[ACNS source: Religious Media Agency] On Friday 17 October, Bali Honours were announced for 199 recipients, arising out of the Bali tragedy on 12 October 2002.
The official statement reads: "These awards recognise the range of service undertaken by community members to help those in distress.
"In addition to honours awarded to many at the scene who acted without hesitation in such grave circumstances, others recognised include those who in the immediate aftermath and in the weeks that followed performed in outstanding capacities to assist survivors and their families."
We acknowledge there could be many with church connections amongst the recipients but there was no indication of this information in the background material received. Sincerest congratulations go to such people.
However, amongst those honoured were two Chaplains, who received the Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM).
Senior Chaplain Richard Thompson RAN (of the Catholic denomination), based at the Command Chaplains Office, Garden Island Navy Base, New South Wales, "for outstanding service in the provision of pastoral and administrative support to the relief effort in support of Operation BALI ASSIST, directly after the bombings in October 2002". His care of the families of the bereaved, survivors, consular staff and other chaplains, along with his subsequent careful and detailed analysis of the incident, demonstrated the finest qualities of chaplaincy.
(Army) Chaplain Haydn Michele Swinbourn (of the Anglican denomination), based at Durack, Northern Territory "for outstanding service in the provision of pastoral support to families and friends of missing and deceased, assistance to next-of-kin in the identification of loved ones, and pastoral support to deployed members of Operation BALI ASSIST, October 2002". His tireless efforts fostered the emotional and spiritual healing of the many victims he became associated with during the Bali tragedy.
The Chair of the Council for the Order of Australia, the Honourable Sir James Gobbo AC CVO, commented, "There can be nothing but the highest praise and sincere thanks for those who are recognised today for their extraordinary and unstinting service to assist and support those affected by the tragedy."