Push for teen flood hero to be recognised

THE father of 13-year-old Jordan Rice who was tragically killed while saving his younger brother in Queensland’s 2011 floods has today renominated his son for a bravery award.

John Tyson’s renewed plea comes after two previous rejections of a bravery award for Jordan, despite Tony Abbott, then-opposition leader, saying he should be given the Cross of Valour – Australia’s highest civilian award for bravery.

“I was so proud. I waited, waited and waited – but it never happened. Three years on, I feel like Jordan’s bravery has been forgotten about, and all the talk by politicians were empty gestures,” John said.


Jordan, his mother and younger brother were trapped on the roof of their family car in the middle of Toowoomba when it was overcome by raging floodwaters.

As a good samaritan waded in to help, Jordan insisted his little brother was saved first. Moments later, Jordan and his mum were swept to their deaths.

“Jordan couldn’t swim. He must have been petrified. But he put his fears aside to make sure his brother made it through the terrifying flood,” John said.

“Time can never heal what losing them has meant for us. We’re still devastated, and struggling.”

Toowoomba - Floods

The scene of the 2011 inland tsunami which swept through the centre of Toowoomba.

More than 126,000 people have signed an online change.org petition to honour Jordan, setup by John.

Tyson said he welcomed the overwhelming support for his petition, and hoped the Governor-General’s awards committee would take it into consideration in his application for Jordan.

“Our family were shocked that the committee refused to recognise Jordan’s bravery last time around – it left us numbed and devastated,” he said.

“I really hope that the support of 126,000 Australians on my change.org petition will help show the community support for Jordan to be remembered.

“Nothing will ever bring Jordan and Donna back to us. But three and a half years on, we hope a permanent recognition of Jordan’s sacrifice and bravery will help us put this tragedy behind us finally.”

In response to Tyson’s 126,000-strong petition, Tony Abbott last week contacted the Governor-General’s honours secretariat to consider any nomination for Jordan to receive the Cross of Valour posthumously.

For live signature updates and comments on the petition: http://www.change.org/honourjordan