Australian Search and Rescue Awards


Nominations are now open for the 2019 Australian Search and Rescue Award.

Nominations can be emailed to the NATSAR Council Secretariat by 12 July 2019.

Recipients will be announced at the 43rd NATSAR Council meeting in September 2019.


    SAR Award

    Award criteria

    These prestigious Awards are in recognition of 'Outstanding contribution to Search and Rescue' within the Australian region during the period 1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019.

    The Awards are open to individuals, groups or organisations that have made a significant contribution to search and rescue in Australia and deserve recognition at a national level.

    Any person or organisation can nominate candidates for the Australian SAR Awards by completing the official nomination form.


    To recognise the importance of both professionals and non-professionals within the search and rescue system, two categories for the SAR Awards are:

    • professional—an individual or organisation with the SAR field
    • non-professional—a individual, group or organisation.

    History of the awards

    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.

    2018 recipients

    Presented by the National Search and Rescue Council, the annual Australian Search and Rescue Award recognises outstanding contributions by individuals and groups to the Australian search and rescue system.

    To recognise the importance of both professionals and non-professionals and the role they play in the search and rescue system, the award is presented in both categories along with a Commendation award.

    Presented by AMSA General Manager of Standards, Brad Groves, the 2018 Australian Search and Rescue award was presented to the following recipients:

    Professional Search and Rescue Award - Detective Sergeant Andrew Self (Queensland Police Service)

    Professional Commendation Award  - Sergeant Damian Bidgood, Senior Constable Josh Peach, Senior Constable Ingrid Pajak (Tasmania Police), Anna Ekdahl, Han-Wei Lee (Ambulance Tasmania) and Alan Jackson, Stefan Eberhard, Michael Packer, Serena Benjamin, Andreas Klocker, Ric Tunney, Janine McKinnon, Gabriel Kinzler, Amy Robertson, Darren Holloway, Ola Löfquist, Loretta Bell (Southern Tasmanian Caverneers)

    Non-professional Search and Rescue Award - Zeb Critchlow

    Non-professional Commendation Award - Joel Howell

    For more information about the successful nominations, visit AMSA’s website to read the 2018 Australian Search and Rescue Awards media release.

    Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image of the 2018 NATSAR award winners.