Australia Gives Bravery Awards to Indonesians


Heroic: Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Bill Farmer (right) and Shane
Warburton of the Australian Defence Force (third from left), who was saved by the four men who were awarded Bravery Medals, (left to right) Benar Giawa, Adiziduhu Harefa, Motani Harefa and Seti Eli Ndruru.

JAKARTA ~ The Australian government presented bravery awards to four Indonesians this week in recognition of their efforts to rescue the crew of a downed Australian Navy helicopter.

“It is a great honour to be able to present these medals to our Indonesian friends who risked their lives to save the lives of Australians during a tragic accident,” Australian Ambassador Bill Farmer said on Tuesday.

The four men, from Tuindrao village, Nias island, were on the scene when the helicopter with 11 Australian defence personnel on board crashed while delivering medical aid to victims of an earthquake on Sumatra island in 2005.

Nine Australians were killed in the crash but two men were saved, the embassy said.

“Benar Giawa, Adiziduhu Harefa, Motani Harefa and Seti Eli Ndruru raced to the site of the wreckage and saw a passenger attempting to extract himself and another man from the broken tail of the aircraft,” the citation reads.

“Despite the shock of witnessing the crash and seeing several explosions, the four men approached the scene and helped free one, and then a second surviving serviceman.

“Together they carried the men to safety away from the crash site, made the Australians comfortable and provided medical first aid. By their actions they displayed considerable bravery.”

The men are the first Indonesians to be awarded the Australian Bravery Medal.

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