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Media Release

Australia Day Honours for outstanding fire and emergency services contributors
Friday 27 January 2017 – 10:00 AM

​The outstanding community service and commitment of Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) personnel and volunteers has been recognised in this year’s Australia Day Honours.

Lower South West Superintendent John Tillman and former Station Officer Paul Barker were awarded the prestigious Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) for distinguished service. 

Three dedicated frontline volunteers received the esteemed Emergency Services Medal (ESM) - Mandurah State Emergency Services (SES) member Phillip Bresser, Two Rocks Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) member Jeffery Howe and Albany Sea Rescue volunteer Christopher Johns.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said those recognised exemplified the calibre of work and dedication demonstrated by fire and emergency services career and volunteer personnel across the State. 

“The recipients should be extremely proud of their achievements and their outstanding dedication to the safety of Western Australian communities,” Commissioner Gregson said.

“The Australia Day Honours highlight those who have made significant contributions to the community over many years.”

The AFSM and ESM recognise distinguished service by volunteer or career members of an Australian fire or emergency service. Only a limited number of medals are awarded each year.

DFES recipients of the 2017 Australia Day Honours are:

Mr Paul Edward Barker AFSM – Glen Forrest

Paul was a Station Officer for 30 years, 19 of which were in the role of Driving Instructor with DFES. During this time he was an exceptional leader and mentor in the driver training area, working with 28 career firefighter schools and hundreds of volunteer firefighters.

Mr John Charles Tillman AFSM - Bridgetown 

John has been involved in fire management for nearly 30 years and in 2010 became DFES’ Superintendent for the Lower South West Region. He has established excellent working relationships with the community across the region. Additionally, John has been a volunteer Bush Fire Service member at his local brigade in Wandillup since 2002.

Mr Phillip S Bresser ESM – Mandurah

Phillip has dedicated 30 years to frontline service in the SES in Western Australia. He is currently the leader and instructor of the growing Mandurah Emergency Service Cadet Program and has developed age-specific training programs for new cadet volunteers. He was instrumental in the design and layout of the new SES facility recently constructed for the Mandurah SES.

Mr Jeffery Philip Howe ESM - Yanchep

Jeffery has had significant involvement with the VMR in Western Australia for more than 20 years. He has been a very active member of the Two Rocks VMR group serving in the role of Commander.  Jeffery is also the current Commander of the VMR Association of WA and was instrumental in the introduction of the current Marine VHR radio repeater network throughout the state.

Mr Christopher Ian Johns ESM - Albany

Christopher has been a leading member of Albany Sea Rescue for 16 years, in which time he has coordinated the vast majority of recovery and rescue missions on the South Coast of WA. He has also been directly involved in the introduction of the Naiad Fast Response vessels into the WA volunteer sea rescue service.


Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955


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