CAPTION: Corporal Dylan Curran, of 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, is one of this year’s Jonathan Church Good Soldiering Award recipients. Story by Corporal Michael Rogers.
Jonathan Church Good Soldiering Award
The Jonathan Church Good Soldiering Award acknowledges junior soldiers and officers who consistently demonstrate Army’s five values and who embody Army’s contract with the nation. The recipients attended a ceremony to receive their awards on March 1 at Russell Offices, Canberra, to coincide with Army’s birthday.
One of this year’s four recipients is Corporal Dylan Curran.
When Corporal Dylan Curran jumped into a Hawkei for a driving assessment, all he was thinking about was passing it.
But after rounding a corner and seeing a council water truck lying on its roof, the only thing on his mind was helping.
“I told the civilian instructor that we were stopping and we were going to help, which was the right thing to do,” he said.
Once stopped, Corporal Curran directed the driver of a second Hawkei to grab a first-aid kit, while he took the axe and sledgehammer from his own vehicle.
They found a number of civilians attempting to break into the cab and, after Corporal Curran smashed a window with the sledgehammer, they looked to him to take charge.
The driver was upside down and unresponsive and Corporal Curran said first-aid training helped him keep calm and think about what to do.
“First, I checked for his pulse. I unfortunately didn’t find one, so that’s when I carried on providing further first aid where I could,” he said.
“There was a bit of blood, which was probably due to the glass shattering and him being thrown around the cab. I tried to patch up any wounds I found.”
Corporal Curran continued to render first aid until emergency services arrived.
“What felt like 20 or 30 seconds to me was actually five to six minutes trying to help him before the ambulance arrived and they took charge,” he said.
“There are a thousand other blokes out there more deserving of the award, as I feel like I just did what anyone would have done.
“It’s great the Army is recognising amazing service.”
After returning to RAAF Base Amberley and being debriefed, Corporal Curran was happy they had tried their best.
“A day later in the news, we got confirmation the driver died, and that’s when it really hit me. I kept wondering if there was more I could’ve done to help him,” Corporal Curran said.
He said the unit psychologist helped make it clear the incident affected him more than he understood.
“I thought I was doing all right until I had a chat with the psychologist; so always ask for help, never be afraid to talk to someone and explain how you’re feeling,” Corporal Curran said.
A self-described ‘Army brat’, Corporal Curran grew up all over Australia, with the majority of his childhood spent in Darwin, where his father was an operator supply at 1st Brigade.
Corporal Curran joined Army in 2011 as a cavalry crewman, and after time in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and 1st Armoured Regiment, transferred to the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps as an operator supply at the end of 2016.