Minister for Police and Community Safety
The Honourable Jack Dempsey

Queen’s Birthday honours for Queensland’s best

Department of Community Safety (DCS) staff and volunteers were today announced as award recipents on the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey said the list formally recognised those Queenslander’s who make a significant difference to their communities.

“I am delighted to recognise the nine DCS staff and volunteers who were included in this year’s honours list and will receive the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM), the Emergency Service Medal (ESM) or the Ambulance Service Medal (ASM),” Mr Dempsey said.

“All recipients are very deserving of these awards as they have represented the Department with distinction and are highly respected amongst their peers for their professionalism and commitment.”

The AFSM recognises distinguished service by a member of an Australian Fire Service who is seen to have demonstrated a high degree of service and devotion to duty in a particular situation, or in sp ecial duties above and beyond normal work responsibilities.

The ESM was introduced in 1999 to give recognition to members of Australian emergency services for distinguished service relating to emergency management, training or education.

The ASM recognises distinguished service by the men and women of Australia’s ambulance organisations.

Five Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) staff and volunteers were announced as Queensland recipients of the AFSM.

Station Officer David Prain from Thursday Island was awarded the AFSM for his work in developing strong community relationships in the Torres Strait and Northern Cape areas which has resulted in increased operational capabilities in remote Far North Queensland communities.

QFRS Brisbane Region Assistant Commissioner Ian Mitchell was recognised for his influential leadership, his commitment to improving service delivery and accountability and his development of multiple statewide init iatives in the QFRS.

Superintendent for Brisbane North Kevin Walsh was honoured for his leadership qualities as a mentor and supporter of staff, his willingness to undertake challenges and lead by example, in particular, for investigation work relating to the 2010-2011 natural disasters in Queensland and the delivery of information to and actions from the Flood Commission of Inquiry.

Group Training Officer Graham Luck was honoured for his years of tireless work, most recently as part of the Turkey Beach Rural Fire Brigade, responding to a large number of incidents, delivering high quality training and undertaking mitigation activities.

Volunteer firefighter Arthur Vayro was recognised for his long service and commitment to the Rural Fire Service Brigades in Gatton, along with his work as Fire Warden and as a leader in the promotion of a ‘ZEROharm’ culture for the safety of all firefighters.

Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) Principal Coord inator, Operations Iain Macculloch and Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) member Harry Hubner were announced as Queensland recipients of the ESM.

EMQ Principal Coordinator, Operations Iain Macculloch has dedicated 24 years to protecting his community, working in Brisbane and Far North Queensland to play a central role in leading the response to many major disaster events including the Queensland Floods 2010-2011, Tropical Cyclone Yasi, Tropical Cyclone Larry and The Gap storms. Mr Macculloch has also displayed significant commitment in his work as a Training Officer and played a critical role working in the State Disaster Coordination Centre.

VMR volunteer Harry Hubner has given 39 years of service to the VMR and the VMR State Association, protecting Queenslanders on the water, being a founding member of Air Sea Rescue and operating as senior skipper up until 1987. Mr Hubner was also central in the formal recognition of the VMR Association of Queensland which resu lted in much improved funding and was personally instrumental in the formation of seven new VMR organisations in the Torres Strait and Gulf of Carpentaria regions.

Two Queensland Ambulance Service officers were announced as recipients of the ASM.

Ambulance Officer Phil Axsentieff has a long history with the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), joining the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade (QATB) in 1982 as an Honorary Officer, and working his way up the ranks to reach Officer in Charge level, a role where his motivation, commitment, and dedication to the community is evidenced by the respect felt for him by both the community and his peers. He is responsible for the establishment of the First Responder Group at Lakelands Downs, one of the most successful committed and dedicated in Queensland, and regularly volunteers his own time to conduct training for the group.

Ambulance Officer Michael Davis has a passion for the ambulance service that began w hen he joined the QATB 48 years ago as an Honorary Officer. His commitment and contribution to the ambulance profession has seen Mr Davis serve in multiple roles across the QAS and be involved in peak industry bodies, but is most evident in his enthusiasm for QAS history and heritage through the Wynnum Museum and in the establishment of the QAS Museum at Charters Towers. It is also evident in his constant work to ensure his fallen colleagues are remembered with respect and dignity by managing the QAS Honour Roll and annual memorial services. Mr Davis is a quiet achiever who gains satisfaction in providing a high standard of service provision to the Queensland community, performing with distinction and outstanding dedication over a career spanning almost half a century.

The medals will be presented at an upcoming ceremony at Government House in Brisbane.