Paul Burchell (right) being interviewed by ABC Radio in Manly after his selection as this year’s Brisbane Community Hero. Photo: Supplied.
BY HARVEY SHORE
Paul Burchell, a 30-year veteran of Brisbane Coast Guard in Manly, has been declared a ‘Brisbane Community Hero’ by the organisers of this year’s Brisbane Festival.
Paul is the Duty Officer of ‘J’ Roster, holder of the National Medal, the National Emergency Medal and the Flood & Cyclone Citation among other awards, and a fully-qualified Coast Guard coxswain who has been involved in hundreds of marine rescues.
Brisbane Festival organisers said they were looking for people who displayed bravery, courage, honesty, moral integrity, selflessness, strength, leadership or self-sacrifice, and who made a significant contribution in their neighbourhood and left a positive impact on the lives of others.
The judging committee said they were impressed by Paul’s ‘quiet achiever’ approach to his extraordinary volunteer work, which had clearly saved numerous lives and fulfilled all their requirements for a Community Hero.
In addition to being a duty officer at the Manly Coast Guard base, and taking part in Search and Rescue operations with Water Police, Paul also acts as security officer for the base and uses his trade skills as a carpenter to assist with ongoing repairs to the building.
Mr Burchell was declared a ‘Brisbane Community Hero’ and interviewed before a large crowd of festival-goers at a ceremony in Manly’s Bayside Park. His interview was broadcast on ABC Radio.
Paul also received a VIP invitation to attend all future Brisbane Festival events.