NEW SOUTH WALES FIRE BRIGADES

NEW SOUTH WALES FIRE BRIGADES

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM) NEW SOUTH WALES Mr William George ALEXANDER, Albury NSW 2640 Mr Alexander joined the Rural Fire Service in 1973 ...

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AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

NEW SOUTH WALES Mr William George ALEXANDER, Albury NSW 2640 Mr Alexander joined the Rural Fire Service in 1973 by looking after the radios for the (then) Hume Shire. In 1993 he was appointed as the Deputy Fire Control Officer for Hume Shire and, in 1995, was also appointed as Deputy Fire Control Officer for the Albury Council. In 1998 he was appointed as the Fire Control Officer for Albury, Culcairn and Hume Councils and, in 2003, was appointed as the Fire Control Officer for Holbrook Shire. In 2005 Mr Alexander became the first Rural Fire Service Zone Manager for the Hume Zone which encompassed the old Shires of Albury, Hume, Culcairn and Holbrook. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Zone through his tireless efforts and hard work. He worked closely with staff, volunteers and councils to analyse each aspect of Zoning and how it would benefit service delivery. His dedication, hard work and leadership achieved the pulling together of volunteers into an efficient and cohesive unit. In 2007 Mr Alexander was also instrumental in setting up what is now the Southern Border Team which is made up of the Hume and Corowa/Berrigan Zones. Once again, his ability to bring together the personnel of these areas into a single cohesive unit is a testament to his drive and leadership. During numerous meetings with volunteer members of the Service, Council Staff and Rural Fire Service staff, he was able to convince all concerned on the merits to the organisation of forming the Southern Border Team. While this process was often long and difficult, he continually worked long and excessive hours to see the project through to fruition. Through his dedication, commitment and achievements, Mr Alexander has continually promoted the Service as a professional and well organised emergency service. He is held in high esteem by all personnel.

Mr Gerard Charles CANNON, 8 Rawson Avenue, Tamworth NSW 2340 Mr Cannon was appointed to the NSW Fire Brigades as a retained firefighter attached to Tamworth Brigade in 1957. Since then he has served the community of NSW and the NSW Fire Brigades with distinction and demonstrated a dedication to duty that serves as an exemplary example to peers and subordinates alike. Through his outstanding leadership qualities, Mr Cannon has been instrumental in lifting the profile of the NSW Fire Brigades within the Tamworth community, where he is particularly active in promoting community safety programs, and the Volunteer Firefighters Association Championships. Mr Cannon is held in the highest regard within the community and the NSW Fire Brigades.

340

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr Edward William DAVIES, 7 Nellie Vale Road, Narromine NSW 2821 Mr Davies joined the Wilcannia and District Rural Fire Brigade as a full time member in 1970. Following extensive rains in 1974 a large number of grass and bush fire occurred in the summer of 1974-75. During this period Mr Davies was elected a Brigade Captain and directed firefighing operations throughout the Wilcannia District. In 1976 similar circumstances occurred and Mr Davies was nominated as a Section 17 Emergency Bush Fire Controller for the Wilcannia District. He was subsequently appointed to the position on several occasions over that summer and effectively managed firefighing operations from a strategic level in a time where communications, equipment and external support was very limited. In 1980, Mr Davies was elected as a Group Captain within the Central Darling Shire Rural Fire District a position he held until his retirement. 1984 again saw substantial fires in the Wilcannia area with further Section 17 appointments accredited to Mr Davies. These appointments were in addition to his responsibility as a local Group Captain managing a variety of smaller incidents. Whilst his brigade activities have been beyond compare over the years it has been his promotion of the aims and values of the Rural Fire Service that has distinguished his service from that of others. He has contributed a lifetime of experience to the Service at many levels. In 1985 he was appointed as a member of the NSW Bushfire Council holding this position for ten years and he was also elected Chairman of the Council’s Technical Committee and he held this position between 1985 and 1990. On a local level he continued to support all of the brigades within the Central Darling District, through his guidance and leadership they continued to flourish in far western New South Wales, often in difficult circumstances and facing many obstacles along the way. In later years he has been a very active and supportive member of the local Rural Fire Service Senior Management Committee and Central Darling Bush Fire Management Committee and in these environments he has always been willing to consider options for improvement of the local response to emergencies of all types. His willingness to accept change and yet remain true to his own beliefs has provided the leadership to the Wilcannia and District Brigade which has enable them to move forward and grow through adversity. Mr Davies is a true example of what it means to be a volunteer in the remote areas of the State, willing to travel many hundreds of kilometres to attend meetings, always willing to support the Service by providing support and guidance in areas as diverse as fire trail planning and inspections, equipment resourcing, management and maintenance and brigade training activities. He is an excellent mentor for younger officers who have now taken over his mantle in the brigade. He has recently retired his positions within the Wilcannia and District Brigade and still he remains a staunch member with a reputation amongst local firefighters that is second to none.

