Three Queenslanders involved in separate water rescues across Queensland’s north have been recognised in the latest round of Australian Bravery Decorations for their swift and selfless actions.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk congratulated Cairns Councillor Brett Moller, Townsville City Council truck driver Glen Hardy and Cairns police officer John Dijkstra on their efforts.
“In times of crisis, we know the willingness of Queenslanders to lend a helping hand when confronted by accidents and natural disasters,” the Premier said.
“And above and beyond that, extraordinary individuals step up and reach out to those in peril – some even risking their own life to save the life of a stranger.
“Sadly, we’re all too familiar with torrential rain and flood events in our State, and understand the dangers.
“The latest round of Australian Bravery Decorations honours three Queenslanders who risked their own safety in treacherous waters, to rescue those in immediate danger.
“I know all Queenslanders will join me in congratulating our Australian Bravery Award recipients, celebrating their outstanding deeds of compassion and self-sacrifice.”
Councillor Moller received a Bravery Medal for his rescue of a young woman from a vehicle submerged in floodwaters near Aloomba in 2018.
Mr Moller was at home on the evening of 29 December 2018 when he noticed the headlights of a car bobbing in a nearby creek, followed by urgent calls for help.
Asking his family to get torches and ropes, Mr Moller waded into the creek’s dark, fast-flowing water, encouraging the stranded woman to release her grip from a tree branch and swim with the current toward the bank.
Swimming from branch to branch, the woman eventually gained her footing and was comforted by Mr Moller and his family until emergency services arrived.
Mr Hardy received a Commendation for Brave Conduct for helping to rescue and relocate 60 men, women and children from the suburb of Idalia during the city’s flood event in February 2019.
Senior Constable Dijkstra also received a Commendation for Brave Conduct, acknowledging his role in the rescue of a bus driver who was stuck inside a submerged vehicle in a crocodile-inhabited creek in Cairns on 23 September 2018.
The three Queensland recipients were among 29 Australians to be honoured with Australian Bravery Decorations by Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd).
The Australian Bravery Decorations Council – an independent advisory body – meets twice a year to consider nominations for awards and make recommendations to the Governor-General.