Order of Liverpool Awards: 'Remarkable people' recognised

Liverpool SES deputy unit commander James Heffernan said it was a "great honour" to be recognised with a Companion of the Order of Liverpool award at this year's Order of Liverpool Awards.

Mr Heffernan was one of three recipients of the highest category of award which was presented virtually to coincide with Liverpool's 210th birthday earlier this month.

The awards were created in 1979 by former mayor Noel Short and recognise the achievements of local volunteers and the contributions they have made to enhance the quality of life within the city.

Mr Heffernan joined the Liverpool SES in 2004 to meet new people, learn new skills and help the community.

He is now one of the longest-serving members of the 70-strong unit and as part of his many tasks he acts as incident controller or as a member of the incident management team during significant flooding events.

The 2016 floods, 2018 hailstorm and flooding in February of this year he said were the three biggest local events he has been involved in.

He has worked up to 16 hours a shift planning evacuations of flood-affected suburbs and responded to many significant storm and hail events - including in 2018 when his own house was being severely damaged by hail. He has also travelled to help other units across the state to help when needed.

Mr Heffernan, who works as a security and emergency manager, said now is the time for residents to prepare their houses in case of a storm.

"Clear your gutters, trim overhanging trees and when a storm is coming, make sure things are secure, cars are not parked under trees and tie down trampolines," he said.

"We are always looking for additional volunteers to help make the community safer."

Allen Bull and Silvio Marucci were the other recipients of The Companion of the Order of Liverpool this year.

Mr Bull has spent his life working for the community, particularly with young people as a gymnastics, basketball and swimming coach, and in various roles at the Liverpool YMCA.

A former NSW Diving Coach, he has been a Meals On Wheels delivery driver since 1968 and been involved with Liverpool Rotary Club, Liverpool Salvation Army and Denham Court Anglican Church.

Mr Marucci - the chairman of planning for Liverpool Catholic Club's Christmas Carols from 1990 to 2015 - has used his skills as an electrician and building project manager on a range of different projects, including the Scalabrini Village in Austral.

A volunteer for more than 56 years, he is a longstanding member of the Liverpool Italian Federation, providing social interaction for newly arrived migrants and raised funds for community festivals, charities and local hospitals.

Liverpool mayor Wendy Waller said Allen, James and Silvio have each made a "fantastic contribution" to the city through their extensive community and volunteer work.

"For more than 50 years Allen and Silvio have each championed a range of initiatives to improve the lives of others, while James has helped lead the response to several significant flooding events and grow the local NSW SES unit to help improve community safety," she said.

"Each of these men are heroes of their own accord and I thank them for their outstanding and ongoing contributions to our wonderful city."

Ms Waller congratulated all 13 recipients of this year's Order of Liverpool Awards describing them as "remarkable people." There are three categories of awards: The Companion of the Order of Liverpool, Officer of the Order of Liverpool and the Member of the Order of Liverpool.

"Our recipients have made great contributions across a diverse range of fields - from advancing Liverpool's history, music and sporting achievements to providing essential support for those in need," she said.

Order of Liverpool Awards

Companion of the Order of Liverpool

  • Allen Bull
  • James Heffernan
  • Silvio Marucci

Officer of the Order of Liverpool

  • Patricia Braden (Honorary)
  • Nell Corliss
  • Amanda Crnkovic
  • Atish Jain
  • Jenny McNevin (Honorary)
  • David Millott

Member of the Order of Liverpool

  • Pradeep Chavan
  • Amanda Moore
  • Peter Moore (Honorary)
  • Amar Singh (Honorary)