First responders recognised for heroic rescues

First responders from Life Saving Victoria, Victoria Police, and Ambulance Victoria, as well as one courageous civilian, have been recognised for their heroic actions during a mass rescue at Bushrangers Bay last January, which was named 2021’s rescue of the year.

LSV President Paul James with Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service Certificate of Commendation recipients Jack Slykhuis, Liam O’Callaghan, Peter McDonell and Andrew Tredinnick.

Awardees received certificates of commendation for their involvement in the incident that saved three people, but tragically also resulted in the loss of one life.

Certificates of commendation are special awards conferred to serving first responders following outstanding displays of bravery, above and beyond the common call of duty.


LSV president Paul James said it was an honour to be able to finally present the certificates after being delayed by COVID-19 and the summer emergency season.

“I am proud to acknowledge the bravery of our serving first responders involved in the Bushrangers Bay rescue, which perfectly encapsulates the importance of cross-agency collaboration and the strong working relationship between our organisations to save lives” Mr James said.

LSV President Paul James with Victoria Police Certificate of Commendation recipients David McHenry, Matthew Roberts, Patrick Yeung and Stephen Carter.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the courageous and selfless actions of former Royal Australian Navy serviceperson, Shane Hudson, who was pivotal in the rescue, using skills gained while serving our country to keep several of the patients afloat until further help arrived.

“Despite not currently serving as a first responder, we were honoured to present him with the same certificate of commendation as the other recipients with the special title of honorary lifesaver, to appropriately recognise his contribution on that fateful day.”

A minute’s silence was observed during the ceremony in honour of the life of Aida Hamed, who tragically passed away in the incident.

LSV President Paul James with Ambulance Victoria Certificate of Commendation recipients Paul Dodd, Glenice Winter, Shannon Cater and Molly Thompson.

“Although lives were saved during the rescue and we are so grateful that they were, a person who was very much loved was sadly lost, and our thoughts and condolences are with everyone affected,” said Mr James.

“Frontline workers do what they do to save lives, without seeking recognition or thanks, but this wasn’t just another day on the job. This was a complex, interagency response, and it’s important that we do take the time to acknowledge the outstanding acts of service on that day.

LSV President Paul James presents brave civilian Shane Hudson with the Certificate of Commendation.

“Certificates of commendation are rare awards that we do not give out regularly, so we hope that through conferring this high honour, we demonstrate our sincerest gratitude for the service of these courageous first responders.”

Certificate of commendation recipients – Bushrangers Bay, January 2021
Ambulance Victoria Life Saving Victoria Victoria Police Civilian
Matt Wood

Maree Goodman

Simon Lynch

Nick Burgess

Emma Mincher-Jones

Paul Dodd

Glenice Winter

Shannon Cater

Molly Thompson

Tamara Wood

Riley Anderson

Chris Perrott

Adam Lantz

Peter McDonell

Liam O’Callaghan

Andrew Tredinnick

Jack Slykhuis

David McHenry

Jeremy Winfield

Matthew Roberts

Patrick Yeung

John Hogan

Stephen Carter

Shane Hudson

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