In 2020-21, staff and volunteers from across ESA received formal acknowledgement of their contribution and service to the community through a range of honours, awards and recognition events.
Ambulance Service Medal (ASM)
Mr Joel Powell from ACTAS was recognised with the ASM as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours 2021. Mr Powell commenced with the ACT Ambulance Services in March 2008 after initially undertaking his ambulance training with the Queensland Ambulance Service. During this time Mr Powell has shown dedication and leadership to ACTAS and his colleagues through his role as a Duty Officer, Peer Support Officer, and a training facilitator.
Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM)
Mr Gary Hooker from the ACTRFS was recognised with the ASM as part of the Australia Day honours 2021. Mr Hooker was recognised for his role as a volunteer with the ACTRFS since 2002. He has constantly shown a willingness to assist his brigade and the community, taking on roles he could see were of benefit to the members and the service. Gary’s leadership has made him a trusted role model within the service. His leadership, commitment, and desire to improve the service has not gone unnoticed within his brigade and the ACTRFS more broadly. Mr Hooker not only has a passion for assisting the community through volunteering as a firefighter, but he also adapts his passion for photography to document the work undertaken by volunteers. Mr Hooker’s work goes above and beyond in acknowledging volunteers and creating a permanent record recognising the sacrifice of the volunteers themselves, their families, employers, and the commitment to the community.
Station Officer Noel McLaren from ACTF&R was recognised with the AFSM as part of the Australia Day Honours 2021. Mr McLaren joined the then ACT Fire Brigade on 19 April 1990. He has diligently served the ACT community through his work with ACTF&R for 30 years, achieving the rank of Station Officer. He was instrumental in the development of the Firefighter and Senior Firefighter Development Programs and career pathways that led to the attainment of nationally recognised training qualifications for ACTF&R firefighters.
Superintendent Paul Flynn from ACTF&R was recognised with the AFSM as part of the Queen’s Birthday honours 2021. Mr Flynn commenced with the then ACT Fire Brigade on 31 October 1997 as a recruit in College 23. During Mr Flynn’s 23 years of service, he has worked across a range of operational and portfolio areas in ACTF&R and has consistently displayed diligence and dedication in the safety, education, mentoring and training of firefighters.
Emergency Services Medal (ESM)
Mr James Montgomery from the ACTSES was recognised with the ESM as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021. Mr Montgomery has demonstrated an outstanding level of commitment and made an invaluable contribution to the community as an active volunteer with the ACTSES for more than 23 years. During this period of distinguished service Mr Montgomery has directly contributed to the ongoing development of the ACTSES into the highly regarded organisation it is today.
At a virtual ceremony held on Monday 23 November 2020, 29 members from across ACTAS, ACTF&R, ACTRFS and ACTSES were recognised with the National Medal for 15 years of service. Seven members were recognised with the first clasp to the National Medal for 25 years of service, and the following members were recognised with a second clasp for an incredible 35 years of service to the community: Stuart Barnetson, ACTAS; John Kileen, ACTAS; Howard Wren, ACTAS; Richard Koch, ACTRFS; Graham Simpson, ACTRFS.
Mr David Tunbridge, ACTRFS, was awarded with a third clasp to the National Medal for an outstanding 45 years of service to the community.
Senior Firefighter David Balfour’s commitment to firefighting was honoured the awarding of the National Medal to the Balfour family. Dave Balfour was killed in the line of duty assisting the citizens of Victoria during the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. This was the first time that the National Medal has been awarded posthumously. We thank the Balfour family for accepting this award and allowing the firefighting community to honour David’s legacy.
Community Protection Medal - 2020
The Community Protection medal is awarded to a person who has given sustained distinguished or outstanding service to the ACT Community. Due to the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the declared Public Health Emergency, the Ceremony for the 2020 Community Protection Medal was postponed from March 2020 until September 2020. At a virtual ceremony held on 04 September 2020, the following recipients from ESA were recognised with the medal.
- Mr John Berry, ACTAS was awarded the ACT Community Protection Medal for outstanding service in supporting the safety of the ACT community and his emergency services colleagues through leadership in the development and implementation of an improved model of medical support to ACT bushfire strike teams during the 201920 bushfire season.
