The Royal Humane Society of Australia

Press Releases

Annual Bravery Awards Presentation Qld May 2019



Ten residents of Queensland will be presented with bravery awards of The Royal Humane Society of Australasia:

on Friday 10 May 2019

Balmoral Room, Level 1

Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane

at 1.00pm

The awards, Two Silver Medals, Seven Bronze Medals and Two Certificates of Merit will be presented by The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Adrian Schrinner.

The awards recognize the following:

  • The apprehension of an armed assailant at Maroochydore
  • The rescue of a man from a partially submerged car in the Brisbane River at Hamilton, Brisbane
  • The rescue of two people from a vehicle which had been washed off a causeway at Kumerunga
  • The rescue of a woman from an armed assailant at Canungra
  • The rescue of a man from drowning at Happy Valley, Caloundra
  • The rescue of a man from drowning at Teewah Beach

Details of the rescues are attached.

Contact:                   Sue Cutler (Secretary)             (03) 9125 4408

                                    Or visit our Web Site:   

                                                                                    (see “Press Releases”)

Members of the media wishing to attend are requested to arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled commencement of the presentation.

The formal elements of the presentations are normally of about 40 minutes duration.

  • - 2 -

Media interviews and photographs (by mutual agreement with recipient) would take place after the presentation ceremony.

Note:               The Royal Humane Society of Australasia, formed in 1874,

                        is concerned with giving public recognition to acts of bravery

                        by making awards to those who risk their own lives to save

                        the lives of others.

                        Over 8,540 awards have been made in the Society’s 144 years’ history.




To receive the Bronze Medal:


To receive the Certificate of Merit:


in apprehending an armed assailant at Maroochydore, Qld on 30 June 2014.

At 4.15pm a male customer approached one of the cash registers in IGA to pay for some shopping.  When the service assistant, Ms Hopkinson-McGurk opened the register the man lent across and started to grab money out of the till whilst holding some scissors.

Ms Comerford who was on the next register saw the incident and grabbed hold of the man with her hands who threatened her by saying that he had a dirty syringe and he would infect her.  Ms Comerford screamed out for help.

The manager of the store Mr Cook ran to help and grabbed the male who bit Mr Cook and threatened him with the scissors.  They both then fell to the floor with Mr Cook underneath the assailant.  Mr Cook managed to roll the man off him and to get one of his hands behind his back. 

(Unfortunately Mr Cook could not attend the ceremony)

PATRICIA JOAN COMERFORD                                                Bronze Medal

SHANNAE MAREE HOPKINSON-McGURK               Certificate of Merit              

To receive the Certificate of Merit:


  1. 3. LINCOLN PATRICK SHERLOCK, of Springfield Lakes

in going to the rescue of a man from his partially submerged car in the Brisbane River at Hamilton on 15 July 2015.

At 6.30am Mr Sherlock observed a vehicle three cars in front of him hit a concrete barrier three times before it proceeded through some traffic lights and then down a rocky embankment into the Brisbane River and started to float away partly submerged. 

Mr Sherlock stopped his vehicle, dived into the water and swam out to assist the driver who was trapped in the driver’s seat convulsing.  The driver’s window was down about 12cms which allowed Mr Sherlock to reach into the car and press the button to lower the window further.

The driver was incoherent but did unbuckle his seatbelt.  Mr Sherlock removed him from the vehicle and swam with the man to a nearby boat which took the man to shore.

LINCOLN PATRICK SHERLOCK                                             Certificate of Merit

To receive the Bronze Medal:


  1. 4.  DARREN CRAIG TAYLOR, of Kanimbla

in going to the rescue of two elderly people from a vehicle which had been washed off a causeway at Kumerunga, Qld on 21 March 2014.       

At 10.50am an elderly couple attempted to drive through the flooded causeway on Lower Freshwater Road when their vehicle stalled.  The vehicle was slowly being pushed off the causeway due to the depth of the water which was approximately 80cm. 

Messrs Head and Taylor witnessed the incident, dialled 000 and entered the floodwaters with ropes to rescue the two elderly people.  They pulled the woman out of the back seat of the vehicle, wrapped a rope around her waist as a precaution due to the fast flowing water and carried her to safety.

They then went back into the floodwaters to rescue the elderly man who had attempted to get out of the vehicle and was pinned up against the side of it due to the rushing water.  Shortly after they returned the man to safety, the vehicle was pushed off the road completely due to the fast flowing water.

(Unfortuantely Mr Head could not attend the ceremony)

DARREN CRAIG TAYLOR                                             Bronze Medal

To receive the Bronze Medal:


in going to the rescue of a woman from being stabbed at Canungra on 29 January 2015.

