A Sydney student and Air Force Cadet has been awarded a Commendation for Brave Conduct after helping rescue a family of three in dangerous surf conditions in November 2010.
Cadet Warrant Officer Ashleigh Flanagan was awarded the Commendation by the Governor-General of Australia, Her Excellency, Ms Quentin Bryce AC, at Government House last month.
On a break from a school camp sports and science class activity, Ms Flanagan and a school friend were alerted to a family of three in distress in a strong current 100 metres offshore. The two school friends swam immediately to the family and kept the family afloat until further help arrived.
“They had been in the water for around 40 minutes and were weak, tired and distraught”, Ashleigh said.
“Once I realised exactly what the situation was, I just acted immediately and entered the water out of instinct”, she continued.
Ashleigh has been an Australian Air Force Cadet attached to the Rockdale Squadron in southern Sydney since 2009.
An active Squadron Member, it is believed that she is the only current serving Australian Air Force Cadet member in receipt of a Commendation for Brave Conduct.