Five Australians have posthumously received bravery awards 76 years after being executed by Japanese forces on Nauru during WWII.
Caroline Billingham grew up knowing that discussing the tragic fate of her grandfather was strictly taboo in her family.
Early in 1942 western and Chinese civilians evacuated the tiny island of Nauru amid the outbreak of war in the Pacific.
But Ms Billingham's grandfather Frederick Francis Harmer and four other courageous Australians were too concerned about the welfare of the island's indigenous population to leave. So, with no back-up and "no hope in hell", they stayed.
"No one talked about it in our family," Ms Billingham, 49, said.
"It was like a sort of no-go zone for a long time."
In August 1942, Japanese forces invaded the island to commandeer its phosphate deposits and took all five men as prisoners.
They were kept alive until just before dawn on March 25 1943, when they were all executed.
But it wasn't until two years later that their families found out the painful truth.
Their story became bogged in bureaucracy, and because the men weren't serving in the armed forces, the Australian government was slow to help.
"His wife wrote to the government after the war ... She really wanted something done about the bodies," Ms Billingham said of her grandmother Bertha.
Now, 76 years on, these courageous Australians have been recognised in the Australian Bravery Awards.
It's bittersweet for Ms Billingham.
"I would like to say it would be closure."
"However ... my dad died five years ago and his brother, the only other sibling, died about nine years ago," she said.
"So, it is very sad that they had no idea anything like this was happening."
It comes after Tasmanian historian Scott Seymour discovered their burial site - a long-time goal of Ms Billingham's father Ron that was never fulfilled, despite a trip to Nauru in the 1990s.
Ms Billingham hopes to bury her grandfather's remains alongside his wife in Coogee, Sydney.
Among those executed was former Nauru administrator Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Royden Chalmers, from Tasmania.
His grandson Roy Ramage says the award is "long overdue".
Mr Ramage, 69, said their efforts to dig up his grandfather's remains have already been stopped twice because of "government this, government that".
"The Nauruan government has got a say in it, our government has got a say in it, and we couldn't afford to stay there overnight; it's $1000 a night," he said.
William Doyle, Dr Bernard Quin and Wilfred Shugg have also been posthumously named in a Group Bravery Citation.
"They were very brave, to stay on and do that," Ms Billingham said.
"Against Japanese, with no back-up, just them, they didn't really have a hope in hell."
SA family in shark attack honoured
His sister was one of just a few people attacked by sharks in Australian waters each year, but South Australian man Mitch Williams counts himself lucky.
The family was enjoying an afternoon on Lady Bay at Normanville, on the Fleurieu Peninsula, when 15-year-old Sarah was knocked out of her kayak by a 4.5-metre white pointer shark.
She was thrown into the air then disappeared with the shark below the surface of the water.
Mr Williams, 24, and his father Chris - who have both been announced awardees of a bravery commendation - saw the attack from their four-metre dinghy about 30 metres away and sprung into action.
"Time kind of slows down in those situations," he said of the October 2017 incident.
"Seeing the attack take place, my father pulled the chord (on the dinghy) and it started on the first go, which never happens.
"That was a stroke of luck and then we sort of angled in her direction."
Sarah emerged from the water and clambered onto the centre of the damaged kayak, with half her body still in the water, while the shark again knocked the vessel.
She sustained only minor injuries including bruising - a lucky escape Mr Williams attributes to a number of favourable factors.
