Staff recognised for service during TC Debbie

Published on 23 May 2023

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Mayor Tony Williams said the recipients displayed outstanding service when assisting the community during the TC Debbie, which was declared as a nationally-significant emergency.

“Tropical Cyclone Debbie impacted many communities across the state, displacing and disrupting various families and communities,” Mayor Williams said. 

“We are no stranger to our fair share of disasters, and during TC Debbie I am proud of our staff who went above and beyond to help not only our community but neighbouring communities during this disaster.

“On behalf of Council and the Rockhampton Region, I want to thank the recipients for their service and congratulate them on receiving this national acknowledgement approved by the Governor General of Australia.”

The Rockhampton Regional Council employees included Matthew Smith and Cornelius Claassen, and past employees Michael Baker and David Bremert who received a National Emergency Medal for their service and direct response to TC Debbie 2017. 

Rockhampton Regional Council Civil Operations Coordinator, Mr Cornelius Claassen said he is proud of the service he undertook for the community.  

“I am thankful to be recognised, however, it was about supporting and assisting communities and ensuring they were safe," Mr Claassen said. 

“If I can use my skills to help those in time of need, I would do it over and over. 

“Thank you to Mayor Williams, Rockhampton Regional Council and the National Emergency Medal Committee for this recognition.”

Past Rockhampton Regional Council employee, Mr David Bremert said TC Debbie impacted serval communities throughout Queensland. 

“When we saw the damage the cyclone left, we knew we had to support the community and I didn’t think twice about helping," Mr Bremert said. 

“I wanted to help where I could, and alongside my team, we provided a range of support to the community. 

“It was all about giving those who needed it a hand after a devastating natural disaster.  

“Thanks to those who worked with me during this time, and thank you to Mayor Williams, Rockhampton Regional Council and the National Emergency Medal Committee for this medal.” 

The 2019/20 Bushfires, 2019 North Queensland Floods, 2010/11 Queensland Floods, Cyclone Yasi and Victorian Bushfires were all declared nationally-significant emergencies for the purpose of the National Emergency Medal.

This Medal is administered by the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat at Government House which provides secretariat support to the National Emergency Medal Committee.