Seven Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services members have been recognised for outstanding service at this year's Administrator's Awards at Government House last night.
The Awards were bestowed on recipients who had travelled from all corners of the NT by His Honour, Professor the Honourable Hugh Heggie PSM, Administrator of the Northern Territory.
Nominations were open to the public, allowing them to recognise and celebrate individual police officers, firefighters and emergency service employees or volunteers.
Congratulations to the seven members who have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to serving and protecting the Northern Territory community:
- Administrator's Medal for Police Officer of the Year – Constable Jackson Holt
- Administrator's Medal for Police Auxiliary of the Year – Auxiliary First Class Rebecca Crack
- Administrator's Medal for Aboriginal Community Police Officer – Senior Aboriginal Community Police Officer Lindsay Ah Mat
- Administrator's Medal for Career Firefighter of the Year – Leading Firefighter Russell Smith
- Administrator's Medal for Auxiliary or Volunteer Firefighter of the Year – Volunteer Captain Benjamin Kolstad
- Administrator's Medal for Emergency Service Employee or Volunteer of the Year – NT Emergency Service Volunteer Rhys Perry
- Administrator's Medal for Aboriginal Liaison Officer of the Year - Aboriginal Liaison Officer Gregory Munar
The following are short biographies for each recipient.
The Administrator's Medal for Police Officer of the Year - Constable Jackson Holt
Constable Jackson Holt joined the Northern Territory Police Force (NTPF) in 2021. While still on probation, Jackson acted as the remote Sergeant for Kalkarindji Station. In March this year, a flood emergency was declared for Kalkarindji and two other surrounding communities, requiring all residents to be evacuated.
During this ever-changing situation, Jackson took on leadership and operated at the highest standard. Due to his strong relationships within the community, Jackson was able to work effectively to ensure everyone was evacuated and safe. This ultimately saw him earn the trust of the community, elders and stakeholders.
Jackson's devotion to the Kalkarindji Community and courage and commitment during the floods demonstrate his dedication to serve and protect.
The Administrator's Medal for Police Auxiliary of the Year - Police Auxiliary First Class Rebecca Crack
Police Auxiliary First Class Rebecca Crack joined the NTPF in 2018 and is currently attached to the Alice Springs Police Station, overseeing the NTPFES Cadet Program. Rebecca demonstrates excellent leadership, providing the cadets in Alice Springs with the support and encouragement they require to meet their goals.
Rebecca is attentive and focused and constantly encourages the cadets to be their best. This includes helping them build resilience and compassion and develop many skills. She also promotes the positive outcomes of investing in the community. Her peers attest that Rebecca firmly believes in developing local youth in Alice Springs through the cadet program.
Rebecca dedicates her time to empowering today's youth and constantly demonstrates the beliefs and values of the Northern Territory Police.
The Administrator's Medal for Aboriginal Community Police Officer of the Year - Senior Aboriginal Community Police Officer Lindsay Ah Mat
Commencing duties in 2013, Senior ACPO Lindsay Ah Mat has served with the NTPF for over ten years. She currently works in Mutitjulu. One of her priorities when arriving in Mutitjulu over 12 months ago was to learn the local Indigenous lore and customs, thus allowing her to establish strong, trusting relationships with the community.
Outside of her working hours, Lindsay participates in community events and, most importantly, has been a strong advocate and positive influence in getting kids into the education system.
Lindsay is what community policing is: it is all about commitment to serving and protecting her community through relationship building, establishing trust, providing support, and making sure all members of the community are safe and respected. Through her community engagement, Lindsay has assisted local police in Mutitjulu in working better with the community.
Administrator's Medal for Career Firefighter of the Year - Leading Firefighter Russell Smith
Commencing duties in 2015, Leading Firefighter Russell Smith has been with the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service (NTFRS) for over eight years. He is based in Alice Springs and is dedicated to the continuous improvement of the fire service. This is demonstrated by his ongoing development of the training delivered to his team. Russell goes above and beyond to ensure his team's and the community's safety.
He is known to relentlessly research and trial new methods to make his fire crew more capable in the field. He continuously sets an example of professionalism, trust and respect and provides mentoring and support to all members under his watch.
Russell also provides community educational activities such as Hazard Abatement and Road Crash Rescue.
The numerous nominations and support for Russell attest to his professionalism and dedication to the NTFRS and the broader Alice Springs Community.
Administrator's Medal for Auxiliary or Volunteer Firefighter of the Year - Volunteer Captain Benjamin Kolstad
Volunteer Captain Ben Kolstad started volunteer duties in the NT in 2014 and is currently attached to the Virginia/Bees Creek Volunteer Fire Brigade. Ben has given and continues to provide a large amount of his time to supporting community members in the NT and other areas of Australia.
Ben is devoted to his volunteer firefighter role and invests countless hours overseeing the procurement of equipment, operations, and upgrading facilities and training. Outside his full-time employment and family life, Ben prepares volunteer rosters, coordinates callouts, and protects lives and property.
In 2022, a young boy was struck by a car after exiting a school bus. After his recovery, Ben arranged for the young boy and his family to visit the fire station to meet some of the crew and check out the fire trucks. This brought a smile to all involved.
Ben is all about his community, engaging with the local community and participating in local events, including fire education and fundraising, which has seen him involved with Relay for Life, the Christmas Fun Run and many Bunnings sausage sizzles.
Administrator's Medal for Emergency Service Employee or Volunteer of the Year – Northern Territory Emergency Service Volunteer Rhys Perry
Volunteer Unit Officer Rhys Perry began volunteer duties in 2015 and is currently located in Alice Springs. In his time, Rhys is always available to assist when called out by the Northern Territory Emergency Service (NTES). This could be for minor storm damage callouts or coordinating large scale search and rescue operations for missing people in the area.
Rhys has been involved in numerous search and rescue operations in the Southern Region, including local land searches for missing hikers and missing persons in the desert regions of the Central Desert Region. Rhys has also played an integral role in rescuing a man trapped on the roof of his car during a flooding event at the Todd causeway.
Rhys has also volunteered on a national level. This year, he was deployed twice to New South Wales to assist in the flood recovery. He was nominated the Task Force Operator Leader in his second deployment, which entailed coordinating multi-agency teams.
Rhys is passionate about promoting NTES to the community and continuously works with community groups to build on relationships and encourage community engagement.
Administrator's Medal for Aboriginal Liaison Officer of the Year - Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO), Gregory Munar
ALO Gregory Munar joined the NTPFES in 2017 and currently works and resides in Wadeye. Greg is dedicated to the NT Police and prides himself on his work to ensure the police and community work as one. He is fair and unbiased in his actions and provides invaluable support to the Wadeye station and its members.
Greg is highly respected by his police colleagues, who say that he is renowned for his sense of humour, love of his land fishing, and ability to pass on his knowledge to others within the community.
His peers have described Greg as the essence of community engagement, "He walks two worlds, demonstrating his ability to manage issues in both". He is also known to make the community of Wadeye safer and assists the police officers there in building trust, relationships and communication with the community members.