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Friday 21 August 2020

His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland, today presented Australian Honours and Awards to the following Queenslanders at special ceremonies in Townsville:

Constable Matthew John Woodham

Bravery Medal

Constable Matthew Woodham of the Queensland Police Service displayed considerable bravery during the rescue of an elderly couple from a burning house in Mundingburra, Queensland on 22 May 2018.

Constable Woodham, who was off duty at the time, was advised by a motorcyclist of a house fire nearby. Constable Woodham's wife called 000 as he proceeded to the burning, high-set house.

He quickly climbed the stairs and entered the home, finding an elderly woman in the living area. He assisted her out of the house and she informed him that her elderly husband was still in the house, which by this stage was well alight.
With flames engulfing the front of the home, Constable Woodham quickly made his way to the rear of the residence and went inside the smoke filled interior. He was able to locate the disorientated elderly man, place him over his shoulders and carry him out of the house to safety.
He alerted emergency services to the presence of several gas bottles at the burning house and ensured that surrounding houses were evacuated before returning and extinguishing spot fires with a garden hose until fire brigade personnel arrived.

Mr Ronald Maxwell Sullivan


Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division

For service to the community through social welfare organisations, including as Vice-President of the State Council, President of the Diocesan Central Council and Vice-President of the Overseas Partnership Committee, in the St Vincent de Paul Society, Queensland, and as Board Member and Chair of Ozcare.

Mr Steven John Barber

Australian Fire Service Medal

For distinguished service to communities in Queensland and Tasmania as a fire officer, demonstrating exemplary leadership and operational excellence, driving cultural change and leading many State, interstate and international responses to emergencies and disasters, most recently commanding staff and volunteers through multiple incidents in Central Region during the recent unprecedented fire season.

Ms Nicole Monica Bradley

Emergency Services Medal

For dedicated service to the Queensland State Emergency Service and to the community of North Queensland, including as SES Group Leader for Townsville, through leadership of programs that have optimised cross-operational capability between the SES and Rural Fire Service, improved operational response times through the introduction of digital technologies and enhanced the capabilities of volunteers.

Professor Nicholas Martin Nakata

Member of the Order of Australian in the General Division

For significant service to tertiary education, and to learning outcomes for Indigenous students, in senior roles at several Australian universities and other institutions including as Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Education and Strategy at James Cook University and Director, Nura Gili Centre for Indigenous Programs, University of New South Wales. 

Mr William John Mitchell

Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division

For service to the law in Queensland, through senior positions with the Townsville Community Legal Service, the National Association of Community Legal Centres, Community Legal Centres Queensland, and the Queensland Law Society, and in other appointments including lecturer at James Cook University and Expert Consultant to the Law Council of Australia. 

Mr Barry John Lansdown

Group Bravery Citation

Mr Lansdown is recognised with the award of the Group Bravery Citation for his actions during the apprehension of a violent offender near Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia.

On 19 June 1987, seven members of the Tactical Response Group of the Western Australian Police Force and two police pilots were deployed to locate a dangerous offender. On arrival close to the suspect's vehicle they moved towards the location of the man's campsite.

The police aircraft above provided the officers on the ground with information before returning to Fitzroy Crossing after their communications equipment was damaged by gunfire from the ground. Once repaired, the aircraft returned to the scene and swept low over the campsite in an attempt to flush out the offender. The offender again fired at the aircraft which moved away to check for damage before returning to support officers on the ground. The Team's leader identified himself, calling for the offender to cease fire.

Tear gas canisters were then deployed by police, however the gunman continued to fire a semi-automatic weapon at officers on the ground. The situation was very tense with the gunman and police trading fire in relative close proximity to each other in the dense scrub.

This went on for a period of time before it became evident that the offender had been fatally wounded.

Mr Mervyn John Bailey

Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division

For service to cricket, as President, Treasurer and in other senior roles in the Charters Towers Junior Cricket Association and several regional cricket bodies, and to the community of Charters Towers, as a Councillor in the Charters Towers Regional Council and through involvement in several community organisations. 

Mr William Eric Henderson

Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division

For service to community and military history, as a supporter, member and honorary member of multiple military-related associations including the B24 Liberator Squadrons Associations of Australia and the National Servicemen’s Association, and as a member of heritage organisations including the Charters Towers Regional Heritage Network and the Zara Clark Museum.

Emeritus Professor Rhondda Elizabeth Jones

Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division

For significant service to tertiary education administration, science and tropical health, through senior academic and research positions at James Cook University, including Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and through senior appointments in other institutions and organisations in Australia and overseas in multiple fields including tropical rainforest ecology, sugar research, animal resource ecology and science education.  

Lieutenant Colonel Judd Andrew Finger

Conspicuous Service Cross

For outstanding devotion to duty as Commander Joint Task Group 629 on Operation AUGURY in the Philippines, demonstrating inspirational leadership, foresight and planning skills, enhancing the proficiency of the Philippines Armed Forces in countering terrorism and extremist threats, and strengthening the relationship between the Australian and Philippines Armed Forces.

Squadron Leader Duncan John Flemington

Conspicuous Service Cross

For outstanding devotion to duty and superior leadership as Commander Joint Task Force 639 Air Component Coordination Element during Operation RESOLUTE, achieving simultaneous strategic-level successes for stakeholders and effects disproportionate to the size of his assigned forces, directly supporting government objectives in counter-narcotic operations and Operation SOVEREIGN BORDERS.  

Mr Bruce Cater Gibson-Wilde

Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division

For service to the community of Townsville, in several senior executive roles in the Townsville Cinema Group, as a member and volunteer at the National Trust of Australia (Queensland) Townsville Branch including as a member of the Townsville Heritage Centre Management Committee, and as co-author of publications on Townsville’s heritage.