Emergency Services Medal

Nominations for the 2016 Emergency Services Medal are closed.

Emergency Service Medal
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Emergency Services Medal (ESM)

The ESM recognises distinguished service by members of emergency services across Australia, and people who are involved in emergency management, training or education.  It was introduced into the Australian system of honours in 1999.

Recipients of the ESM are entitled to use the letters "ESM" after their names to show that their distinguished service has been formally recognised.


The Governor-General awards the ESM on the recommendation of the responsible Commonwealth, state and territory ministers. The medal may be awarded to a person who has given distinguished service as a member of an emergency service or to a person who has given distinguished service relating to emergency management, training or education.

It may be awarded regardless of whether the person is eligible for any other award because of their service. However, a person who has already been awarded the ESM, is not eligible to receive this medal again.

The Northern Territory may award one ESM per year to people who have given distinguished service, additionally, one medal per calendar year may be awarded in relation to management, training or education regardless of whether the person is a member of an emergency service, a member of the Defence Force or a remunerated officer of the Commonwealth.

Northern Territory Awards for the ESM are generally announced on Australia Day (January 26) each year; however 2015 nomination will be announced on the Queens Birthday, 8 June.


The central motif of the ESM is a raised equilateral triangle with beveled edges. This is bordered by stylised sprays of wattle.

The centre of the triangle features a raised impression of the Federation Star that is surrounded by twenty-four balls. The balls represent the twenty-four hours per day the Emergency Service is available to the community.

The medal is silver and bronze in colour and the back of the medal has the inscription ‘For Distinguished Service’.

The 32 millimeter-wide ribbon features a centre band of an orange and white checkerboard pattern, flanked on each outer edge by a royal blue band.

To learn more about Awards and Honours, please visit the Governor-Generals Office at: www.gg.gov.au (this link opens in a new browser window) or go to www.itsanhonour.gov.au

2016 Emergency Service Medal recipient Ms Sharon Kearney

Ms Sharon Kearney joined the Northern Territory Emergency Service (NTES) in March 2009 as a volunteer. Since then Ms Kearney has selflessly committed her time to helping the community and is now leading and managing the Darwin Volunteer Unit.

Ms Kearney’s leadership qualities have underpinned her keen interest in the welfare of volunteers and she recognises the critical role they play in the operation of all NTES Units.

Ms Kearney has had critical leadership roles in NT emergency responses and is dedicated to ensuring that NTES volunteers are well trained and well resourced.

She made important contributions in the responses to Cyclone Carlos, and more recently Cyclones Lam and Nathan.

Ms Kearney leads by example and makes herself constantly available to the volunteers, all as a volunteer herself. The time and effort continually contributed by Ms Kearney epitomises the contribution NTES volunteers make to the NT community.