341

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr William Frederick DUNN, NSW Mr Dunn has been actively involved in the Rural Fire Service since joining the Talmalmo Rural Fire Brigade in the Holbrook District in 1950. He left the Talmalmo Brigade in 1985 and joined the Wagra Rural Fire brigade, a brigade in which he was instrumental in forming. He held the positions of President and Senior Deputy Captain until his relocation to the Wingecarribee District. He joined the Avoca Rural Fire Brigade in 1988 and was elected a Deputy Captain the following year. In 1992 he was elected Senior Deputy Captain. He was appointed a Group Captain in 1995 and has since provided outstanding support to the volunteers and district staff. He offers continuing assistance to the district staff in the form of operational support during major incidents in the areas of operations and incident control. He has been appointed as deputy Incident Controller for a number of major bush fires that have threatened the Southern Highlands. These fires include the Nattai Complex, Joadja and in particular the Willow Vale Fire. The latter bush fire quickly impacted a significant number of houses and his contribution in Incident Management was instrumental in the reduction of property loss. He also offers his assistance with the issue and distribution of stores and equipment and the day to day maintenance and upkeep of the Wingecarribee District fleet in support of the Group Mechanic. In his capacity as a Group Captain, he continually supports the other volunteer members within the district by providing daily assistance in dealing with brigade inquiries and the resolution of contentious issues at the brigade and group levels. Mr Dunn is a member of the Senior Management team and the volunteer delegate on the District Liaison Committee. He has been actively involved with the Rural Fire Service Association and was a delegate of the Wingecarribee Branch of this Association. He has been tireless in his dedication to the Rural Fire Service and he continues to give an outstanding commitment to the Service, to other volunteers and to the community.

Mr William Anderson EWING, Padstow NSW 2211 Mr Ewing was appointed to the NSW Fire Brigades in 1973 and has provided outstanding and dedicated service to the people of New South Wales and the NSW Fire Brigades. He is currently the Fleet Officer for the NSW Fire Brigades and co-ordinates the movements and maintenance of one of the largest fire truck fleets in the world. Mr Ewing’s work has realised a significant enhancement to the effectiveness of the NSW Fire Brigades approach to emergency management by ensuring that operational staff have the correct and serviceable vehicles and associated equipment available to them when required, often in time-critical situations. Mr Ewing is widely respected within and outside the NSW Fire Brigades and his distinguished service is of the highest order.

342

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr Roy Leslie HARVEY, 22 Cadell Street, Wentworth NSW 2648 Mr Harvey was appointed to the NSW Fire Brigades as a retained firefighter attached to Wentworth Brigade in 1974 and has provided outstanding and dedicated service to the people of New South Wales and the NSW Fire Brigades. He has demonstrated a dedication to duty which serves as an exemplary example to peers and subordinates alike. Through his outstanding leadership qualities, Mr Harvey has been instrumental in lifting the profile of the NSW Fire Brigades amongst local emergency service organisations and within the Wentworth community, where he is particularly active in promoting community safety programs. Mr Harvey is held in the highest regard within the community and the NSW Fire Brigades.

