Volunteers
On Jun 13, 2022

Three volunteers honoured with award of Emergency Services Medal

Three Marine Rescue NSW volunteers have been announced as recipients of the Emergency Services Medal in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

The Emergency Services Medal was first awarded in 1999, and recognises distinguished service by members of emergency services across Australia, and people who are involved in emergency management, training or education.

Marine Rescue NSW congratulate our three award recipients on the announcement of this most distinguished honour, and thank them for their dedicated and selfless service to their unit, to Marine Rescue NSW, and to their local community.

Mr Gregory John DAVIES

Mr Gregory Davies has given meritorious service to the New South Wales community as a volunteer member of Marine Rescue (MR) Port Macquarie for more than 9 years. His professionalism, commitment and skill have directly contributed to the safety of the boating public on the waterways of Port Macquarie and the Mid North Coast of New South Wales.

Following 26 years in the Australian Defence Force, Mr Davies embraced the service within Marine Rescue New South Wales (MRNSW), attaining Ratings as Watch Officer, Leading Crew and MR Rescue Water Craft Operator (MR RWCO). He has undertaken a variety of roles including Training Officer, Assessor, Workplace Health and Safety Officer, Trainer, Deputy Unit Commander and in 2017 became Unit Commander.

As Unit Commander, Mr Davies displays strong leadership and people skills, a commitment to supporting volunteers and the ability to set goals and manage multiple tasks. He has undertaken this role with drive and enthusiasm and continues to serve with distinction.

Under his leadership, the Port Macquarie Unit continues to go from strength to strength, in operational capability, growth and volunteer development and training, and community engagement. He displays innovative, forward-thinking leadership which is complimented by an ever-present commitment to the welfare and effectiveness of his team and the wider community.

Of note are Mr Davies’ efforts in steering the Unit through operational and non-operational challenges. Major highlights have included his leadership and on the ground’ involvement during the 2019 bushfires, 2021 floods and COVID-19.

In addition to his leadership attributes, Mr Davies has recorded hundreds of hours of sea time encompassing search and rescue operations within enclosed waters and offshore. These operations vary in terms of seriousness and complexity and range from routine breakdowns, to life threatening situations. On many occasions, he has put himself in harm’s way to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the boating community.

The bestowing of the Emergency Services Medal to Mr Davies would be a fitting tribute to recognise his dedication, commitment and loyalty to saving lives on the water.

Greg Davies

Ms Caron Lynette PARFITT

Ms Caron Parfitt has given meritorious service to the New South Wales community as a volunteer member of Marine Rescue Bermagui since 2013.

With her strong background in boating and offshore sailing, she has enthusiastically developed her knowledge and skills to become, at the time, the first female Marine Rescue New South Wales (MRNSW) Coxswain, enabling her to master our rescue vessels.

Her commitment and enthusiasm for Marine Rescue led her to undertake various executive and leadership positions within the Unit, including Deputy Unit Commander and in 2018 as Unit Commander.

Throughout her service with MRNSW, Ms Parfitt has been held in the highest regard by the members of the Unit and the boating community. She has an enduring commitment to the mission of Marine Rescue but also, just as importantly, her commitment to the safety, welfare and support of her fellow volunteers.

As one of our few female Marine Rescue Coxswains, Ms Parfitt has recorded hundreds of hours of sea time and is a skilled and respected rescue vessel master who makes herself available around the clock to respond to emergencies on the water, personally conducting numerous rescue missions, often in dark and dangerous conditions, to return those in trouble safely to their families and friends.

Ms Parfitt is a key stakeholder and advocate in the local Bermagui community and engages with the wider community at all levels. During the 2019-20 bushfire emergency, she was tasked to be in operational readiness to assist on water evacuations and she liaised with the local Surf Club during the evacuation process, before finally being evacuated herself.

As an operational Marine Rescue Coxswain and Unit Commander, Ms Parfitt is a role model for all other current and future female volunteers and leaders with MRNSW and consistently displays dedication, commitment and a loyalty to saving lives on the water.

Caron Parfitt

Mr James Ernest WRIGHT

Mr James Wright has given meritorious service to the New South Wales community as a volunteer member of Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie Unit for more than 13 years. His professionalism, commitment and skill have directly contributed to the safety of the boating public on the waterways of the Lake Macquarie region.

In 2010, Mr Wright presided over the merger of the former Australian Volunteer Coast Guard base at Swansea Heads and the former Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol base at Pelican, at the inception of Marine Rescue New South Wales (MRNSW) in 2010. He was Unit Commander from 2010 to 2012 and again from 2014 to 2016.

Mr Wright continues to dedicate time to MRNSW as he has done since joining in 2008. He completes a high number of shifts as a Coxswain within the Unit, whilst also, as Boat Officer, ensuring that the units rescue vessels are maintained to the highest possible standard of operational readiness.

Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie watches over a marine area larger than Sydney Harbour, and conducts more assists than any other MRNSW Unit. During November and December 2021, the Lake Macquarie Unit conducted 110 assists, including 10 dangerous Level 1 assists. Approximately 35 of the total assists were offshore and Mr Wright was at the helm for a number of those.

Since 2017, Mr Wright has been a Regional Director of MRNSW with a seat on the MRNSW Board of Directors, providing advice and Governance to the broader Marine Rescue NSW organisation. During his extensive service with MRNSW he has demonstrated a distinguished and exemplary commitment to public service and to the MRNSW mission of saving lives on the water.

Mr James Wright consistently displays dedication, commitment and a loyalty to saving lives on the water.

Jim Wright

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