Perth schoolteacher receives Bravery Award for saving lives at Rottnest

11 October 2019

A humble Perth schoolteacher received the highest honour awarded at the 2019 Royal Life Saving WA Bravery Awards, after being involved in saving lives when a jetty collapsed at Rottnest Island in October last year. Amanda Brown was cycling on the island when the Army Jetty collapsed, leaving an 11-year-old boy struggling in the water, his mum badly injured and another women trapped.

RLSSWA President Colin Hassell with Amanda Brown and WA Governor Kim Beazley ACAmanda, who had completed School Teacher Aquatic Rescue Training with Royal Life Saving WA, didn’t hesitate to act. “I didn’t see the jetty collapse, I just saw the people standing there and then a second later they were gone. So I rode over and called 000 and then just helped out however I could. I jumped in and tried to get someone free but I couldn’t so then I helped out with the young boy who had stopped breathing at that point. Once we got him to shore I just did the spinal alignment and got his airway clear. His mum has a severe foot injury so I did some first aid around that too until the ambulance arrived which was about 20 minutes. Then we helped to get the boy up to the ambulance and ended up monitoring the injured woman until she got airlifted out” said Amanda.

The incident could have been much worse had Amanda not been in the right place at the right time, but she says it was really the Royal Life Saving training she’d completed yearly with her school that was key. “I’m really glad I’d been trained, not just in first aid but in aquatic rescue. I’d done it a few times at that point, you know, I hadn’t just done it once, I’d had a few years of requalifying, so I felt that was good. I guess the more you do something, or the more you’ve heard something, the more it gets stuck in your head.”

Amanda was very grateful to have had the opportunity to help save a life and says she’d encourage all West Australians to make sure they take the time to learn those skills. “Just do it! I think you never know when you’re going to need it, and when you might be the only person there. The training itself is quite fun, it’s not a tedious day, not the one we do with Royal Life Saving anyway!”

For her outstanding bravery and willingness to come to the aid of complete strangers while also putting her own life at risk Amanda received a Gold Cross Bravery Award, one of the highest awards available in the Royal Life Saving Honours system. We congratulate Amanda for her amazing efforts and willingness to share with others the importance of learning these lifesaving skills.

You can read more about our Bravery Awards or nominate someone to receive an award in next year’s ceremony by clicking the link below.

Explore more button