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.

    2019 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.

    AMSA General Manager of Response and NATSAR Chair, Mark Morrow said the selfless and brave actions of this year’s recipients in the face of imminent danger is nothing short of inspiring and is worthy of national recognition. The 2019 Australian Search and Rescue awards were presented to the following recipients:

    Professional Search and Rescue Award - Senior Constable C Williams, Constable N Mackintosh, Paramedic E Byers, Pilot C Fahey, Senior Constable C Herbert, Constable A Oakden, Constable C Rennie, Constable P Vanderwal.

    Professional Commendation Award  - Port Macquarie Volunteer Marine Rescue – Garry White, Graham Gibbs, Reg McGlashan, Yolanda Bosschieter, Tony Hallett, Chris Condon, Bill Richardson, Rob Breskal, Owen Coulls, Randall Gawne, Greg Davies. 

    Non-professional Search and Rescue Award - Athol Stuart Beer, Stewart John Geard, Craig Charles Neville, Anita Denholm, Kade Wooldrage

    Non-professional Commendation Award - Mark Sampson

    For more information about the successful nominations, visit AMSA’s website to read the 2019 Australian Search and Rescue Awards media release.

    Click on the thumbnail to view a larger image of the 2019 NATSAR award winners.