12 June 2024

Two Illawarra emergency services leaders receive prestigious medals for their contributions to community

| Kellie O'Brien
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Terrie-Ann Hurt Shellharbour SES

Terrie-Ann Hurt received an Emergency Services Medal in this year’s King’s Birthday Honours. Photo: Supplied.

Two Illawarra emergency services members received prestigious medals in the King’s Birthday Honours List for their commitment to their own communities and others.

Shellharbour SES member Terrie-Ann Hurt received an Emergency Services Medal and Corrimal Fire Station firefighter Captain Paul Dorin, an Australian Fire Service Medal, on Monday (10 June).

Terri-Ann has been a devoted member of the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) for more than two decades, after joining the Shellharbour unit in 2003 at age 23.

Playing a pivotal role in advancing the NSW SES through her leadership and mentorship, a humble Terrie-Ann attributed her success to those she had worked alongside.

“I just love the people I get to work with and the impact we are all able to make,” she said.

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“We have access to great training practices where we learn useful skills and then get to put them into practice alongside amazing people.”

Terrie-Ann has led units throughout the Illawarra in response to major operational events, including the 2013 Kiama tornado and Shellharbour windstorm.

However, her contributions extend beyond state borders, volunteering during nationally significant emergencies including Cyclone Yasi in 2011, Cyclone Debbie in 2017 and the Black Summer bushfires in 2019-20, receiving the National Emergency Medal for her efforts.

NSW SES Acting Commissioner Debbie Platz APM said Terrie-Ann served as an inspiration to her fellow members in orange and was commended for the invaluable service and expertise she brought to NSW SES volunteers.

“Drawing upon her diverse skill set, Terrie-Ann has not only provided assistance during recent floods, storms and bushfires, but has remained a pillar of support for her community for more than two decades,” Ms Platz said.

Ryan Park and Paul Dorin in front of a fire engine at Corrimal station.

Keira MP Ryan Park and Corrimal Station Fire Captain Paul Dorin. Photo: Jen White.

“This accolade awarded to Terrie-Ann celebrates and epitomises the dedication, selflessness and determination of our wider volunteer membership who tirelessly aid communities during times of crisis.”

A veteran of Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW), Paul was recognised for his commitment to the fire service and community safety.

Joining FRNSW in July 1993 as an on-call firefighter, Paul has become a role model for his peers and community.

He has developed many safety initiatives, including the Home Care Disability Fire Safety Program, to help protect elderly and vulnerable people from house fires.

He was inspired to create the QR code-related technology when he was a stay-at-home carer for his mother, Margaret, who had dementia.

“The relationship a carer has with their client is unique and personal, and they often become like family even if they’re not related,” he said.

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He also developed this winter’s Smoke Alarm Action Day project, aimed at reducing complacency around fire risks in the home.

Beyond his operational duties, he is a talented cartoonist, and has used his artistic abilities to raise funds for research into birth defects and childhood diseases such as cancer, epilepsy and a range of genetic disorders.

FRNSW Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell said Paul was widely recognised for his exemplary devotion to duty, “can do” attitude towards his work and thoughtful and caring approach.

Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib said the AFSMs had been awarded to an exceptional role model within the service in Paul, whose “professionalism consistently gets the job done”.

Mr Dib said meanwhile, volunteers like Terrie-Ann were the backbone of communities across NSW.

“Terrie-Ann’s impactful contributions reach far and wide,” he said.

“She has displayed incredible commitment and I express my utmost gratitude to Terrie-Ann for her invaluable service.”

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