In just six years, the Australian Security Medals Foundation Inc. (ASMF) has grown from an idea around a dinner table to an industry institution recognising bravery and contribution to security.
With this year’s medals being presented during a sold-out black-tie charity dinner at the War Memorial In Canberra, ASMF Chairman, Paul Maihi, said: “Not only is it a huge honour to recognise individuals for their bravery and contribution, to be able to do so at such an iconic venue speaks volumes for how far we have come in such a short space of time.”
Four Australian Security Medals for Valour (ASMV) were awarded this year to:
- Mr Moss Taoine – who despite significant risk to his own safety, managed to prevent a distraught individual from committing suicide by actually leaping forward and catching the person by the wrist in mid-air as the male in question leapt from a four story building. Mr Taoine, was half dragged off the roof of the building as he struggled to get a grip on both of the males arms be pull him back to safety.
- Mustapha Raad who managed to control and contain an emotionally disturbed male wielding a large 30cm knife making threatening gestures towards other members of Radd’s security team.
- Jerico Eluna who, irrespective of personal danager, successfully disarmed a distraught female who was threatening tenants and patrons of a busy food court in a popular Sydney shopping centre with a large kitchen knife.
- Veselin Radosevic who also disarmed and restrained a female patron in a busy shopping centre who was intent on causing serious harm to other patrons with a kitchen knife.
“The ASMV is awarded to recognise security operatives for an outstanding act or acts of valour; an action or actions demonstrating valour, courage and decisiveness above and beyond the call of duty,” said ASMF patron, MP Philip Ruddock.
Three Australian Security Medals (ASMs) were also awarded to Dr Anne Aly, Professor Nara Srinivasan and Mohammed Mustafa.
“The ASM is awarded to recognise the outstanding career and character of the security professional receiving it,” said Ruddock. “ASM recipients have demonstrated a consistent, high-level contribution to the wider community, sometimes through innovative non-core business activities and projects, or through extraordinary performance in their professional role. This award is about more than how a person runs their business or operates in an organisation, but emphasises what they do above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities.”
Senior corporate security managers form the judging panel for the Medals.
“This means that the nominations are carefully considered by major buyers of security and peers to fellow security managers,” said Maihi. “The Panel not only discusses – at length – the merits of each case but follow up where necessary with further investigation and checking references.”
Not every nomination is successful, but is nonetheless worthy of mention, in which case a Certificate of Meritorious Conduct is sent to the person’s employer for presentation to the individual.
This year’s event also saw the presentation of a number of Australian Security Medals Foundation and St John Ambulance Save a Life Awards.
“Hundreds of lives are saved each year by the quick thinking and training of security officers, in recognition of which, the Australian Security Medals Foundation partnered with St John Ambulance back in 2014 to create a Save a Life Award, presented to security personnel responsible for saving lives through the rendering of first aid,” said Maihi.
On the night, St John Ambulance CEO Mr Robert Hunt, presented the Save a Life Awards along with a First Aid Kit to Kush Kalra, Christian Tapia, Glenn Langman and Harry Mavromatis.
Funds raised from the night will go to this year’s nominated charity, beyondblue.
In the past year, the ASMF launched the partnership between beyondblue and the ASMF to promote the beyondblue National Workplace Program (NWP) in the security industry.
Georgie Harman, beyondblue CEO, said common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, can lead to increased absenteeism, high staff turnover and lost productivity.
“Male-dominated industries such as the security industry are particularly at risk because men are less likely than women to take action if they’re having a rough time,” said Harman.
“Security staff are often the first responders in emergency situations which may be distressing and if the distress is not addressed, it may put people at risk of developing mental health problems.
“The nature of the work often means security staff have little control over the demands of their work environment which is a high risk factor for job stress.”
In addition to support for beyondblue, the ASMF also operates a fund to provide assistance to the families of security operatives killed in the line of duty.
“The ASMF is very much about changing the perception of security by sharing stories about its heroes and leaders, doing good within the wider community, and supporting those that need help within its own community,” says Maihi.
“Security is an integral part of business and society, and the Foundation is currently formulating plans to raise further awareness about the work in the security domain, which contributes to the security and wellbeing of millions of Australians.”
To find out more about the ASMF, please visit www.inspiringsecurity.com