Wollongong officer gives ceaseless support

AUSTRALIA DAY 2014 - Illawarra Honours Recipients

For a modest man of very few words, Sergeant Bob Minns sure knows how to leave his mark on the community.

The Wollongong police officer - as compassionate as he is humble - has worked tirelessly during his 29-year career to support his fellow officers, their families and those in need.

On Sunday the NSW Police Association representative was awarded the Australian Police Medal to recognise his contribution in aid of others.

"The Australian Police Medal is very special," Sgt Minns said.

"I feel very honoured and a bit overawed by it; it's one of those things that you don't work for but if they happen, you're very happy with."

For Sgt Minns, who began his career as a probationary constable at The Rocks Police Station in 1985, "just doing his bit" involves anything from performing general duties to organising and distributing hundreds of Christmas presents to underprivileged Illawarra kids.

'I'll probably sit down, have a quiet beer when I get home and that will be my celebration.'

In 2011 it involved working around the clock - and on scheduled rest days - helping fellow officers and community members affected by the Queensland floods.

It was this drive to support his peers that gained him national recognition.

"He has organised fund-raising campaigns for injured and sick officers, as well as dependants of members who have passed away," the Australia Day Honours List notes stated.

"He makes contact regularly with injured and sick members, offering assistance where he can and is often called upon to assist officers involved in critical incidents.

"Sergeant Minns is held in high esteem by both junior and senior officers. He leads by example, offering assistance and guidance to his colleagues."

The Australian Police Medal is one of several awards Sgt Minns has received in recent years. Others include a National Medal (2000), first clasp to the National Medal (2008), NSW Police Medal (2004) and third clasp to the NSW Police Medal (2012).

He was also named 2013 Rotary Police Officer of the Year and recognised at last year's Pride of the Illawarra Emergency Services Officers of the Year Awards.

Despite the significant accolade, celebrations will be low-key for Sgt Minns, who was due to knock off work at midnight last night.

"I'll probably sit down, have a quiet beer when I get home and that will be my celebration," he said.

Instead he was looking forward to taking his family to Government House, where he'll receive his medal in a few months' time.

He was one of 22 police and emergency services personnel honoured with medals as a part of Australia Day celebrations yesterday.

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