Well deserved honours for three outstanding West Australians

27 November 2018

Three outstanding West Australians were awarded during a special ceremony at Royal Life Saving Society WA headquarters last night. The awards were presented by Royal Life Saving Society Deputy Commonwealth President Clive Holland, who is visiting Perth this week.

Two of the awardees had previously received Royal Life Saving Society WA Bravery Awards, which then led to them being nominated for Commonwealth awards.

One of the awardees was Stanley McFarlane, who received the Russell Medal for saving the life of a woman who had collapsed outside his school, Christ Church Grammar, in February 2017.

The Russell Medal is an annual award for the most outstanding resuscitation or attempted resuscitation performed during the previous calendar year by a person under 18 years of age. This is only awarded to one person across the Commonwealth each year.

The second awardee was Jen Bannerman, a pool manager at Wagin in WA's Wheatbelt, who received the HRH Prince Michael of Kent Certificate of Merit for risking her own life to rescue an entire family from a river during a holiday in Hawaii in 2017.

The HRH Prince Michael of Kent Certificate of Merit is awarded for either outstanding service to the Society, or outstanding acts of bravery in an aquatic environment by an individual, or individuals. The award is at the discretion of His Royal Highness, who has agreed that only two or three such Certificates will be awarded annually.

The final honour bestowed last night saw long-time Royal Life Saving Society WA member Tom Ballantyne receive Royal Life Saving Society Australia Life Membership. 

Tom has been a member of Royal Life Saving Society WA since 1985, when became involved in lifesaving at a club and state level. He has since taught hundreds of Western Australians vital swimming and lifesaving skills through involvement as a coach, trainer, advisor and advocate. Tom is an outstanding individual and well deserving recipient of the honour of Life Membership.