Annual Rotary Awards

Unit Commander of Broken Bay, Vic Lawrence - Finalist

Marine Rescue Shoalhaven member Dr Peter Taylor has been named the MRNSW Officer of the Year in the 2016 Rotary Emergency Services Community Awards.

The awards were announced at a ceremony at Sydney's Darling Harbour in July.

The annual event is staged to recognise the contribution of members of six emergency services: Manne Rescue NSW, the NSW Rural Fire Service. State Emergency Service. Volunteer Rescue Association, Ambulance Service of NSW and Fire and Rescue NSW.

Four finalists whose community service exemplifies Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self are named from each service. The other three MRNSW finalists were MR Broken Bay Unit Commander Vic Lawrence. MR Terrigal Deputy Unit Commander Czes Lawicki and MR Port Macquarie member Ken Fletcher.

Commissioner Stacey Tannos addressed the dinner on behalf of the participating emergency services, thanking the Rotary Clubs of NSW for organising the awards and congratulating the 24 finalists. "You bring great credit to your organisations and we are proud that you have chosen to serve with us. whether that is as volunteers or paid personnel." he said.

Emergency Services Minister David Elliott also paid tribute to the finalists for their outstanding achievements and tireless work “These awards are important because they give us the opportunity to celebrate the important work that emergency services personnel do on a daily basis." he said.

A former member of the State Emergency Service in Rockhampton, in Queensland, where he specialised m chff rescue. Dr Taylor joined the then Shoalhaven Volunteer Rescue Association in 1998. before transferring to the new MRNSW.

He was named a Life Member of MRNSW in 2014 in recognition of his input to the organisation's training, particularly in first aid.

He has contributed to the development of first aid manuals, acts as a first aid trainer for the Illawarra Region and has expanded his contribution to also include recruitment and mentoring.

Outside MRNSW. from 2012 to 2015 he participated in a Dream Cricket squad that travelled nationally and internationally to provide opportunities for children with special needs and deaMities to play the game.

After the awards presentation, Dr Taylor paid tribute to the families of emergency services personnel. “The unsung heroes of all of this are our partners.’ he told the Illawarra Mercury. ‘Without them, we couldn't do what we do. They're the ones waiting at home for us. They're the ones who worry about us."

The awards also support an Australian Rotary Health PhD research scholarship into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in emergency services personnel. “Not many of us go to work each day and witness death and miury, trauma and heartache before the end of our shift.’ Commissioner Tannos said. “The accumulated impact of this can have far-reaching consequences for our members and this research will have widespread benefits across our sector."

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