The Royal Humane Society of Australia

Press Releases

Annual Bravery Awards Presentation - 5 May 2022

THE ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY OF AUSTRALASIA
ANNUAL BRAVERY AWARDS PRESENTATION

Twenty-Five people of Victoria were presented with bravery awards of The Royal Humane Society of Australasia.

on Thursday 5 May 2022
at 10.00am
at Government House, Melbourne

The Society awards – 5 Silver Medals, 11 Bronze Medals, and 9 Certificates of Merit - were presented by Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria.

Awards recognized rescues from:

  • armed assailants
  • a pedestrian in busy traffic
  • the sea
  • burning homes
  • a maddened cow

Details of the rescues are attached.

Contact:
Sue Cutler (Secretary & Office Manager) 0400 441 467

To Receive the Bronze Medal:

1. DAVINA DERRICK

2. STEPHANIE GIANNINI

In going to the rescue of a woman who was walking into fast moving at Glen Waverley on 6 August 2019.

A woman walked into fast moving traffic along Springvale Road which has three lanes travelling in each direction.

Ms Derrick noticed the woman walk into the middle of the heavy traffic. Ms Derrick walked onto the busy road and began pulling the woman out of the way of oncoming traffic towards the median strip.

Ms Giannini stopped her car and moved across the road to assist Ms Derrick pull the woman out of the traffic.

The woman resisted and tried to pull away and Ms Derrick and Ms Giannini struggled to drag the woman to safety whilst dodging fast moving vehicles that were swerving around them until they were finally able to get the woman onto the median strip and safety.

DAVINA DERRICK BRONZE MEDAL
STEPHANIE GIANNINI BRONZE MEDAL

To Receive the Silver Medal:

3. PAT STREEFKERK

To Receive the Bronze Medal:

4. MARIE COOK

In going to the rescue of a girl from a maddened cow at Freshwater Creek on 17 May 2020.

Whilst Mrs Cook and her granddaughter were bringing in a herd of cows three calves were separated from their mothers. One of the cows attempted to get back to its calf and charged Mrs Cook’s granddaughter and knocked her to the ground.

Mrs Cook attempted to intervene but the cow also knocked her to the ground, causing her significant injuries. A number of other cows then also crowded around Mrs Cook and her granddaughter and started pawing at them.

A neighbour, Mrs Streefkerk heard yelling and screaming and went to help. She located a longhandled shovel and used it to move the cows away from Mrs Cook and her granddaughter. The cows then turned on Mrs Streefkerk who used the shovel to strike at the cows to keep them from trampling Mrs Cook and her granddaughter.

Mrs Cook’s husband also heard the screaming and drove his farm utility into the paddock and used the front of his vehicle as a battering ram to move the particularly maddened cow away.

Mrs Streefkerk then picked up the girl and placed her in the cabin of the utility and then went to Mrs Cook’s aid and also lifted her into the utility while being attacked by the maddened cow.

PAT STREEFKERK SILVER MEDAL
MARIE COOK BRONZE MEDAL

To Receive the Silver Medal:

5. RAYMOND JAMES MORELAND

6. ANDREW PETER TRACE

In going to the rescue of two elderly people from their burning home at Buchan on 30 December 2019.

L/SC Moreland and L/SC Trace were monitoring fire activity in the area when at 8.00pm the fire started to impact heavily on a road where an elderly couple lived.

They saw the elderly man standing under the car port and L/SC Moreland went towards the house but was impacted by heavy smoke and fire which took his breath away. L/SC Trace managed to reach the man and led him back to L/SC Moreland. L/SC Trace then entered the house via the front door to look for the elderly woman. The power was off in the area and they were in the house in the dark. The heat was intense and there was smoke bellowing around.

After three attempts, LS/C Trace came out of the house with the woman.

