The Royal Humane Society of Australia

Press Releases




Wednesday 29 July 2015
at City Hall, Brisbane
at 3.00pm

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

on Wednesday 29 July 2015
at City Hall, Brisbane
at 3.00pm

The awards, one Posthumous Medal, two Silver Medals, eleven Bronze Medals and four Certificates of Merit will be presented by The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Graham Quirk.

The Society awards – 1 Posthumous Medal, 2 Silver Medals, 9 Bronze Medals and 11 Certificates of Merit - will be presented by The Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC, Governor of Victoria.

The awards recognize the following:

  • The rescue of hostages at Upper Mount Gravatt
  • The rescue of a man from his crashed and burning tanker truck at Sippy Downs
  • The rescue of woman from drowning in the Nicolson River at Doomadgee
  • The rescue of a man from his house engulfed in smoke at Cloncurry
  • The rescue of four children from drowning at Sandy Creek, Yeppoon
  • The rescue of a man from his car trapped in floodwaters at Glenwood
  • The rescue of four people from rising floodwaters at Gin Gin Creek
  • The rescue of a man from a crashed prime mover at Bald Hills
  • The rescue of passengers on a train from an assailant with a knife at Kuraby
  • The apprehension of two armed offenders who had assaulted a man and threatened his family at Killarney
  • The rescue of a man from drowning in the Marlborough Creek at Marlborough

Details of the rescues are attached.

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.

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 8,345 awards have been made in the Society’s 140 years’ history.



CITY HALL – 29 JULY 2015

To receive the Bronze Medal


To receive the Certificate of Merit


in going to the restraint of a man armed with a gun during a hostage situation at Upper Mt Gravatt on 12 June 2012.

At 9.30am an offender entered a house and detained four occupants, Mr Vihar Dani, his wife, Mr Mandeep Nagra and another man.

The police had been notified and Const Lewis forced entry to the front door, enabling other officers to enter the house. He forced open the bedroom and saw the offender holding a shortened firearm to the head of Mr Nagra and Const Lewis and the other police withdrew from the house.

A short time later the offender emerged from the house with Messrs Dani, Nagra and another man and started walking up the street. The offender made the men hold up blankets on either side of him for protection against the police. One of the men was able to break away and ran to the safety of the police.

The offender continued to walk up the street with the other two hostages, Messrs Dani and Nagra. The offender pointed the firearm at the head of both men at different times and waived the gun around at the surrounding cordon, while Messrs Dani and Nagra held a blanket at the offender’s back.

During this time, Const Lewis broke cover several times to protect members of the public.

The offender reached a residence where he attempted to enter by using his firearm to break a window. This caused the magazine from the gun to fall out and Messrs Dani and Nagra turned on the offender and with assistance from police the offender was disarmed and taken into custody.

(Unfortunately Mr Dani was unable to attend the investiture)

To receive the Bronze Medal


To receive the Certificate of Merit


in going to the rescue of a man from his crashed and burning tanker truck towing two trailers at Sippy Downs, Qld on 29 August 2011.

At 5.30am a tanker towing two trailers swerved, crashed into a culvert and burst into flames.

Messrs Skewes and Holmes immediately stopped their car to help the driver. Mr Skewes ran to the tanker and pulled the driver out of the cabin by his hips.

Mr Holmes helped Mr Skewes to drag the man to the top of the culvert and about 20m to safety. Both men then applied first aid until the ambulance arrived.

To receive the Silver Medal


in going to the rescue of a woman from committing suicide in the Nicolson River at Doomadgee, Qld on 22 April 2013.

At 4.45pm Acting Snr Const Singh observed a woman jump into the river and swim about 10m to a half submerged tree. Acting Snr Const Singh asked the woman to get out of the water as there was a salt water crocodile nearby but she refused.

Snr Const Singh entered the deep and murky water and swam to the woman. Acting Snr Const Singh climbed the tree that the woman was in whilst she attempted to shake him out of the tree and into the water. Finally, after two hours of negotiating Acting Snr Const Singh finally brought the woman to the safety of the river bank.

To receive the Certificate of Merit


in going to the rescue of a man from a house engulfed in smoke at Cloncurry on 23 March 2013.

At 9.30pm former Const Seneviratne and Consts Collis and Bishop were called to a house fire at Conclurry.

Former Const Seneviratne entered the house through a window but his initial search was unsuccessful. However the police officers were then advised that the male occupant of the house was unaccounted for and therefore most likely still in the house.

All three constables entered the house which was heavily engulfed in smoke on their hands and knees and located a man in a bedroom of the house. They forcibly carried and dragged the man along the floor through extremely heavy smoke and out of the house.

