the fast flowing water.
For their actions, Mr Head and Mr Taylor are commended for brave conduct.
Mr Brian Frederick LEMKE
In the early hours of the morning of 6 February 2015, Mr Brian Lemke went to the assistance of a woman at North Lakes, Queensland.
Mr Lemke, a Station Officer with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, and his crew, attended an incident at a North Lakes shopping complex where a young woman was attempting self-harm.
The woman was sitting at the edge of the roof of the two storey building with her back facing outward. A short time later she turned around on the 20cm wide ledge and dangled her legs over the side. Through her actions it was evident that she was contemplating jumping.
Upon arrival Mr Lemke spoke with other emergency service personnel and, as the young woman was reluctant to speak with police officers, he volunteered to approach her. After conversing with the woman she agreed to come down.
A ladder was placed against the wall and Mr Lemke climbed up onto the roof and slowly approached the woman. He was alongside her and offered to help her down when she suddenly refused his requests and began to lean forward and attempt to fall off the roof.
Without hesitation, and despite the risk of him falling, he grabbed her and pulled her back onto the roof. He continued to hold onto her until other emergency service personnel were able to climb the ladder and assist in moving her away from the edge.
Mr Lemke stayed with the woman until she could be safely removed from the roof.
For his actions, Mr Lemke is commended for brave conduct.
Senior Constable Kevin John MAGEEAN
On the morning of 19 August 2013, Senior Constable (then Constable) Kevin Mageean intercepted an armed offender after an aggravated robbery at Kingscliff, New South Wales.
Two employees of the Kingscliff Beach Hotel were attacked and robbed by two males who then attempted to run off with a backpack containing money. The victims chased one offender and were able to tackle him to the ground and restrain him.
The second offender fled the scene before returning and producing a 25cm carving knife. He threatened the employees and began demanding that they release his accomplice.
At this time, Constable Mageean, who was off duty at the time, went to the assistance of the two victims. He was informed of the robbery and was alerted to the second offender who was fleeing the scene.
Without hesitation, he chased the absconding man through a vacant block of land and, as he neared the man, he announced that he was a police officer and challenged the offender to stop.
The offender turned towards Constable Mageean and threw a backpack in his direction. Constable Mageean then tackled the man to the ground and restrained him until further assistance arrived.
For his actions, Senior Constable Mageean is commended for brave conduct.
Senior Constable Christopher Ralph PROUDLOCK
On the evening of 30 December 2000, Senior Constable Christopher Proudlock removed a man from a burning house at Westbrook, Queensland.
Responding to a call, Senior Constable Proudlock arrived at a property in Westbrook and made his way to the back of the premises. He noticed damage to a rear window and was quickly confronted by an agitated man standing in the rear doorway.
After confronting the man Senior Constable Proudlock returned to his police vehicle to call for assistance. Whilst at the car he heard smashing glass and saw flames inside the house. He immediately went back to the premises where a large amount of thick, grey smoke was billowing from the broken window.
He made his way to the back door and heard coughing from inside the house. He could see the man inside approximately 15-20 feet away. Senior Constable Proudlock crouched down and entered the house. He grabbed the man's clothing and, despite the man continuing to kick and struggle, he was able to drag him outdoors, through debris to the driveway.
Although Senior Constable Proudlock was suffering the effects of smoke inhalation he continued to restrain the man until further assistance arrived.
For his actions, Senior Constable Proudlock is commended for brave conduct.
Mr Kenneth Lewis ROSSITER
Mr Ricky Paul WALKER
In the early evening of 16 March 2014, Mr Kenneth Rossiter and Mr Ricky Walker provided assistance to a woman following a domestic violence incident at Golden Beach, Queensland.
Mr Rossiter was at home when a neighbour knocked on his door calling for help. The woman had been physically attacked inside her home and had sustained severe injuries to her entire body. The offender was pursuing her and, as she sought refuge inside the home, the offender managed to force his way in.
A struggle ensued as Mr Rossiter attempted to stop the offender from moving through his home after the injured woman. When the offender entered a bedroom, Mr Rossiter was able to lock the door trapping the offender inside.
In the meantime the injured woman ran out of the house and sought refuge elsewhere.
Mr Rossiter attempted to call emergency services but had to flee his home when the offender broke out of the room. As he was making his way to a neighbouring property the offender chased him and on reaching Mr Rossiter a further struggle ensued.
At this time Mr Walker became aware of the commotion and saw his older neighbour struggling with the offender. He called for his wife to contact emergency services and, without hesitation; he quickly approached the two men.
He tackled the offender to the ground and restrained him. He then held onto the aggressive offender until police officers arrived.
For their actions, Mr Rossiter and Mr Walker are commended for brave conduct.
Mr Lincoln Patrick SHERLOCK
On the morning of 15 July 2015, Mr Lincoln Sherlock rescued a man from a vehicle in the Brisbane River, Queensland.
At 6:30am a male driver suffered a medical episode, lost control of his vehicle on Kingsford Smith Drive at Hamilton and crashed it into the Brisbane River.
Mr Sherlock was travelling to work when he witnessed the accident and immediately stopped to assist. He saw the vehicle partially submerged floating further out into the river. He quickly dived into the water and swam to the vehicle.
When he reached the driver's window he saw the driver trapped in his seat and convulsing. As the window was part way down, he reached inside and lowered the window. He spoke to the incoherent man and managed to get him to undo his seatbelt.
With the water now up to the vehicle's dashboard, he grabbed the man and pulled him out through the window. He then assisted the man towards an arriving small boat and helped him into it. The man was taken to shore for treatment by ambulance officers.
For his actions, Mr Sherlock is commended for brave conduct.