The Rotary clubs of ACT Emergency Services Community Awards enable the Community to publicly say ‘thank you’ and to acknowledge our emergency services personnel. Last Friday, two unsung heroes were formally recognised. 

These awards were originally commenced in NSW before moving to ACT in 2018. Since 2019, the Rotary Club of Hall has been a sponsor of these awards, each year supporting them both financially and in person.

In keeping with Rotary’s motto of ‘Service Above Self’, the Awards acknowledge and celebrate selfless Community Service of ACT Emergency Services Personnel while supporting an important Rotary initiative: Australian Rotary Health PhD Research Scholarship into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Emergency Service Personnel. 

Anyone can nominate and recognise emergency services personnel for ‘Service Above Self’ in their communities.

2021 RESCA awards night
Awards night 2021

‘Our Emergency Services personnel are owed a huge thank you from the community as each day some of them put their lives at risk to assist those in trouble, whether that is from an accident or an act of nature.’ 

Awards Chair, Steve Hill, of the Rotary Club of Hall

The Emergency Services Community Awards invite members of the community to help recognise outstanding Community Service performed by paid and volunteer members of Emergency Service Agencies through an Annual Awards Ceremony.  

The overall two winners from the Awards will be judged with winners from other states and presented at a National Awards Ceremony. This is hosted by our Vice Regal Patrons, each year, in the grounds of Government House, Canberra.

Judging Criteria

Rotary is seeking to formally recognise the unsung heroes, throughout ACT, that are often the quiet achievers, never asking for recognition but making a significant difference in our communities as follows.

The nominations are judged on three key criteria:

  1. Community service, over and above the call of normal duties which best exemplifies Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self, e.g. community involvement when a nominee is working over and above their normal role/s, whether this is over and above the paid job/business role.
  2. Personal attributes.
  3. Contribution, including length of service to the Emergency Service Agency either as an officer in paid capacity or volunteer. 
The winner and fellow Hall Volunteer Bushfire Brigade
Chris Puschak and fellow members of the Hall Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade at the Awards night.

2021 Awardees

This year’s winners of the ACT Emergency Services Community Awards are Rohan Scott and Christopher Puschak 

Before assuming the position of Chief Officer at the ACT Rural Fire Services, Rohan Scott spent 20+ years as a volunteer Firefighter and held several leadership appointments, including Captain. He led a team of 400 people through the 2020 Black Summer Fire Season and played a crucial role in maintaining their health, wellbeing, and morale throughout the strenuous period. 

Chris Puschak has been involved with the emergency services over the past 24 years and is currently working as Treasurer of the Hall Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade while also being an active volunteer Firefighter. He played a vital role in the 2019 fire season where he defended regions of Nerriga, Adaminaby, Tumut, and Orroral Valley. Here, he volunteered to do additional shifts and also stayed back to support the wellbeing of his crew, some of whom had limited operational experience. 

Sponsorship funds are used to not only run the Community Awards and provide recognition to our emergency service workers but also to support two Rotary Projects;

  • the Australian Rotary Health PhD Research Scholarship in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for the Agencies; and
  • sending a Vocational Training Team to a developing country to train personnel in Disaster Preparedness.

The Rotary Club of Hall is a proud sponsor of these awards and takes this opportunity to thank all of our emergency services personnel.

Further information regarding these awards can be found