Sikh man honoured with top Australian award for his brave act

Jalandhar-born Sukhbir Singh Seehra, a mental health professional, is among 26 recipients of this year’s Australian Bravery Decorations award that honour people who put risk their lives to protect others.

Seehra has been awarded ‘Commendation for Brave Conduct’ for his swift action towards an agitated patient who threatened to blow up the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in Queensland.

The patient had a red-wired explosive-looking device wrapped around his body, Seehra told SBS Punjabi.

Seehra, who works at the Psychiatric Emergency Centre of the Hospital, immediately dialled emergency services to report the situation, and “intervened immediately to assist in restraining the patient as it was a matter of the safety of other patients and the hospital staff”, SBS Punjabi reported.

Police arrived shortly and took control of the situation.

“The awards I am announcing today recognise people who, in a moment of peril, were selfless and brave. Confronted with danger, they chose to help others,” said Australian Governor General David Hurley, as he presented the awards recently.

Born and raised in Goraya, a small town in Jalandhar, Seehra arrived in Australia as a nursing student in 2007. He completed his education at Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, in 2011. Occupational violence protection training, according to him, is a part of his work.

Two Australian bravery lists are announced every year. The independent Australian Bravery Decorations Council makes recommendations to the Governor General regarding who should be recognised and at what level of award.

The awards are categorised into four groups — Bravery Medal, Bar to the Bravery Medal, Commendation for Brave Conduct, and Group Bravery Citation.

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