Former Const Seneviratne was severely affected by smoke inhalation.

(Unfortunately Constable Bishop and Constable Collis were unable to attend the ceremony)

To receive the Posthumous Medal

7. CAROL ELIZABETH SPENCER (to be presented on her behalf to her husband Mr Lenny Spencer)

To receive the Posthumous Medal




in going to the rescue of four children from drowning at Sandy Point Creek, Yeppoon, Qld on 13 April 2012.

Five families consisting of 6 adults and 12 children were at the mouth of the Sandy Point Creek when 4 of the children were swept out to sea. Ms Ryan called out to the other adults to help and she entered the water and took hold of 2 children and told another one to hang onto her.

Ms Spencer came to the aid of Ms Ryan and attempted to swim to shore with one of the children but became caught in a strong rip and became submerged under the water while the child continued to hold onto her.

Mr Higginson and Ms Smith arrived to help and Mr Higginson swam out and grabbed two children and managed to swim with them back to shore exhausted.

Ms Smith went to assist Ms Ryan who was struggling to stay afloat and still holding onto one child. Ms Smith took hold of the child but struggled in the strong rip.

Mr Higginson saw four men namely Messrs Sainsbury, Danes, Gunston and Hagarty driving past the beach and flagged them down to come and help.

These four men all entered the water and helped to bring everyone still trapped in the rip to the shore.

Mr Higginson performed CPR on Ms Spencer until emergency services arrived but sadly she could not be resuscitated.

(Unfortunately Mr Alex Sainsbury, Mr Matthew Danes, Mr Jake Gunston and Mr Shane Hagarty could not attend the ceremony)

To receive the Silver Medal


in going to the rescue of a man trapped in his car in floodwaters at Glenwood, Qld on 5 March 2012.

At 7.00am Mr Davis witnessed a Toyota Hilux drive into the floodway at Gutchy Creek and the force of the water caused the vehicle to slip off the road and into the creek.

Mr Davis immediately left the scene to get an extension cable and returned to the floodway. The Toyota Hilux was completely submerged in the water which was about 2.5 – 3m deep. Mr Davis tied one end of the extension cable to a guide post and the other end to himself before swimming out to the vehicle. The extension cord was not long enough to enable Mr Davis to reach the stranded vehicle, so Mr Davis untied himself and with the flow of the water reached the vehicle.

Mr Davis forced the driver’s side door open and pulled the driver (who was now fully submerged), out of the car. The driver tried to grab hold of Mr Davis and took a couple of breaths as soon as his head was above water and then stopped moving altogether. Mr Davis cleared his airway and tried to commence CPR but the flow of water was very fast and the man kept moving away from him.

Mr Davis was standing at the time on the fork of a tree that was submerged. Three people on the side of the floodway threw a rope to him and he tied the drowned man to the tree with his chest and head out of the water.

A person on the floodway tied a snatch strap to the extension lead and threw it out to Mr Davis who grabbed hold of it and was pulled to safety.

To receive the Certificate of Merit


in going to the rescue of four people trapped by rising flood waters at Gin Gin Creek on 26 January 2013.

The Gin Gin area was badly affected by flooding rains and tornadoes which caused flash flooding to the creeks in the vicinity. The area received 1000mm in rainfall as a result of this event and some of the flood waters reached unprecedented levels of 9.5m.

At 9.50pm Snr Consts Lukan and Rofe whilst on patrol noted 5 people who had been camping at the Gin Gin rest area were trapped by the rapid rising flood waters from the Gin Gin Creek and were in immediate danger of being swept away. The vehicles belonging to these people had already been washed away.

In darkness both officers walked into the rapid flowing water and made attempts to reach the trapped people but the level and speed of the water prevented them being able to reach them. One of the people then managed to reach higher ground but the other four remained on the flooded highway in danger.

Snr Const Rofe located a truck in the area and urged the driver to assist and the driver together with Snr Consts Rofe and Lukan went to the location of the trapped people in the fast flowing water.

They managed to rescue all four people by dragging them onto the rear of the truck and subsequently into the cabin area. The truck stalled and although all those in the cabin were safe for the time being, the flood waters were rising.

Another heavy truck then entered the floodwaters and the driver was able to tow the stalled truck to safety.

(Unfortunately Constable David Rofe was unable to attend the ceremony)

To receive the Bronze Medal


in going to the rescue of a man trapped in a crashed prime mover at Bald Hills, Qld on 9 September 2013.

At 8pm the driver of a prime mover and trailer lost control and the truck crashed through an overpass, overturned and came to rest on a gravel road below. The driver was able to remove himself from the wreckage but the male passenger was trapped in the vehicle. Diesel fuel spilled from the fuel tanks, the area was in complete darkness and it was not known if the crashed truck was stable.

