The Royal Humane Society of Australia

Press Releases

Annual Bravery Awards Presentation - 24 November 2022


Five people of Victoria will be presented with bravery awards of The Royal Humane Society of Australasia.

on Thursday 24 November 2022
at 10.00am
at Government House, Melbourne

The Society awards – 1 Silver Medal, 2 Bronze Medals, and 2 Certificates of Merit – will be presented by Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria.

Awards recognized rescues from:

  • the sea
  • a crashed and burning car

To Receive the Certificate of Merit:

1. BERTRAND VAISSIERE, Aged 46 years, of Heidelberg Heights, Vic

In going to the rescue of two men from drowning at Squeaky Beach, Vic on 18 November 2020.

Two men entered the water and were hit by a large wave that knocked them off their feet and due to the slight undertow they were carried further out to sea where they could not stand up.

Mr Vaissiere observed this from the beach and could see the two men struggling to stay afloat. Mr Vaissiere entered the water and rescued one of the men and brought him to shore.

Mr Vaissiere then re-entered the water and swam past the breakers and located the other man who was by now unconscious. Under extremely difficult conditions, Mr Vaissiere also managed to bring him to shore.

To Receive the Silver Medal:

2. NATASHA COLLISON, Police Officer

To Receive the Bronze Medal:

3. ELI W DAVIES, Driver, aged 35 years, of Hazelwood South, Vic

4. SCOTT MCDONALD, Balustrading manufacturer, aged 57 years, of Newhaven, Vic

To Receive the Bronze Medal:

5. RYAN BATEMAN, Police Officer

In going to the rescue of two people from a crashed and burning car at Newhaven, Vic on 23 January 2022.

At 4.40am a driver lost control of their vehicle after failing to negotiate a roundabout. The vehicle was observed by SC Collison and F/C Bateman travelling at speed approaching the roundabout. After losing sight of the vehicle a loud bang was heard. SC Collison and F/C Bateman made their way towards the intersection locating the vehicle wedged in a tree, partially on its side and smoke billowing from under the bonnet.

SC Collison determined that the occupants of the car were in immediate danger and mounted the driver’s side of the vehicle in order to assess the injuries and status of the occupants. SC Collison managed to open the door and identified two occupants both unconscious. She noticed that the car had caught fire and observed flames starting to enter the driver’s side foot well.

Mr Davies and Mr McDonald arrived on the scene and rendered assistance to SC Collison. SC Collison was unable to extricate the driver as the seat belt was still secured. SC Collison dropped down inside the vehicle and released the driver’s seat belt. Mr McDonald held the door open and Mr Davies assisted to remove the driver from the vehicle. F/C Bateman and Mr McDonald moved the driver to a safe distance from the vehicle.

SC Collison then moved to the passenger side of the vehicle and attempted to open the door. The position of the unconscious passenger made it difficult to open the door so Mr Davies stepped in and forced it open. At this point the flames were now spreading up from the bonnet, over the windscreen and spreading further inside the passenger area. SC Collison again entered the burning vehicle and released the passenger’s seat belt.

The passenger was then dragged from the vehicle by SC Collison and Messrs Davies and McDonald.