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Tuesday 23 March 2021

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

BRAVERY MEDAL (BM)

Mr Joven Toribio ESTRADA

Mr Joven Estrada displayed considerable bravery during the rescue of a man from a burning vehicle at Malanda in Queensland on 7 March 2019.

In the afternoon, Mr Estrada and his girlfriend were travelling along Old Cairns Track when they noticed a vehicle had crashed into trees and burst into flames.

Mr Estrada stopped his car and ran towards the burning vehicle.  Despite the heat and flames, he located the physically disabled driver, who was semi-conscious and unable to get himself out of the car.

Mr Estrada reached into the front seat of the burning vehicle, pulled the driver out, and dragged him away to a safe distance.

Moments later, the vehicle was totally engulfed in flames.

Mr Estrada and his girlfriend tended to the injured driver until emergency services arrived.

Mr Vincent Gavin MELBIN

Mr Vincent Melbin displayed considerable bravery during the rescue of a man from the Brisbane River in Queensland on 15 March 2019.

At 2:50am Mr Melbin and a companion were walking on the Goodwill Bridge over the Brisbane River when they saw a man about to jump from the bridge.

They attempted to talk to the man, however he jumped off the bridge into the water 15 metres below. When he surfaced he was barely able to keep his head above the water.

Mr Melbin removed his shoes and shirt and jumped into the water, whilst his companion called 000.

Mr Melbin grabbed hold of the now unconscious man and supported him as he swam towards a nearby jetty. Unable to climb up onto the jetty, Mr Melbin managed to keep afloat and continued to struggle to keep the man's head above the water.

Police arrived and threw a rope into the water. Mr Melbin secured the rope around the man who was then pulled out of the river and onto the jetty where first aid was applied until paramedics arrived.

Exhausted, Mr Melbin was helped from the water.

Sergeant Andrew Linden PARKER

Sergeant Andrew Parker displayed considerable bravery during the rescue of race yacht crews in treacherous seas off the coast near Port Stephens in New South Wales on 6 January 2016.

Sergeant Parker, then a Senior Constable, together with three other officers from New South Wales Police Marine Area Command, received five mayday calls simultaneously for assistance. The officers took Water Police Vessel WP24 out in cyclone-like conditions, spending more than 24 hours rescuing embattled yachts and their crews.

The officers endured the treacherous conditions, towing boats safely back to shore, as well as conducting an extensive search for a man who had fallen overboard.

During the rescue of one of the yachts, Sergeant Parker and the other officers had to repair a tow rope after it snapped six times in the turbulent seas.

On another occasion the officers were coming through the heads at Nelson Bay when they were hit by a series of large waves. The waves crashed over the top of the boat and through the cabin, causing concerns the electronics would fail. The severe weather made navigation and searching extremely difficult, and significantly increased the fatigue levels and seasickness of the officers.

Mr Michael Anthony SMITH

Mr Michael Smith displayed considerable bravery during the rescue attempt of a race yacht crew in treacherous seas off the coast near Port Stephens in New South Wales on 6 January 2016.

Mr Smith was the engineer, and one of seven crewman, on-board rescue vessel Port Stephens 40 who volunteered to go into cyclonic seas to aid a racing yacht and its crew that were encountering treacherous conditions near Port Stephens. After battling exceptionally rough seas and strong winds in pitch darkness for five hours they caught-up with the distressed yacht, just south of Seal Rocks.

Mr Smith was manning a searchlight on the upper deck when at 2am the rescue vessel was hit by a wall of water which tipped the boat onto its port side, throwing the crew on deck off their feet, and causing the boat's propellers to lift out of the water. As the boat righted itself, a second large wave hit and the crew on deck were again tossed off their feet with one sustaining a serious facial injury, another a dislocated shoulder, and a third was pinned to the deck by his safety line and debris.

As another crew member went to the assistance of the men, a third large wave struck the boat, knocking it over and causing one of its engines to stop. As the boat righted itself the battered crew were able to restart the engine, clear ropes away from the propellers, and then begin the arduous journey back to Port Stephens while battling large waves, cyclone-like headwinds, injuries and severe sea sickness.

The crew of the stricken race yacht later made it safely to shore in a life raft.

Mr Adam WHITEHOUSE

Mr Adam Whitehouse displayed considerable bravery during the rescue of two boys at Tin Can Bay in Queensland on 12 February 2017.

In the afternoon Mr Whitehouse became aware that two young boys were struggling in deep water and an outgoing tide after being separated from their inflatable tube.

