Our People

  Comment Banner Feb 2010

Australia Day Awards


Australia Day is a time to reflect on all the things that make Australia great, and this includes the people.

The 2010 Australia Day Awards saw a number of deserving CFS, SES and MFS staff and volunteers honoured for their contributions to the South Australian fire and emergency services sector.

  Congratulations to David Pearce, David Schmerl and Gerold Seppelt who were each honoured for their services through an Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).

David Pearce's AFSM (right) recognised his role as a driving force for excellence and teamwork in both the CFS and the MFS and for using the skills and knowledge he gained from over 30 years of dedication to improve the operational and administrative efficiencies of both services.
David Pearce AFSM - Hills and Valley Messenger Photographer Stephen Laffer
  David Schmerl AFSM David Schmerl AFSM (left) was commended for his 33 years of distinguished service to the MFS. His personal contribution in supporting and helping develop fire services in the South Pacific, specifically the Kingdom of Tonga Fire Service, was also acknowledged.

Gerold Seppelt AFSM (below), who joined the CFS in 1983 and is an active member of the Nuriootpa Brigade, was recognised as having served the South Australian community with distinction over the last 27 years. His role as one of this State's most active and experienced fire investigators and the key role he played in establishing high training standards over the last 22 years, specialising in breathing apparatus, hazmat and bushfire investigation training, was noted as invaluable.
  Lyall Schulz OAM, ESM (below left), SES Maitland Unit Manager, was also awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division (OAM) for services to the community, and to the fodder industry through his executive roles. He was also recognised for the many other contributions to his community and to South Australia, including his role as an SES volunteer. In 2002 Lyall was previously awarded the Emergency Services Medal (ESM). Gerold Seppelt AFSM - Bunyip Newspaper
  Lyall Schulz OAM, ESM Brian Underwood ESM (bottom right, kneeling), the former Unit Manager of the SES Coober Pedy Mines Rescue Unit, joined Lyall and only 30 other South Australians with the award of the Emergency Services Medal (ESM) for distinguished service. Brian's 24 years of active volunteer service with the SES was acknowledged, along with the leadership he has shown in progressing the Coober Pedy SES and Mine Rescue to a professionally trained and equipped rescue organisation that serves Coober Pedy and the remote areas of South Australia.
  Mike Coddington - South Australian Local Hero for 2010 Brian Underwood ESM assisting Coober Pedy SES volunteers
  Murray Bridge CFS Captain Mike Coddington (above, standing to the right of Kevin Foley) was also acknowledged within the national Australia Day Awards, named South Australia's Local Hero for 2010 after being nominated by his fellow CFS volunteers.

Congratulations must also be given to the following CFS and SES volunteers who were honoured with awards during local council Australia Day ceremonies:

  • Brian Pohlner, Hallett SES Deputy Unit Manager was recognised as the Citizen of the Year for Hallett.
  • The SES Mitcham FloodSafe crew, lead by Allan Cuk received an Award for Excellence in Community Service in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the City of Mitcham.
  • Wilmington CFS Brigade Captain Geoffrey Hitch was awarded the Citizen of the Year award for the District Council of Mount Remarkable.
  • Louise Hutchinson from the Eastern Suburbs SES received a Young Citizen of the Year Award from Norwood Payneham and St Peters Council for community service in Scouts, Guides and SES.

The SES and CFS ANZAC Eve Youth Vigil was also recognised for Community Event of the Year, presented to 'A group who has staged the most outstanding community event in the City of Adelaide'. The award was presented as part of the City of Adelaide's Australia Day Awards.

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