- Mr Patrick Jones, ACTF&R was awarded the ACT Community Protection Medal for outstanding service to the ACT community throughout his career with ACTF&R and for his leadership in planning and multi-jurisdictional urban interface operations in support of the effort to combat the major bushfires in and around the ACT in 2019-20.
- Mr Simon Butt, ACTRFS was awarded the ACT Community Protection Medal for sustained, distinguished, and outstanding service to the ACT community as a volunteer and career firefighter and for his leadership as an advocate of firefighter welfare, education and peer development.
- Mr Michael Hayes, ACTSES was awarded the ACT Community Protection Medal for sustained and distinguished service to the ACT community through the ACT State Emergency Service and for his continued leadership and support to his fellow volunteers as a unit leader and mentor.
- Ms Kaylee Rutland, ESA was awarded the ACT Community Protection Medal for her outstanding commitment to ensuring the ACT community remain informed and safe, through the development and implementation of inclusive emergency public information and communication strategies.
Following the unprecedented conditions faced during the 2019-20 bushfire season, special Community Protection Plaques were awarded to recognise individuals or groups from the ACTESA, and ACT Parks and Conservation Service who demonstrated sustained and distinguished service to the ACT Community during this period. The Community protection plaques were awarded to:
- ACTAS: Susith Adikari; Jon Wood; Simon Gallagher
- ACTRFS: Guises Creek Brigade; Gungahlin Brigade; Hall Brigade; Jerrabomberra Brigade; Molonglo Brigade; Rivers Brigade; Southern Brigade; Tidbinbilla Brigade; ACTRFS HQ; ACT Parks and Conservation Service.
- ACTSES: Nicholas Rand; Laura Gow; Sharon Nelson; Alex Mason; Mark Rattigan; Russell Manning; Nathan Henderson-Smith
- ESA ENABLING: Steve Forbes; Ann-Marie Burgoyne; Mark Harriott; ESA People, Culture and Training Branch.
Community Protection Medal - 2021
At a ceremony held on Monday 07 June 2021 at the National Arboretum Canberra, five members from ESA and Operational Services received the 2021 Community Protection Medal.
- Mr Erik Sandin, ESA – in recognition of his dedication, commitment, and excellence in developing and enhancing ESA’s spatial service capabilities and outstanding personal commitment to the professional development of volunteers.
- Mr Nicholas Rand, ACTSES - In recognition of his dedication, commitment, and excellence in developing systems to enhance logistic functions within the ESA, and your outstanding personal dedication to ensuring SES units are ready and operational to support the ACT community.
- Mr Colin O’Rourke, ACTF&R - in recognition of his outstanding professional service within ACTF&R and for leading the development and delivery of online fire safety educational programs for the community.
- Mr Anthony Cross, ACTRFS - In recognition of his extraordinary commitment to the Southern ACT Brigade, including leading the care and maintenance of resources and equipment to ensure crews are well equipped and ready to respond to fire emergencies.
- Mr Neil Glasgow, ACTAS - In recognition of his outstanding professional service, excellence, dedication, and leadership in the development of medical support capabilities to support future firefighting operations.
ACT Emergency Services Agency Long Service Award
At a virtual ceremony held on Monday 23 November 2020, Kaylee Rutland, and Nerida Wilson from ACTESA and ESA MAPS were recognised with a Long Service Medal for 10 years of service. Mr Rick McRae was recognised with his 2nd clasp to the Medal for an outstanding 35 years of service to the ACTESA and the ACT Community.
ACT Ambulance Service awards
Operations Support team members Mr Rob Trevillion, Mr Paul Woods and Mr Rahimat Ali received a Chief Officer’s Commendation in recognition and appreciation of their exceptional support to the bushfire response and the COVID-19 response throughout 2020.
ACT Fire and Rescue awards
Senior Firefighters Mr John Whitmore and Mr Dan Orwin were recognised with a Chief Officers Commendation for their exemplary efforts to support a vulnerable member of the community whilst undertaking their duties as a Communications Centre operator.
