LOCAL explosives expert Darren Flanagan has been awarded an Australian Bravery Medal for his work in rescuing survivors Brant Webb and Todd Russell in the Beaconsfield gold mine tragedy.
The Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove announced the award on Monday.
This year marks the 39th anniversary of the Australian honours system, which since its establishment has grown in prestige to represent the highest level of recognition that can be accorded for outstanding achievement and service in national life.
“To these recipients, I offer my warmest congratulations and express my sincere admiration for your brave actions,” the Governor-General said.
“We are fortunate as a community and as a nation to benefit from your contribution, and it is fitting that you have been recognised by the Australian honours system.
“You now join the company of men and women whose actions have enriched our community and whose values we hold dear.”
Mr Flanagan was quick to give credit to everyone who worked on bringing the two miners to safety during the Beaconsfield mine tragedy.
“When I found out I had received the medal it brought it all back. I just wish that every single person who worked on it could get an award,” Mr Flanagan said.
Since 1975, including the awards announced today, there have been five awards of the Cross of Valour; 143 awards of the Star of Courage; 1166 awards of the Bravery Medal; 1867 Commendations for Brave Conduct and 138 awards of the Group Bravery Citation.
The medals will be awarded at a ceremony in Canberra in a few months’ time.