Mr Hicks and Ms Lye observed the crash and they went to help. Mr Hicks heard a man calling for help from the truck and he entered the wreckage and saw that the man’s legs were trapped under the dashboard.

Mr Staines who also witnessed the crash arrived at the scene to help lift the dashboard off the injured man’s legs. Both Messrs Hicks and Staines noticed that the man’s left leg had been amputated from the knee downwards and Mr Hicks took off his long sleeved shirt and used it as a tourniquet in an effort to stop the bleeding.

Ms Lye then crawled inside the wreckage and held the injured man’s head and continued to reassure him.

A short time later the police arrived and provided Mr Hicks with a blue rope to use as a tourniquet which he held tight to try and stop the bleeding until ambulance officers arrived to remove the man from the wreckage.

(Unfortunately Mr Hicks and Ms Lye were unable to attend the ceremony)

To receive the Bronze Medal


in going to the rescue of the passengers of a train from an assailant with a knife at Kuraby, Qld on 14 September 2008.

At 12.50am Snr Sgt Pearson was off duty and travelling on a train when he noticed an intoxicated man talking loudly and aggressively and attempting to engage a number of other people in a fight.

Shortly before the train arrived at Kuraby Station, Snr Sgt Pearson saw the man lift up his t-shirt to reveal the handle of a kitchen knife tucked into his jeans. The knife was approximately 15cms in length and described as a steak knife.

Snr Sgt Pearson moved towards the assailant and when he got within a metre of him the assailant took the knife out of his jeans with his right hand and held it up towards one of the passengers. Snr Sgt Pearson immediately took hold of the assailant’s right hand with his right hand and the assailant’s right forearm with left hand.

After a struggle Snr Sgt Pearson was able to pull the knife from the assailant’s grip and handed it to Mr Morseray who as a train guard had been alerted to the situation and had come to assist Snr Sgt Pearson in an attempt to release the knife from the assailant’s grip.

Snr Sgt Pearson stayed with the assailant and attempted to settle him down until police arrived.

(Unfotunately Mr Morseray was unable to attend the ceremony)

To receive the Bronze Medal




in going to the apprehension of two armed offenders who had assaulted a man and threatened to kill his family at Killarney, Qld on 27 July 2012.

At 8.20pm several officers from the Ipswich District responded to a call relating to the sighting of a male and a female offender in a stolen car.

At Killarney the male offender drove through a steel gate and into neighbouring paddocks with Snr Sgt Wendt in one car and Snr Consts Bridger and Coates in another in pursuit.

The offender’s vehicle then lost control on the grass surface which resulted in him doing a U-turn so that the stolen car was facing both pursuing police cars.

Snr Sgt Wendt and Snr Consts Bridger and Coates approached and surrounded the vehicle from different angles. The male offender then produced a sawn off rifle and fired in the direction of Snr Const Bridger at close range. Snr Const Bridger fell and believing he had been shot, Snr Const Coates fired at the offender, injuring him. The female offender then surrendered and the officers, including Snr Const Bridger who had dislocated his wrist during the fall, restrained both offenders.

To receive the Bronze Medal

18. PETER JOHN KROGH (Mr Krogh’s daughter, Ms Meghan Krogh will accept the award on Mr Krogh’s behalf)

in going to the rescue of a man from drowning in the Marlborough Creek, Marlborough, Qld on 2 March 2011.

At 6.00pm Mr Krogh and another man were returning from work when they arrived at the Marlborough Creek. The other man waded out 3m into the water to check the level and lost his footing and slipped into the water. He was immediately dragged into the mouth of a pipe under the culvert and was held against it by the force of the water. Mr Krogh grabbed the man and held him to prevent him being dragged further under the water and into the pipe.

A short time later Messrs Fox, Dunn and Charleston arrived and all jumped into the water and helped to hold the trapped man up so he could breathe. The floodwaters at the time were about 10cms above the causeway.

Mr Dunn left the water and found some garden hose which was placed in the drowning man’s mouth to help him breathe as his head was going under the water as the floodwaters continued to rise.

After about 25 minutes the man was starting to turn blue and his body became limp and it was decided to let him go, hoping that the current would dislodge him from the pipe and take him through to the other side.

The man was pushed straight through the pipe by the current and was lodged against a log sticking out of the water. Messrs Krogh, Fox, Dunn and Charleston immediately went to his aid and dragged him out of the water.

(Unfortunately Messrs Dunn Fox and Charleston were unable to attend the ceremony)