Minister for Corrections Edward O’Donohue today presented 56-year-old Barwon Supervisor Robert McNally with Corrections Victoria’s Medal of Valour at a Parliament House ceremony.
Established in 1958, the medal can be awarded to prison staff for acts of conspicuous bravery in the line of duty.
In July 2013, Mr McNally intervened between two prisoners, one of whom had a sharp object, during an aggressive and dangerous confrontation.
While he sustained minor injuries in the process, his actions prevented the two prisoners from suffering serious injury.
Mr O’Donohue praised Mr McNally’s bravery, saying he went above and beyond the call of duty to protect the security of the prison and contain a dangerous situation.
“Mr McNally’s heroic actions highlight the commitment and dedication that Victoria’s prison officers bring to their work, day in, day out,” Mr O’Donohue said.
“On behalf of the community and the corrections system, it gives me great pleasure to present Barwon Prison Supervisor Robert McNally with one of Corrections Victoria’s highest honours, the Medal of Valour.”
Mr McNally joined Corrections Victoria in 2002. Since then, he has worked as a prison officer, as a member of the specialist Security and Emergency Services Group, and now as a supervisor at Barwon Prison.
Corrections Victoria Commissioner Jan Shuard said Victoria’s prison system had a proud history dating back to the 1850s.
“Today’s award is a rare honour and I congratulate Mr McNally for his bravery and on this remarkable achievement,” Ms Shuard said.
“Our staff are our greatest asset, and Corrections Victoria is proud to have officers as committed and passionate to making a difference as Mr McNally.
“All of Victoria’s prison officers perform an excellent job, often in a challenging environment, to keep the community safe and the prison system secure.”
Ms Shuard said the Medal of Valour was last awarded eight years ago when a Barwon prison officer tackled a prisoner to prevent him from assaulting a fellow officer.
The medal was first introduced in 1958 following an incident at Pentridge Prison in 1954 when a staff member escaped a hostage scenario to raise the alarm.