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GROUP BRAVERY CITATION RECIPIENTS

 

As of 19 March 2012 86 groups (574 individuals) had been awarded a Group Bravery Citation.

List below are some of those citations.

More awardees can be found on the Australian Honours Lists produced by the Australian Honours Secretariat. 

 

Awardees comprise men who attempted to rescue a colleague following an explosion in a mine at Nymboida, New South Wales on 12 January 1976. 

Mr Ian Gordon CARTER 

Mr Neil William McLENNAN 

Mr Trevor John McLENNAN 

Mr John James TAPP, deceased 

At approximately 3:00pm on 12 January 1976, an explosion occurred at the Nymboida colliery, located about 40 kilometres west of Grafton. The explosion occurred about 370 metres along the tunnel when gas and coal dust ignited as the men were preparing to blast the coal face in readiness for digging the following day. Four badly injured miners managed to stagger themselves to near the mine entrance where they were met and assisted by their colleagues. Conscious that one miner had not emerged and, aware that a rescue team was hours away, several miners entered the burning mine to rescue their colleague, and found the young man deceased at the seam coalface. Two other miners also entered the mine and helped to carry the body outside. 

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

 

Awardees comprise of several crew members from the 35 Water Transport Squadron attached to the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition.

Kenneth Stanley BARRINGTON

Dudley Raymond CROWE

Timothy GAY

Gregory Dale KENNY

Alistair Andrew SCOTT  

On the night of 3 December 1987, several crew members from the 35 Water Transport Squadron rescued passengers and crew from the Nella Dan and transported them to Macquarie Island.

On the day of the incident, the 75 metre polar vessel, Nella Dan had been moored off Macquarie Island for resupply operations also using a fuel line. Strengthening winds and rough seas developed in the early evening, causing the vessel to drag her anchor. The ship’s hull ploughed in the rocky sea floor, opening up a hole in one of its fuel tanks. Within minutes of being alerted to the accident, members of the Squadron sailed three Light Amphibious Resupply Craft (LARC) into the huge seas to evacuate almost eighty Antarctic expeditioners and ship’s crew. Although not suited to the dangerous conditions, the LARCs were manoeuvred alongside the Nella Dan. Howling winds hampered the rescue as fuel from the ruptured ship sprayed up on to the decks of the vessel and over the evacuation ladders and personnel, creating slippery and hazardous conditions. The stricken ship could be heard screeching as metal pounded against rock. In treacherous conditions the rescuers transferred people by Jacob’s ladder and ropes to the LARCs which made one to two trips each back to shore. As a result of the skill and tenacity of the crew members, no one was seriously injured in the operation which was successfully completed in less than one hour.

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

 

Awardees comprise members of the Fingal Rovers Surf Life Saving Club who rescued several people from rough seas at the Tweed River Bar, Tweed Heads, New South Wales on 3 January 2004.

Mr Peter James BAIRD

Mr Byron Willard DOUGLAS

Mr Douglas John FORSYTH

On 3 January 2004, a charter dive vessel with twelve people attempted to negotiate the bar at Point Danger, Tweed Heads. In treacherous conditions and driving rain, the motor cut out and a wave swamped the vessel, throwing those on board into the water and out to sea. At the time, visibility was poor and the swell was two to three metres breaking the full width of the bar. One lifeguard paddled a rescue board to reach the vessel, getting several victims to hang onto the board and others to hold a rope. Two other lifeguards launched an inflatable boat to rescue others. Another pair of lifeguards launched a second boat however they were hindered from reaching the victims due to the debris from the swamped vessel however they managed to provide rescue tubes to those in the water. Both rescue boats operated in very dangerous sea conditions.

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

 

Awardees comprise members of the Birkenbeiners Nordic Ski Club and a member of the community. 

Mr Robert BOLAND 

Mr James Edward GARGAN 

Mr Paul GRUSOVIN 

Mr Gordon Foster GUEST-SMITH 

Mr Jarrod Marc PAINE 

Mr David Anthony PANOZZO 

In the early hours of 9 August 2004, five members of the Birkenbeiners Nordic Ski Club and a member of the community were involved in the rescue of three cross country skiers caught in difficulty at the summit of Mt Bogong. 

The six men in this group were volunteers tasked with the rescue mission. At approximately 12.30 am, carrying heavy loads of equipment for both their own and the three skiers’ survival, they began the 4 kilometre, thousand vertical metres climb to the top of Mt Bogong in darkness, in temperatures of minus 10 degrees, with winds gusting up to 80 kmph and a wind chill factor of between minus 20 and minus 40 degrees. The terrain was very steep and covered in deep snowdrifts with dangerous drop-offs on both sides of the route they took. They found the three skiers at about 4.15 am. All three were partially buried in the snow and suffering from hypothermia, with one unconscious. The rescue party worked from then until 6.00 am erecting tents; moving the unconscious skier to shelter; and administering first aid, warm drinks and food. When the weather cleared briefly at around 9.00 am, the rescued skiers were evacuated by helicopter and the rescue party descended the mountain, arriving back at their vehicles some 12 hours after setting out. 

