Australia Day Honours have been awarded to nine Queensland Fire Emergency Services (QFES) staff and volunteers and six Queensland police officers for exceptional contribution to their communities.

“I must say I am somewhat speechless!” says APM recipient Sergeant Kate Bailey. “Being awarded the Australian Police Medal (APM) is such an honour as a policewoman and I feel very humbled. Australia Day itself has always been important to me personally, our flag is flown proudly on my flagpole at home daily, and now 26 January will always feel extra special.”

The Honours list provides national recognition for those who contribute significantly to their communities.

“These awards acknowledge the very best of the best and I am proud that nine of the honourees are some of Queensland’s hardworking emergency workers and volunteers,” says Acting Minister for Fire and Emergency Services and Acting Police Minister John McVeigh. “We are very lucky to have six of our staff and volunteers receiving the Australian Fire Service Medal, and three receiving the Emergency Service Medal.

“The commitment and dedication of our emergency personnel has helped Queensland gain a reputation as a leader in fire and emergency management in Australia and across the world.”

McVeigh also thanked the officers who received the Australian Police Medal (APM), who together had more than 156 years of combined policing experience.

“These officers have contributed to nearly every aspect of policing throughout Queensland,” McVeigh says. “On behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank them for their years of service to our state and their tireless work in keeping our communities safe.”

The APM recipients included Sergeant Jim Bellos, a 2013 bmag Person of the Year candidate.

“I feel honoured to be part of an organisation that takes the business of engaging with communities from so many different cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds as one of its core functions to the community of Queensland,” says Sergeant Bellos. “I will continue in my role in working with all members of our multicultural communities in creating and maintaining a strong and positive relationship and empowering our youth as valuable assets to our collective society.”

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart also thanked the APM recipients, who will be presented with their awards at an upcoming ceremony at Government House in Brisbane.

“Through their varied careers, each of these recipients has displayed the desired and exemplary attributes of a QPS officer,” says Commissioner Stewart. “I would like to give my own personal thanks and congratulations to each of the officers and also that on behalf of the Service.”

Assistant Commissioner Bob Gee, another APM recipient, thanked the support he received from others and credited his success to his team.

“It recognises all of those that have helped me improve the quality of life in the community – nothing could have been achieved without the support of my colleagues, family and friends,” says Assistant Commissioner Gee. “Awards like these demonstrate the commitment frontline police demonstrate everyday trying their best to help improve the quality of life for Queenslanders and its visitors.”