Nominations are now open for the 2017 Australian Search and Rescue Award.
All nominations should be sent to the NATSAR Council Secretariat by 5.00pm on Friday 1st September 2017. The winner will then be announced at the 41st NATSAR Council meeting in October 2017.
This prestigious award is in recognition of 'Outstanding contribution to Search and Rescue' within the Australian region. The successful nominee will have made a significant contribution to Australia's search and rescue ability or to the saving of a human life.
The award is open to any individual or organisation and may relate to a particular event or a sustained contribution to search and rescue over a period of time. Any person or organisation can nominate candidates for the SAR Award, and nominations should be completed using the official nomination form.
Award nominations relate to the financial year. An incident should have occurred during the period 1 July to 30 June.
Awarded first in 1996, the inaugural winners being Senior Constable Aherne, Senior Constable Griffiths and MICA Officer Lamb of the Victorian Police Air Wing for their efforts in the rescue of three men stranded on a sinking trawler in Bass Strait on 23 August 1995. In the same year two Highly Commended Awards were presented to Mr Kevin Bald for his efforts in the rescue of a man off Kangaroo Island and to Sergeant Richard Mostard of the Bairnsdale Water Police, Victoria for the rescue of a person from an upturned trimaran south east of Gabo Island.
A Queensland father and son were presented with the 2016 Australian Search and Rescue Award for their outstanding contribution to search and rescue within Mount Barney National Park, Queensland.
Mount Barney Lodge Country Retreat owner-operators, John Larkin and his son Innes, have lent their extensive knowledge of the national parks and hiking trails surrounding their lodge to numerous search and rescue missions in the area since 1989.
This local knowledge and experience has been sought after by search and rescue coordinators on more than 400 occasions for some 700 lost and overdue bushwalkers. In all cases the missing persons were found.
As well as participating in searches, John and Innes have offered the facilities of their lodge as a location for field search headquarters and helicopter landing and retrieval zones on countless occasions.
John and Innes exemplify the real impact that members of the public with invaluable local knowledge can have during search and rescue operations, and are fitting recipients of the 2016 Australian Search and Rescue Award.
2016 Australian Search and Rescue Award recipients - John and Innes, Mount Barney Lodge Country Retreat - pictured here with their wives Jenny and Tracey Larkin, AMSA’s CEO Mick Kinley (left) and QPS Senior Sergeant Jim Whitehead (right).