Many Australians praised
The Governor-General has announced the following bravery awards:
For acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances:
Miss Elizabeth Ann ADAMS, Palm Beach Qld
Mr Leon Corey BROUWER, Singleton WA
Mr Craig Geoffrey COLEMAN, St Lawrence Qld
Mr Lyle Ernest COLLINS, Rochester Vic
Sergeant Paul Anthony COX, Queensland Police Service
Mr Jean-Luc GALLO, NSW
Mr Damond Warwick GRAY, Mount Warren Park Qld
Mr Matthew Caine HASSEN, Bulimba Qld
Mr Zen Sirius JOYCE, Coledale NSW
Mr Alan Brian LAWRY, Coolum Beach Qld
Mr Timothy Thomas LEEMING, Coojar Vic
Miss Karina NUMAMURDIRDI, Angurugu Community NT
The late Mr Robert Fawcett PICKERSGILL, formerly of Qld
Mr Todd Jonathan ROBERTSON,Barwon Heads Vic
Mr Jason Troy SHEPHERD, Lower King WA
Mr Andrew Gordon STRUNK, South Fremantle WA
Mr Axel Christian TRITTON, Dean Park NSW
Commendation for Brave Conduct
For acts of bravery considered worthy of recognition:
Miss Ella Layne ANDREWS, WA
Mr Lachlan James BULMAN, Vic
Mrs Vivienne Susanne COLEMAN, St Lawrence Qld
Warrant Officer Class Two James Hugh COTTLE, Qld
Mr Robert William DEVLIN, Qld
Mr Mitchell Ronald FING, Raymond Terrace NSW
Mr Craig John HOGARTH, Caloundra Qld
Mr Marc Andrew JOHNSON, Traralgon Vic
The late Mr David KERR, formerly of NSW
Mr David Colin McCARTNEY, Ungarie NSW
Mr Daniel Wayne McDONALD, Marcoola Qld
Mr Darryn Charles MARSHALL, Nerang Qld
Mr William Michael NASH, Conder ACT
Sergeant Matthew John O'BRIEN, Queensland Police Service
Mr Jared ROBINSON, Hatherleigh SA
Mr Roberto SEROLA, Burleigh Heads Qld
Mrs Kerry Lee SEYMOUR, Qld
Senior Constable Jay Stuart SHEPHERD, Queensland Police Service
Mr Christopher John WILLIAMS, Mount Compass SA
Mr Mitchell Clarke WILLIAMS, Mount Compass SA
Group Bravery Citation
For a collective act of bravery, by a group of persons in extraordinary circumstances, that is considered worthy of recognition:
Awardees comprise former NSW Corrections Officers who assisted during a fire and inmate riot at a maximum-security prison in Dutton Park, Queensland, on 2 December 1987.
Mr Cyril Idres CAIRNS, Arundel Qld
Mr John Francis COLLINS, Beenleigh Qld
The Late Mr Geoffrey GRANT, formerly of Sunnybank Qld
Mr David JEFFERSON, Parkinson Qld
Mr Michael James KINDNESS, Boondall Qld
Mr Roy Stanley KOPLICK, Eagleby Qld
Three members and one former member of the Northern Territory Police Force who rescued a woman from a burning unit in Katherine, Northern Territory, on 25 May 2017.
Mr Trent Mitchell DOLE
Constable First Class Blake Peter GOODWORTH
Constable Timothy Liam GOUVERNEUR
Sergeant Benjamin Samuel WATSON
Awardees comprise members of the public who were involved in the rescue of a woman from a burning vehicle at Palm Beach, Queensland, on 29 May 2016.
Miss Elizabeth Ann ADAMS, Palm Beach Qld
Dr Ashok GANGASANDRA BASAVARAJ, Clear Island Waters Qld
Mr Vishaak GANGASANDRA, Clear Island Waters Qld
Mr Richard STAPLES, Currumbin Waters Qld
Mr John Hendrikus VERBEEK, Currumbin Qld
Awardees comprise three members of the public who rescued people from a burning car at Orelia, Western Australia on 20 April 2018.
Mr Robin John LEE, Burswood WA
Mr Jake Wilson PUGH, Orelia WA
Mr Ian Trevor URQUHART, Orelia WA
Awardees comprise members of the Queensland Police Service who were involved in removing a man from a burning vehicle at Mount Gravatt, Queensland on 25 February 2015.
Sergeant Agnelle Amelia BAGETTI
Senior Constable Jason Patrick BANKS
Senior Constable Brendan Sean O'BRIEN
Sergeant Matthew John O'BRIEN
Senior Constable Jay Stuart SHEPHERD
Senior Constable Ashley Karl THOMPSON
Awardees comprise members of the Queensland Police Service who were confronted by an armed man at Gracemere, Queensland on 22 December 2015.
Constable Richard Louis ADDERLEY
Senior Constable Dale Anthony COOK
Awardees comprise members of the Queensland State Emergency Service and one member of the public who rescued a family stranded in floodwaters following Cyclone Debbie, Queensland on 31 March 2017.
Mrs Claire Louise BROWNING, Tas
Mr James FERGUSON, Waterford Qld
Mr Samuel Liam FOURAS, Luscombe Qld
Mr Christopher Edward HOLLOWAY, Logan City Qld
Awardees comprise members of the public who rescued several children from the ocean at Dolphin Point, NSW, on 17 January 2018.
Mr Brent Jeffrey ELPHINSTON, Engadine NSW
Mrs Nerida Lee LARTER, NSW
Mrs Kerrie Ann McCULLOCH, Barden Ridge NSW
Mr Simon James OWEN, Raby NSW
Mr Brett Colin WILLIAMS, Robertson NSW
Awardees comprise five men who, between 1940 and 1943, elected to remain on the island of Nauru to protect the indigenous population and uphold law and order despite the threat of invasion by Japanese forces.
The late Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Royden CHALMERS CMG DSO
The late Mr William Henry DOYLE
The late Mr Frederick Francis HARMER
The late Dr Bernard Haselden QUIN
The late Mr Wilfred SHUGG