Thursday, 25 March 2021
Page Electorate: Australian Bravery Decorations, Bonalbo Show
I'd like to recognise three people from my community who have received Australian Bravery Decorations honours from the Governor-General recently. Bill Rathbone from Goonellabah has been awarded a Bravery Medal for displaying considerable bravery when undertaking multiple rescues of people trapped in flood waters in 2015. Bill put himself in danger during extreme weather conditions, flash flooding and wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres per hour. One of the rescues was that he saw a vehicle had been washed from the road and was stranded in the rising floodwater. The driver had managed to climb onto the roof of the vehicle. Bill and a group of others were able to throw a rope to the stranded man, anchoring it to a light pole. They then waded into waist-deep water and placed a ladder on the roof of the stranded car, allowing the trapped man to climb to safety. It's a remarkable story.
Also, Leanne Chamberlain from Caniaba and Mary-Ann Hyde from Wollongbar have been awarded a commendation for brave conduct for their actions during a roof collapse at Lismore Base Hospital in 2015. During a severe hail storm, scaffolding fell onto the roof of the hospital, which caused the ceiling to fall in on the maternity ward. Debris was everywhere, the hot water mains burst and live electrical wires were exposed. Leanne and Mary-Ann were crucial in ensuring the five mothers and newborn babies were not injured. Leanne courageously threw herself across a mother and baby to shield them from falling debris. Despite being surrounded by falling ceiling panels and water, Mary-Ann slid across a wall to reach distressed babies to get them to safety.
To Bill, Leanne and Mary-Ann, for your extraordinary efforts, thank you. Our community is extremely grateful.
After being cancelled last year, it's great to see many local shows are bouncing back this year. The 92nd Bonalbo Show is coming up on 16 and 17 of April and is one of the great shows in our community. I'd like to acknowledge the show's society members and stewards who make this event happen: the president, David Whitney; vice-presidents, Don Johnston and James Fraser; treasurer, Todd Weston; secretary, Michelle Malt; and committee members, Merlene Allen, Darryl Amos, who's the chief steward, Tom Amos, Paul Johnston senior, Ellen Lowe, Colleen McQueen, Clive Newton, Owen Osborne, Neal Taylor, Libby Johnston, Chris Whitney, Joy Whitney, Rachel Newton and James Fraser. I want to thank them all for putting the show on this year, and I encourage everyone to go along for what will be a wonderful event.