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Heroic act draws top honour

Friday, 12th September, 2014

Leanne Barber at home with her Bravery Medal Leanne Barber at home with her Bravery Medal

By Emily Roberts

Leanne Barber has returned home after being honoured for her bravery in a saving a man who was being mauled by a pack of dogs.

The Bravery Medal was presented by NSW Governor Dame Marie Bashir at Government House in Sydney. Its the third highest bravery award in the nation.

In 2012, Leanne found a man, Damien Novello, in her street being attacked by three bull mastiffs. She rushed to save him and was attacked herself, leaving her with scars she will bear for the rest of her life.

"I was the only woman to receive a Bravery Medal," Leanne said.

"I was in great company - I sat next to (actress) Jacki Weaver."

"It was a beautiful day and then we have a lovely luncheon.

"We mingled with everyone, looked around the gardens and saw the Opera House. It was magnificent.

"I also became an honorary member of the Bravery Association of Australia."

Leanne said she was lost for words at the ceremony.

"I couldn't speak, we were surrounded by all the dignitaries of Australia."

She said it was a family affair, with husband Terry and daughter Geena also attending.

"Afterwards Geena climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge and we did some harbour cruises, as well as having a celebration lunch."

Leanne said she was grateful to be recognised.

"It's beautiful that people in Broken Hill nominated me. It's nice to be recognised."

Leanne received the medal for an act of bravery in hazardous circumstances. She is the only woman in Broken Hill to have won it.

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