ACT Rural Fire Service awards
At a virtual ceremony held on 16 December 2020, 44 members from the ACTRFS were recognised for a verity of achievements. 21 members were recognised for five years of service, and 10 year service medals were awarded to Mr Christopher Bowyer, Mr Joshua Clancy, Mr Andrew Cochrane, Mr Julian Davies, Mr Simon Demajo, Mr Anthony Hart, Ms Megan Henry, Mr Timothy Hesletine, Ms Tanesha Lenson, Mr Brendan Mace, Mr Eamon Parker, Mr Douglas Paul and Ms Cassandra Voght. A first clasp to the medal for 20 years’ service was awarded to Mr Simon Butt, Mr Terrence Dwyer, Mr Christopher Leonard, Mr William Refshauge and Mr Travis Sullivan.
The Chief Officer’s Commendation for diligent service was awarded to Mr David Anderson, Mr Michael Blaseotto, Mr Evaane Chadwick, Mr Sean Lang, and Mr David Pennock for their ongoing dedication and commitment to their brigade and the service.
The Chief Officer also awarded Unit Citations for Exemplary Service to all eight of the ACTRFS Brigades as well as the Nerriga Strike Team for their dedication and commitment throughout the 2019-20 bushfire season.
ACT State Emergency Service awards
At a virtual ceremony held on 17 December 2020, 44 members from the ACTSES were recognised for a variety of achievements. 20 members were recognised for five years of service, and 10 year service medals were awarded to Ms Ann-Marie Burgoyne, Mr Joel Cowey, Mrs Gillian Nolen, Mr Philip Nolen, Mr Mark Richards, Ms Petra Tindall-Mathers and Mr Damian Wrigley. A first clasp to the medal for 20 years’ service was awarded to Mr Paul Cortese, Mr John Dowling, Mr Adrian Manning, Mr Gordon McAlpine and Ms Victoria Munslow.
The Chief Officer awarded a certificate of Appreciation to Mr Robert Bibo for his commitment and dedication to the service in a short period of membership. The Chief Officer’s Commendation for Diligent Service was awarded to Ms Ruth Foxwell, Mr Stephen Horsburgh, Ms Rebekah Milne, Ms Chantelle Watson and Ms Shelly Walsh for their ongoing dedication and commitment to their Unit and the Service. The Chief Officer’s Commendation for Meritorious Service was awarded to Mrs Frances Bruce, Mr Gye Draney, Mr Richard Maddever, Mr Gabriel Nelson and Mr Ty Walker in recognition for their outstanding actions in relation to service duties, leadership, and exemplary performance during COVID-19 support tasks.
The Chief Officer’s Unit Commendation for Meritorious Service was awarded to the Pialligo SES Unit for their ongoing dedication and support during the 2019-20 bushfire season, and throughout the ACT COVID-19 response.
Mr Torben Smith, was awarded the Youth Achievement Award for his consistent diligence and commitment to the ACTSES, including the delivery of youth engagement programs, operational support, and community engagement activities.
Ms Madelene Gardener was awarded the Tony Graham Leadership and Values Award for her commitment and dedication to the betterment of the Belconnen SES Unit. Madelene was recognised for her tireless efforts to lead the largest Volunteer Unit in the ACTSES.
Rotary Emergency Service Community Awards
Mr Susith Adikari, an Intensive Care Paramedic with ACTAS was awarded the 2020 Rotary ACT Emergency Service Officer of the Year in a Paid capacity for his dedicated 13 years to ACTAS. Throughout this time, he has supported both domestic and internal causes, most notably the British Columbia bushfires in 2017 and the Canberra bushfires in 2020.
Mr Ian Morey, a volunteer firefighter with the Rivers RFS Brigade was awarded the 2020 Rotary ACT Emergency Service Officer of the year in a volunteer capacity for his dedication over 20 years with the ACTRFS. Ian played a vital role in containment of the 2020 Canberra bushfires as a brigade’s equipment officer.
Volunteering ACT Awards
At a virtual ceremony held on Tuesday 08 September 2020, The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACTSES and ACTRFS) was recognised with the Volunteer Team of the Year Award in the Volunteering ACT 2020 Award Ceremony. The award recognised the volunteers from across the agency who had gone beyond their normal duties and spent a significant amount of time away from their families, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our community during the unrelenting year with fires, storms, and COVID-19.