RAYMOND JAMES MORELAND SILVER MEDAL
ANDREW PETER TRACE SILVER MEDAL

To Receive the Certificate of Merit:

7. MAXWELL SIDNEY LAZARUS

In going to the rescue of a man from drowning at Thirteenth Beach, Barwon Heads on 6 February 2017.

At 11.30am a man got into difficulties whilst swimming and was pulled out to sea.

Mr Lazarus saw the man struggling in the surf and grabbed his surfboard and paddled 70m out to the man. The man was face down in the water and not responsive.

Mr Lazarus with the help of another person then managed to bring the man to shore.

Sadly, the man passed away the next day.

MAXWELL SIDNEY LAZARUS CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

To Receive the Certificate of Merit:

8. JULIE ALLEN

9. EVALINA WOODWARD

In going to the rescue of two youth justice workers being attacked by inmates at Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre on 3 October 2019.

An inmate grabbed a youth justice worker and struck him with a plastic cricket bat and continued to punch the worker who fell to the floor where he was also kicked by two other inmates.

Ms Woodward in an effort to stop the assault laid down on top of the injured man to shield him from the continual kicks.

Ms Allen also intervened to help and was able to separate the inmates from the assaulted youth justice worker.

One of the inmates then started to assault another youth justice worker and Ms Allen stepped in between them as she tried to stop the repeated punches being thrown by the inmate. The inmate was then controlled by other staff members.

JULIE ALLEN CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
EVALINA WOODWARD CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

To Receive the Certificate of Merit:

10. BEN NORDEN

In going to the rescue of a man on a paddle board at Half Moon Bay, Black Rock on 19 March 2021.

At 7pm in windy conditions, a man was taken 300m offshore on his paddleboard. He tried to turn the board around but fell off and could not get back onto the board. For the next 25 minutes he held onto the board

Mr Norden was alerted to the situation and swam out to the man as it started to get dark. At 8.45pm some 25 minutes later, Mr Norden and the man were 50m from the shore. Mr Norden was on the front of the board using an order to paddle whilst the exhausted man lay on the back of the board.

They finally approached a small boat ramp at the lifesaving club and were helped from the water.

BEN NORDEN CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

To Receive the Bronze Medal:

11. SUZANNE YVONNE JAEGER

In going to the rescue of a neighbour from her burning home at Hurstbridge on 2 June 2021.

A house fire started after ash from a wood-heater was emptied and placed outside. The fire spread to the weatherboard part of the house and then into the ceiling spaces.

The elderly resident called her neighbour, Ms Jaeger.

Ms Jaeger entered the burning and smoke-filled house and assisted her neighbour through the smoke and outside to safety. However, the neighbour went back into the house twice and Ms Jaeger had to bring her out of the house each time.

SUZANNE YVONNE JAEGER BRONZE MEDAL

To Receive the Silver Medal:

12. RODNEY MAXWELL PATTERSON

13. DARREN LESLIE ALLEN

To Receive the Bronze Medal:

14. LEI ZHANG

15. MARIA TUTOLO-MONTOYA

16. CHRISTOPHER JASON COUWENBERG

17. AEMON JOHN DAVIE

18. SHADI HELAL

19. LACHLAN JOHN HEFFERMAN

20. CHRISTY ALAN WALSH

To Receive the Certificate of Merit:

21. LONGLI LOEI

22. ADAM SEKOA

23. JESSE MAHONEY

In going to the rescue of numerous people from a terrorist attack in Bourke Street, Melbourne on 9 November 2018.

At 4.12pm a man parked his utility vehicle outside the City Duty Free outlet located in Bourke Street. Inside the utility’s cabin were three liquid petroleum gas bottles and a propane cannister. The man opened the tap on each of the LPG bottles, causing the cabin to fill with gas. Shortly afterwards an explosion occurred inside the utility engulfing it in flames and causing it to slowly roll across Bourke Street. The driver had difficulty in getting out of the utility.