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

 

Awardees comprise of men who who rescued two miners following an explosion in a mine at Beaconsfield, Tasmania on 25 April 2006. 

Mr Garth Douglas BONNEY 

Mr Royce George GILL 

Mr Heath GRAAUW 

Mr Donovan Kahl LIGHTFOOT 

Mr Dennis Robert NEWSON 

Mr Daniel John PISCIONERI 

The members of mining teams were involved in the rescue of two men trapped in a mine at Beaconsfield, Tasmania in April/May 2006. 

On the night of 25 April 2006, a substantial rock fall incident occurred underground at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine where seventeen miners were working. Three of the miners were unaccounted for and, several days later, the body of one of the missing miners was recovered. Within 24 hours, rescuers were able to make contact with the two remaining men who were trapped almost a kilometre below the surface. The first rescue attempt through a direct route to the men was declared unsafe. Drilling a smaller hole through 14.5 metres of rock and lining it with a PVC pipe, the rescuers were able to provide the trapped men with water, food and communications equipment. Drilling of a rescue tunnel began on the night of Thursday 4 May. Substantial work was completed on the Saturday morning, enabling rescue teams to painstakingly drill, bore and blast their way to the men. In the early hours of 9 May, the trapped miners were reached through rock below them which was broken through by rescuers. The men were driven up the spiral shaft to a waiting medical team. At 5:58am, both miners walked out of the lift cage unaided. 

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

 

Awardees comprise of members of the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services.

Mr Andrew Dean CLIFF

Mr Mark FINCHER

Mr Damian Keith FOLETTI

Mr Ronald Adrian MILLER AFSM

Mrs Elise Maree MOR

Mr Brian Vincent O’CONNELL

Mr Graham Hylton PEACOCK

Mr Craig Robert WILLIAMS

Mr Andrew Sam WILSON 

On the morning of 12 October 2007, crews from the Spotswood, Newport and

Footscray fire stations helped rescue a colleague trapped in a fierce fire at a furniture factory at Yarraville, Victoria. Fire fighters were informed that a small fire was underway at a furniture factory in Yarraville. Wearing protective equipment and breathing apparatus, the first investigating crew was not able to locate flames or a heat source. A second and third crew joined to assist the search and provide rescue backup respectively. The officers thoroughly scoured the building, and within moments of being ready to report their findings, a chemical reaction occurred as a result of the build up of spontaneous combustible substances. The resulting toxic explosion ignited a flash fire of such magnitude that it forced the officers to quickly retreat the scene. Fire raced through the building, immediately engulfing it and trapping one of the officers. Despite the inferno and the risk to their own lives, fire fighters from the three stations, some of whom had already sustained burns, returned to rescue their unconscious colleague who was not breathing. The victim was able to be carried to safety and revived while other fire fighters contained the fire at the site, protecting surrounding residential and business properties.

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

 

Awardees comprise five members of staff at St Laurence’s College, Brisbane, who on 28 July 2008, went to the asssitance of students who were being challenged by armed assailants on the grounds of the college. 

Mr Andrew Ross KENDALL 

Mr Christopher Jon OAKES 

Mr Anthony Damian SAMIOS 

Mr Michael Paul SHARKEY 

Mr Edward Allen WALLACE 

On the afternoon of 28 July 2008, teachers from the St Laurence’s College assisted students threatened by a group of armed youths in Brisbane, Queensland. 

During the lunch break, two groups of armed youths entered the St Laurence’s College school grounds. A group of four youths, armed with a meat cleaver and a metal pole approached students on the playground. As teachers verbally challenged the youths, one of the youths quickly pulled out the meat cleaver, swung it wildly and hit a student in the face. The students began to run away, however the attacker was able to stab another student in the back. Two teachers chased the attackers through the school and off the school grounds, while another teacher stayed to protect the students. A second group of armed youths who also made their way through the school grounds were challenged by two other teachers. The second group fled, with the teachers in pursuit. This enabled them to direct police to the youth’s location. 

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

 

Awardees comprise of four members of the Queensland Police Service who rescued a woman from the Storey Bridge in Fortitude Valley, Queensland on 5 November 2010.

Senior Constable Lee James GADD

Constable Andrew James HAWKINS

Senior Constable Paul Keith QUIN

Constable Adam Gary STAFFORD

On the night of 5 November 2010, police responded to a call about a female intending to jump off the Storey Bridge near Fortitude Valley. When police arrived at the scene, the woman had climbed onto the bridge superstructure, and was about eighty metres above ground level. Another woman was also on the girder holding on to the disturbed woman. As the disturbed woman inserted herself through the cross bracing of steel beams one of the police officers climbed onto the structure and grabbed her under the arms. She then dropped, forcing him to take hold of her full weight. He managed to maintain his grip on the woman as she yelled at him saying she wanted to die. Two of his colleagues quickly climbed onto the structure and removed the other woman on the girder to safety. The officers then assisted their colleague in holding the disturbed woman as she continued to struggle for approximately twenty minutes. When the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service arrived, they secured a harness and line onto the woman and brought her to safety. 

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