He entered the water and swam towards the boys.  On reaching them they clung to him as he tread water in the strong currents.

Mr Whitehouse began to tire with the effort of keeping both boys afloat.  He was swamped by water several times and one of the boys became unresponsive.

On realising the distress Mr Whitehouse and the boys were in, a nearby yachtsman navigated his small tinny over to the trio.  Both boys were lifted into the tinny and CPR was commenced on the unresponsive boy.

Due to exhaustion, Mr Whitehouse was unable to get into the vessel and slipped into the water and began to float away before the yachtsman grabbed him from underwater.  He then secured Mr Whitehouse to the boat and took the group towards the shore.

Members of the public continued to perform CPR on the unresponsive boy until paramedics arrived.  Sadly the young boy was unable to be resuscitated.

COMMENDATION FOR BRAVE CONDUCT

Mr Paul BRENNAN

Mr Paul Brennan is commended for brave conduct for his actions during a domestic violence incident in Townsville, Queensland on 5 December 2016.

Mr Brennan was driving towards the city area of Townsville when he noticed a silver car stopped on the side of the road.  As he slowed his vehicle a young woman, without warning, ran into the middle of the road, directly in front of his car.  He slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting her.

The young woman was distraught and hysterical and she threw herself onto the bonnet of
Mr Brennan's car and, holding onto the windshield wipers, screamed at him to speed away.

As he began to accelerate his car the young woman climbed into the vehicle through the passenger side window.  Mr Brennan saw a male return to the silver car which then began to pursue Mr Brennan's vehicle, ramming it several times.

On two occasions Mr Brennan's car spun uncontrollably on being rammed.  He continued to sound the vehicle's horn as a warning to other motorists as he sped through red lights and roundabouts in an attempt to escape the silver car.

His passenger alerted emergency services as they raced towards the nearest police station.  On arrival, they exited the damaged vehicle, seeking refuge inside the station.

Mr Matthew EDDISON

Mr Matthew Eddison is commended for brave conduct for his actions in rescuing a person from floodwaters at Murphy's Creek in Queensland on 10 January 2011.

In the afternoon a vehicle attempted to cross a flooded causeway. The driver began to drive slowly across the causeway before the vehicle stalled and the force of the water turned it sideways and carried it into the surging water. Two women inside the vehicle managed to scramble onto the roof as the vehicle was swept away.

A motorist who had witnessed the incident went to get help from his friend, Mr Matthew Eddison, who lived close by, and to also call emergency services.

Mr Eddison, together with his friend, returned to the swollen creek. They ran through bushes and spotted one of the women at the creek's edge. After checking that she was alright, Mr Eddison and his friend continued running until they located the second woman clinging to a sapling in the surging waters.  The strong water surge kept pushing her head under.

Mr Eddison and his friend entered the turbulent water. Using a monkey grip hold they formed a human chain and stretched out towards the woman who let go of the sapling and was grabbed by Mr Eddison.

Together the men pulled the exhausted woman out of the fast-rising water and took her to the safety of the bank.

The late Mr Henry Herbert GRANT

The late Mr (then Police Constable) Henry Grant is commended for brave conduct for his actions during the rescue of a man from a well in Temora in New South Wales on 3 May 1921.

The late Police Constable Henry Grant, and another officer, were on duty in Temora when they attended a property after a man became trapped in a well shaft.

The man was cleaning a 15 metre deep well shaft when he was overcome by foul air and was unable to extricate himself. Constable Grant lowered the other officer into the well who located the man and began carrying him up on a rope.

The pair slipped and both fell back down the well shaft sustaining a number of injuries and were unable to recommence the climb out.

Immediately Constable Grant entered the contaminated well and made his way down the shaft to reach the other officer and injured man.

Constable Grant was able to bring the man to safety whilst the other officer, who was also injured, managed to make his own way out of the well.

The man didn't survive his injuries.

Mr Ian HODDINOTT

Mr Ian Hoddinott is commended for brave conduct for his actions in rescuing a person from floodwaters at Murphy's Creek in Queensland on 10 January 2011.

In the afternoon, Mr Ian Hoddinott was driving through heavy rain when he saw a vehicle attempt to cross a flooded causeway. The driver began to drive slowly across the causeway before the vehicle stalled and the force of the water turned it sideways and carried it into the surging water. Two women inside the vehicle managed to scramble onto the roof as the vehicle was swept away.