Mr Patterson approached the utility to try and help the driver and stepped back to look beneath it when he saw a man lunge at him. Mr Patterson heard a lot of shouting and felt a heavy strike to the left side of his head. Both Mr Patterson and the assailant took a few steps backwards, which allowed Mr Patterson to see the knife in the man’s hand.

Mr Allen heard the explosion and went to help and saw the assailant holding the knife. The assailant pursued Mr Allen over a distance of about 5m before abandoning the chase. Mr Allen then went back into his workplace and told his manager to lock all the doors.

A man who was taking his customary walk between shifts at Pellegrini’s was on Bourke Street at the time when the assailant ran straight at him, raised the knife and struck the man twice with it. The man fell to the ground, fatally injured.

The assailant turned around and saw a security guard, Mr Helal who had stepped outside to ascertain the cause of the explosion. The assailant stabbed Mr Helal twice and pursued him into Russell Place before returning to Bourke Street.

Ms Zhang, Ms Tutolo-Montoya, Mr Couwenberg and Mr Davie went to the assistance of the fatally injured man to provide CPR and first-aid.

Two Police Officers arrived and sought to engage the assailant and OC spray was deployed with little effect. The two Police Officers directed the assailant to drop the knife but he failed to do so.

Two off-duty police officers Acting Sgt Hefferman and Sgt Walsh appeared on the scene and were ready to assist if required.

The assailant then rushed at the two uniformed police officers and one of them discharged his firearm which stopped the threat and the assailant dropped to his knees.

SC Loei, SC Sekoa and SC Mahoney who responded to a call to assist, arrived on the scene and secured the assailant, after which Acting Sgt Hefferman and Sgt Walsh took the assailant into a nearby laneway where they both provided first-aid and shelter from the debris discharged from the burning utility.

RODNEY MAXWELL PATTERSON SILVER MEDAL
DARREN LESLIE ALLEN SILVER MEDAL
LEI ZHANG BRONZE MEDAL
MARIA TUTOLO-MONTOYA BRONZE MEDAL
CHRISTOPHER JASON COUWENBERG BRONZE MEDAL
AEMON JOHN DAVIE BRONZE MEDAL
SHADI HELAL BRONZE MEDAL
LACHLAN JOHN HEFFERMAN BRONZE MEDAL
CHRISTY ALAN WALSH BRONZE MEDAL
LONGLI LOEI CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
ADAM SEKOA CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
JESSEY MAHONEY CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

To Receive the Certificate of Merit:

24. MICHAEL COSTELLO

25. ADAM SMITH

In going to the rescue of two men from drowning at Separation Creek on 24 January 2021.

At 2.00pm whilst on the beach Mr Costello and Mr Smith saw two men struggling against a rip in a high surf and in deep water.

Mr Costello took a surfboard and Mr Smith a boogie board and they entered the surf. Mr Costello approached the more distant swimmer and Mr Smith approached the closer swimmer.

As both swimmers started to go under the water, Mr Costello and Mr Smith put them on their boards. The rip was very strong and it took an extended amount of time for the swimmers to be returned safely to shore.

MICHAEL COSTELLO CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
ADAM SMITH CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

To Receive the Certificate of Merit:

26. ZACHARY ELY GOMO, Teacher, aged 35 years, of Dingley Village, Vic

In going to the rescue of his two years’ old son from drowning at Flinders Blow Hole, Flinders, Vic on 15 November 2020.

At 9.00am at the Flinders Blowhole, Mr Gomo took his son down the slope towards the lower viewing area.

His son suddenly ran off and ran into the water and was instantly swept out to sea. Mr Gomo immediately jumped into the water in an attempt to rescue his son. The water was full of rocks, powerful waves, tides and rips.

Mr Gomo saw that his son had been swept onto a rock. Mr Gomo made several attempts to reach his son and each time was swept back by the waves before eventually reaching his son and swimming with him back to shore.

(Mr Gomo was unable to attend the investiture)

ZACHARY ELY GOMO CERTIFICATE OF MERIT