When Joe Bakhos saw a man holding a machete to an 11-year-old boy's throat and threatening to decapitate him, he did not think of his own safety.
Trained in conflict management, the security guard began negotiating with the man who had threatened to kill the boy unless his demands to see his family were met.
Mr Bakhos managed the situation, keeping the man calm until police arrived and arrested the man.
"It was pretty frightening for everyone," said Mr Bakhos. "But all I thought about was that I have to save the boy."
He was one of five security guards recognised for extraordinary acts of bravery during the past year with an Australian Security Medal Of Valour.
The awards have been established by a group of security professionals to recognise acts of bravery and achievement in what can be a dangerous profession.
The patron of the Australian Security Medals Foundation is MP Philip Ruddock, and the medals are supported by companies including Qantas, Westfield, SNP, Chubb, Securecorp and MSS Security.
Chris Twal from ACS was recognised for intervening to stop a man who had punched a 62-year-old man in a shopping centre. Mr Twal managed to wrestle the man to the ground.
Mahmoud (Chris) Nemra, an SNP security officer at Sydney Trains in Bankstown, won the award for protecting a group of eight- to 10-year-old boys from a gang of 30 youths who were threatening them, by putting himself between the boys and the gang.
Ross Chapman, the emergency operations duty manager at the Opera House, was acknowledged for breaking up a fight in which he was hit, headbutted and threatened with being shot.
Jovan Jovanov, a security officer at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra, won the medal for saving the life of an elderly man who was attacked by a man and dog.