Mr Hoddinott quickly went to get help from a friend who lived close by, and to also call emergency services.

Mr Hoddinott, together with his friend, returned to the swollen creek. They ran through bushes and spotted one of the women at the creek's edge. After checking that she was alright, Mr Hoddinott and his friend continued running until they located the second woman clinging to a sapling in the surging waters. The strong water surge kept pushing her head under.

Mr Hoddinott and his friend entered the turbulent water. Using a monkey grip hold they formed a human chain and stretched out towards the woman who let go of the sapling and was grabbed by Mr Hoddinott's friend.

Together the men pulled the exhausted woman out of the fast rising water and took her to the safety of the bank.

Constable Cecelia Ann JARVIS

Constable Cecelia Jarvis is commended for brave conduct for her actions during an incident with a distressed person at Eimeo in Queensland on 23 February 2019.

On that morning, Constable Jarvis and another officer were on duty at Mackay Northern Beaches police station when they attended a residence in response to a call that a distressed woman had locked herself inside the house, poured fuel on herself, and was threatening to ignite it.

On arrival, Constable Jarvis called several times for the distressed woman to open the door.  Eventually the woman unlocked the door but didn't open it.  Constable Jarvis and the other officer entered the house and located the woman now in the garage, next to a jerry can of fuel, and fumbling with a cigarette lighter.

The other officer quickly opened windows to ventilate the fume-filled garage, before going to the police vehicle to alert other agencies, grabbing a fire extinguisher, and returning to the garage.

Meanwhile the distressed woman refused to heed Constable Jarvis' instructions to hand over the cigarette lighter, instead pouring more fuel over herself and trying to spark the lighter.  Constable Jarvis lunged towards the woman and, after a struggle, was able to remove the lighter from the woman.

The woman was restrained by both officers, removed from the garage, and later taken to Mackay hospital.

Sergeant David William RAYMOND BM

Sergeant David Raymond is commended for brave conduct for his actions at a building fire at Mermaid Beach in Queensland on the 28th of December 2018.

In the late afternoon, off duty policeman, Sergeant Raymond, and other family members were travelling near Mermaid Beach when they saw a large plume of grey smoke coming from the roof of a three story unit block.

They immediately stopped and Sergeant Raymond and his son went to investigate.  They noticed gas bottles located on the balcony of a top floor unit, and a large dog on the balcony of a first floor unit.  Bystanders were unable to confirm if any of the units were occupied.

Sergeant Raymond and his son attempted to gain entry to the block but a locked entry barred their way.  They quickly made a makeshift ladder, scaled a wall, and climbed onto the balcony of the first floor unit where the large dog was located.

Both men entered the unit to search for occupants.  Not finding anyone, Sergeant Raymond's son took the large dog to safety.  Sergeant Raymond went to the smoke filled unit on the third floor.  His son then re-joined him and both men entered and searched the unit.

Once they established that there were no occupants in the burning building, both men returned downstairs.

Mr Jacob Alexander RAYMOND

Mr Jacob Raymond is commended for brave conduct for his actions at a building fire at Mermaid Beach in Queensland on 28 December 2018.

In the late afternoon, Mr Raymond and other family members were travelling near Mermaid Beach when they saw a large plume of grey smoke coming from the roof of a three-story unit block.

They immediately stopped and Mr Raymond and his father went to investigate. They noticed gas bottles located on the balcony of a top floor unit, and a large dog on the balcony of a first-floor unit. Bystanders were unable to confirm if any of the units were occupied.

Mr Raymond and his father attempted to gain entry to the block, but a locked entry barred their way. They quickly made a makeshift ladder, scaled a wall, and climbed onto the balcony of the first-floor unit where the large dog was located.

Both men entered the unit to search for occupants. Not finding anyone, Mr Raymond took the large dog to safety while his father went to the smoke-filled unit on the third floor.  He then re-joined his father and both men entered and searched the unit.

Once they established that there were no occupants in the burning building, both men returned downstairs.

Mr Grant SCHOLZ

Mr Grant Scholz is commended for brave conduct for his actions during a knife attack at a hostel in Home Hill in Queensland on 23 August 2016.

In the late evening a man armed with a large knife dragged a young woman from her bed at the hostel and out onto a balcony. He held the knife to her throat and told other guests who had gathered to leave the area.

On hearing the commotion, Mr Scholz, the manager of the hostel, and another guest appeared on the balcony and approached the offender, pleading with him to put down the weapon.

