Recognising acts of bravery by bestowing awards on those who risk their lives to save others.

Media release

28 November 2019

The Royal Humane Society (RHS) will today honour local heroes from around the country for bravery at the organisation’s annual awards ceremony, held at Government House, Sydney.

Patron, the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency, The Honourable Margaret Beazley, AO QC, along with Her Excellency's Official Secretary Colonel Michael Milley RFD, will present the medals and certificates which recognise people who faced off danger to protect others.

The annual investiture in 2019 recognises the incredible life-saving efforts of mothers, firefighters, paramedics and police officers whose exceptional thinking and rapid responses in the face of tragedy, saved lives.

Among the medalists are Ms Saybah (Mary) Kpaba for rescuing her children from a house fire at Doonside on 6 August, 2016. Ms Kpaba awoke that morning to the smell of smoke. While her husband had evacuated three of their children through the window, Ms Kpaba bravely risked her life, entering the blaze-filled home through the window to save her fourth child. As flames engulfed her property, neighbours assisted her in the rescue, helping her climb back in to finally save her nine-year-old-daughter who suffered from autism. She carried her unconscious daughter through the window, neighbours poured water onto her burns while she administered CPR to revive her young girl. Sadly, she did not recover and passed away in hospital.

Ms Carla Oliver will collect a posthumous gold medal for the brave acts of her husband, Mr Shaun Oliver, who fronted treacherous waves at Wollongong City Beach to save the life of a child. Mr Oliver was working at the beach at the time which was closed due to bad weather conditions.

A family with four sons was walking along the beach when all four were caught in the waves. Two were able to be rescued by their father, while the 10 and 12-year-old sons were pulled to sea by a rip.

Andrew Brooker, an off-duty ambulance paramedic, and Mr Oliver successfully worked together to save the children. During the rescue efforts, sadly Mr Oliver was thrust deep into the current and drowned.

Full details of all incidents and recipients are available here: 2019 Program Booklet (PDF)

Latest recipients

Senior Constable Dustin Arentz awarded a Bronze Medal

Senior Constable Michael Stoten awarded a Silver Medal

Timothy Brown awarded a Bronze Medal