At 10.05am Snr Const Tunks and Maloney heard a woman screaming in distress in the Canungra Hotel.  They immediately ran to the scene and saw a man armed with a knife straddling a woman.  The assailant appeared to be in the process of trying to stab the woman in the chest.

Snr Const Tunks & Maloney drew their firearms and requested that the assailant move away from the woman.  They continued to talk to the assailant who became distracted and released the woman.  Snr Const Tunk instructed the woman to move into the doorway behind them placing her out of harm’s way.

The assailant threw the knife towards Snr Consts Tunks and Maloney and both police officers then moved in to restrain the assailant who resisted violently.

NICOLE MAREE TUNKS                                                             Bronze Medal

ZACCHARY MITCHELL MALONEY                                       Bronze Medal

To receive the Bronze Medal:


in going to the rescue of two people from drowning at Elliott Heads Beach on 18 October 2016.

At about 1.00pm Const Gray who was off-duty noticed two people swimming in the mouth of the Elliott River.  The sea conditions were choppy and the outgoing tide was moving quickly and Const Gray noticed that the swimmers were being dragged out to sea and in need of assistance.  Snr Const Gray entered the water and swam out to the two people about 300m from the mouth of the river.

Shortly afterwards the on-call life guard, Mr Ericson arrived and commenced swimming out to the two distressed people who were now about 750m from the river mouth.  By this stage the male swimmer was in dire need of medical attention and appeared to be unconscious.

Once Const Gray and Mr Ericson had reached the distressed swimmers they linked arms and started swimming back to land.  They were met by a lifeguard 300m from shore with a flotation device.  The device was placed around the man and they all finally returned to shore safely.  The man made a complete recovery.

MICHAEL JOHN GRAY                                                   Bronze Medal

FLETCHER WILLIAM ERICSON                                  Bronze Medal

To receive the Silver Medal:



in going to the rescue of a suicidal man from drowning at Happy Valley, Caloundra on 1 November 2015.

At 9.00pm a man was observed struggling in the water at Happy Valley some distance from the shore.  Weather conditions at the time were described as:

Mr MacFarlane, a volunteer life-saver, swam out into the dark with only torch light to help him locate the suicidal man.

Mr MacFarlane reached the man who was face down in the water.  He turned the man over so his face was out of the water and cradled his head in between his elbow and upper torso to stop the man from trying to drown himself.  Mr MacFarlane continued to tread water while the man kept trying to turn back over again and put his head under the water.

Det Snr Const Fairgrieve and Sgt Bauer then arrived at the scene and both officers swam about 150m to assist Mr MacFarlane.  The officers were unable to see or hear either the man or Mr MacFarlane in the dark, but kept swimming and continued to yell out to try and establish their location.

When they finally reached them Mr MacFarlane was attempting to restrain the man while he struggled violently and yelled that he just wanted to be left to die.

With the assistance of Sgt Bauer and Det Snr Const Fairgrieve the man was restrained and forcibly taken back to shore by the three rescuers.

(Unfortunately Mr MacFarlane could not attend the ceremony)

ANDREW JOHN BAUER                                                  Silver Medal

STEWART JOHN FAIRGRIEVE                                                Silver Medal

To receive the Bronze Medal and;

2018 Rupert Wilks Trophy for the most outstanding act of bravery by a child of 12 years or under:

  1. 11. JAYKE MENEFY, of Mermaid Beach


in going to the rescue of a man from drowning at Teewah Beach, Qld on 16 April 2017.

At 2.30pm Jayke’s family were travelling back in the family 4WD from Double Island Point along Teewah Beach when Jayke’s father noticed a group of distressed adults and children at the water’s edge.

A man was caught in a rip and struggling in the conditions and was bobbing up and down between heavy sets of waves.  The conditions at the time were described as approx 1.5m surf, a very strong rip and poor water visibility.  The open stretch of beach was unpatrolled. 

Jayke took a surfboard into the water and paddled to the man.  He told him to reach over and grab onto the rail of the board to help keep himself afloat.

Jayke tried to paddle parallel to the beach to get out of the rip but was not able to catch a wave in as the man weighed over 100kg and Jayke only weighed 42kg at the time.  Jayke told the man to stay holding onto the board and to remain calm.

Two men on boogie boards with flippers came to their assistance and they took the exhausted man from Jayke and brought him to shore.

Jayke paddled the boogie board to shore.  At the time he had not completed a formal course on surf rescue.

JAYKE MENEFY                                                               Bronze Medal

                                                                                                2018 Rupert Wilks Trophy