The offender inflicted a wound to the young woman and she fell to the floor.  

As Mr Scholz moved to protect the woman he was also wounded in the leg by the offender.

The young woman got to her feet and ran down a corridor towards the safety of a bathroom.  Two other guests went to assist her and the offender followed.  He entered the bathroom and began assaulting one of the guests.

Police arrived and the offender was arrested. Paramedics arrived and began treating the injured man and woman.  Sadly, neither the man nor the woman survived the injuries they had sustained. 

GROUP BRAVERY CITATION

The recipients are recognised with the award of the Group Bravery Citation for their actions during an incident with a man at Coombabah in Queensland on7 December 1999.

Senior Sergeant Desmond James HEARN

Sergeant David Christopher IVES

Major Gregory Mark NEWMAN

Detective Senior Sergeant Adrian Vincent SALA

Senior Constable Karen Joyce WAKEFIELD

Sergeant Matthew WAKERLEY

Sergeant Lyle Anthony WISS

In the early hours of 7 December 1999, seven Queensland Police Officers attended a domestic situation where they encountered a distressed man threatening to self-harm and cause injury to others by igniting fuel in a car next to a unit complex. Whilst an officer negotiated with the man for several hours, other officers were able to evacuate the surrounding area. When the distressed man learnt that the area had been evacuated he became further agitated and drove away from the complex. As three officers pursued the vehicle, other officers deployed road spikes and the man's vehicle was disabled. As officers approached the vehicle, the man attempted to ignite the fuel inside the car. An officer used a baton to break the front driver's window, another broke the front passenger side window and climbed into the vehicle and assisted other officers to restrain the offender who lit a match and threw it towards the open container of fuel. The fuel failed to ignite and several officers worked to restrain the offender sufficiently to remove him from the fume-filled vehicle.

The recipients are recognised with the award of the Group Bravery Citation for their actions following a multiple vehicle collision and fire at Strathpine in Queensland on 31 December 2018.

Mr James Peter DALE

Mr Anthony George LEWIS

Just after midday on 31 December 2018 five members of the public went to the assistance of a trapped driver after a four vehicle collision on Gympie Road. One vehicle had rolled onto its side and was engulfed in flames. A motorist, whose vehicle was hit, grabbed a fire extinguisher, approached the burning vehicle, and attempted to put out the fire, but it intensified. Another motorist climbed up onto the passenger side of the vehicle and, with the assistance of another motorist, opened the door and reached into the vehicle to help the driver who was having a medical seizure. Smoke began to fill the cabin. Other motorists who had stopped then tried to rock the vehicle into the upright position, despite the increasing heat from the flames. Two motorists managed to kick in the windscreen and remove the aggressive and agitated driver from the burning vehicle and to safety.

The recipients are recognised with the award of the Group Bravery Citation for their actions during the rescue of people from crocodile infested waters at Innisfail in Queensland on 2 March 2018.

Mr Scott Anthony JOHNSON

Mr Edward Gerard POSAR

Mr Shane Autun RADANOVIC

During the morning of 2 March 2018, a distressed 16-year-old woman jumped from the Geraldton Bridge into the Johnstone River, a well-known crocodile habitat.  One young man, who had tried to dissuade the young woman from jumping, ran to the riverbank and into the water, but he was quickly overwhelmed by the deep water and became fatigued.  Two men who were nearby, and who witnessed the young woman jump and the young man's efforts to save her, noticed the pair were in difficulty and quickly entered the water and swam out to them.  They then dragged the young man and woman back to the safety of the river bank and emergency services arrived.

The recipients are recognised with the award of the Group Bravery Citation for their actions during the rescue of five people from a dangerous river at Maryborough in Queensland on 25 September 2016.

Constable Drew Jordan HAROLD

Mr Bruce John HOLLA

Mr Craig Brendan McPHILLIPS

Just before noon on 25 September 2018, two police officers attended a call for assistance after a small boat had capsized in the Mary River in Maryborough, throwing two adults and three children into the water that is known to be a habitat of bull sharks and the occasional crocodile.  The boat was floating in the middle of the river and slowly sinking.  The adults and children were clinging on to the boat and the three children were wearing life jackets.  One police officer and two other people entered the water and swam about 50 metres out to the boat.  The police officer and one of the men held onto the children and together with the other rescuer and the two adults worked to swim the boat back to shallow water.  The children were passed to others who assisted them ashore, followed by the adults.  Emergency services soon arrived and provided assistance.