29 August 2011
Actions during earthquake win premiere New Zealand security award
The actions of two security guards at an international gathering in Christchurch during the February earthquake have
seen them named joint recipients of the 2011 Security Officer of the Year Award.
The award was one of five presented at the New Zealand Security Association-ETITO security industry awards in Auckland
The Security Officer of the Year Award recognises leadership, excellence and the other qualities that make a security
professional. Brian Smart and Jo Anne Silbery of Red Badge Group were announced joint winners for their professionalism
and in particular their actions on February 22 this year when the Christchurch earthquake struck.
Brian and Jo Anne were part of the security team at the United States New Zealand Partnership Forum at AMI Stadium in
Christchurch, attended by more than 100 delegates from the US and New Zealand, including government officials and young
Brian and Jo Anne maintained absolute calm and displayed great leadership and professionalism as they helped many
frightened delegates and provided initial first aid.
Jo Anne ensured a large group of delegates got out of the grandstand and onto the pitch and when they were confronted by
burst water and sewage pipes got them all to hold hands and support each other through the current to safety. She went
on to help carry women across liquefaction in areas outside the stadium.
Brian made sure people were kept informed of what was happening, looked for options to get people to safety and played a
key role in helping a group of very frightened young people from New Zealand and the US to feel safe and supported.
In supporting their nomination for the award, the events manager for the forum Jo Darby of Acumen Republic, said Brian
and Jo Anne led from the outset, and with their team, did a remarkable job. Each had their own family and friends
elsewhere in Christchurch but they refused to leave until the delegates were all safe.
She said: “That day gave me a real sense of pride and understanding of what it means to be a New Zealander – a real
sense of community – and what can be achieved by incredible leadership.”
The judging panel from ETITO, the industry training organisation for the security sector, and the NZSA, noted that both
Brian and Jo Anne have forged careers as security professionals but the qualities they displayed that day made them
clear winners among a strong field of nominees.
Other 2011 NZSA-ETITO Security Award winners were:
2011 NZSA-ETITO Security Trainee of the Year: Zoltan Szeman of First Security Guard Services, Auckland.
The Security Trainee of the Year Award recognises an individual who has made outstanding progress in professional
development and training. He or she will have displayed commitment to training and achieving results through national
The inaugural winner of this category is a relevant newcomer to the New Zealand industry and New Zealand itself. A
former member of the Hungarian air force and prison service, English is his second language but this has not held him
back from achieving a number of security qualifications in a relatively short time.
While working as a security supervisor at a data centre in Auckland, he completed the National Certificate in Security
[Levels 2 and 3], over the course of 2009 and 2010. He went on to also achieve the National Diploma in Security [Level
6], becoming just the third person to do so.
But it’s not only his own commitment to achieving qualifications that makes our winner stand out. He has also inspired
his site staff to engage in training and made a significant contribution to a high standard of training and to the
development of others.
2011 NZSA-ETITO Registered Training Workplace of the Year: First Contact Group, Wellington. [Directors: Darryl and
This award recognises a company or organisation with an outstanding commitment to improving workplace performance by
engaging in national qualifications training as a Registered Training Workplace. They will clearly demonstrate value to
staff, the business, and customers through of a robust skills training culture.
The winner of this category is a company with a “training is everything” approach to business. Training has been a key
driver from the first day the business opened nine years ago. Its owners have been at the forefront of assisting with
the development of industry-wide training courses and qualifications in a number of areas.
They set up a full-time training business unit specifically to manage training requirements. They have invested heavily
in establishing a permanent training space and resourcing it. Since becoming a Registered Training Workplace with ETITO,
the company has ensured each one of its employees is actively involved in training and achieving qualifications. The
company now has more than 100 graduates of the National Certificate in Security [Level 3] qualification.
Supporting staff through their training and celebrating their achievement is a central part of the training programme.
Staff achievements are showcased on the company’s walls and each Level 2 graduate receives a special jacket to recognise
what they have achieved.
First Contact Group has proven itself a true leader in establishing a training culture to benefit staff, business,
customers and the broader industry.
2011 NZSA-ETITO Workplace Assessor of the Year : Tony Robinson of Venue Security International, Auckland.
This award recognises an assessor who has made an outstanding contribution to assessment and training in his or her
workplace. He or she would have displayed the kind of leadership, as well as technical knowledge, that make a difference
to training engagement and results. Demonstrating integrity and outstanding commitment to best practice assessment will
be a given.
The winner of this award has almost 20 years’ experience in the security industry, working across a wide variety of
roles. He holds the National Certificate in Security [Levels 2 and 3] and is shortly expected to achieve the Level 4.
He is a colourful character who brings good humour and passion to all that he does – and no more so than in his role as
a workplace assessor. Empowering staff through knowledge and achieving qualifications is a key motivation in his work.
Tony takes the kind of approach that means trainees are enthusiastic about learning. He brings the learning to life, he
takes extra care to ensure it is relevant and that what is learned stays with the trainees beyond the training session.
His commitment and skill have seen many trainees gain qualifications, improve their literacy and numeracy skills, and
aspire to rewarding and successful security careers.
2011 NZSA-ETITO Security Personality of the Year Award: Scott Carter of Matrix Security Group.
Scott Carter’s success in business within the NZ security industry has been significant, as has been his volunteer
leadership within the industry.
He began his career within the New Zealand Police gaining skills he later put to use working for ADT Securitas. He
formed Matrix Security in 1993 and remains the company’s CEO. Scott has been an active volunteer leader as part of the
board of the New Zealand Security Association and was its chair from 2003-07, when he was instrumental in many of the
key initiatives. Based on service, contribution and skill set, he was identified by the board of the NZSA as being an
ideal security industry representative for the ETITO board and was elected to that position in 2008.
Separately, Scott has been the chairman of NZ Rugby League since 2009 and earlier this year was elected chair of the
Rugby League International Federation. He is passionate about whatever he does and wants to make a positive difference
wherever possible. He has built and maintained a profile based on performance and credibility, while offering value back
to the industry on a volunteer basis, for never being afraid to make the hard decisions, or to say the difficult things
that are sometimes required.