343

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr Ronald James JOLLOW, Wendoree Park NSW 2250 Mr Jollow joined the Wendoree Park Rural Fire Brigade in 1967 at the Brigade’s formation. He was one of ten original members and he immediately played an active role in the combating of bush fires in the surrounding river communities. At the time of the formation of the brigade, there was no road access to the Wendoree area and members used their own boats to attend remote locations in firefighing. In 1969 road access was provided to Wendoree Park via Mount White with the provision of a 4WD only fire trail. A Road Committee was formed and in conjunction with this committee, Mr Jollow set about the improvement of access for the community. A ten year period of sustained effort culminated in the sealing of the steep grades from the ridge country to the river side. During this same period, he held most of the Wendoree Park Brigade’s Executive positions along with positions on the local Progress Association and in his private capacity he provided sustained assistance to the local community in many community projects. He was appointed to Senior Deputy Captain in June 1971. In 1976 he donated a one and one half ton utility vehicle to the Wendoree Park Rural Fire Brigade, giving the brigade its first vehicle and he equipped the vehicle with a 50 gallon water tank. In 1977 he was elected and appointed as Captain of the Brigade, a position he held for 29 years. Over the following decade he was actively involved with the Brigade and in command positions in the conduct of numerous bush fire operations in the Mount White area. In 1992 he successfully lobbied Gosford City Council securing the Brigade’s first official Brigade Station which was completed later in the year. In 1994, a disastrous bush fire impacted in the Gosford area and due to its location, the Wendoree Park Rural Fire Brigade was isolated for three days. Captain Jollow took command and he planned and controlled the Brigades activities on the western front of the fire over this period. As a result of the success of the Brigades operations in the 1994 fires, he again successfully lobbied Gosford City Council and secured a second tanker for the Brigade and the community. Since 1989, he has also manned the Gosford Equipment Store for three days per week and was actively involved in providing mush needed support to other Fire Services in the area. He was also a member of the Local Protection Committee and was on occasions, the Committee Chairman. Throughout his service, he has remained an active member of the Wendoree Park Rural Fire Brigade and was appointed Senior Deputy Captain in June 2006. Since 1967, he has been tireless in his efforts to improve the Rural Fire Service in the local area and has wholeheartedly devoted his personal efforts, time and finances to his community. He has been selfless in his service to his community and he is an inspiration to the members of the Service in his area.

344

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr Dennis James SAUNDERS, ‘Glen Ross’, 175 Glen Ross Road, Guyra NSW 2365 Mr Saunders has provided thirty-five years of complete and selfless commitment to the Rural Fire Service and also to its volunteers and to the community. He is a self employed grazier who has never declined a call out and has attended numerous incidents as a volunteer firefigher, Brigade Captain and Group Captain. He has led strike teams and task forces on out of area deployments and has also worked tirelessly as a trainer and has also assisted in community educations efforts in the New England Zone. He has also been involved in the building of bush fire tankers and catering and communications units and has established and trained the operators of these units. In addition, to his duties as a Group Officer, he has also worked as a temporary Fire Control Officer and has also mentored many other up and coming Group Officers. He has also represented on many committees established in the New England Zone providing advice to Councils and to Brigades. He has always maintained a passion for his duties within the Rural Fire Service and has always promoted the aims of the Service in a positive fashion particularly in respect of the changes that have taken place over the past five years. His skills and abilities as both a Sector and Divisional Commander at major incidents have been invaluable and he has earned the respect of both his peers and of the community he serves.

Mr James SMITH, 288 Flushcombe Road, Blacktown NSW 2148 Mr Smith was appointed to the NSW Fire Brigades in 1980 and has provided outstanding and dedicated service to the people of New South Wales and the NSW Fire Brigades, culminating in his rank of Chief Superintendent and position as Area Commander for the state's Central Coast and Hunter Region. Mr Smith’s progress through the NSW Fire Brigades has seen him serve and achieve a standard of proficiency second to none. Mr Smith has gained wide operational and administrative experience within the NSW Fire Brigades and in the highly complex areas of bushfires, natural hazards and the coordination of emergency resources across the Central Coast and Hunter regions. Mr Smith is widely respected within and outside the NSW Fire Brigades and his distinguished service is of the highest order.

345

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr Mark Andrew SWAYN, 68 Bowden Street, Ryde NSW 2112 Mr Swayn has been a member of the NSW Rural Fire Service for 42 years since following in his father’s footsteps and joining the West Pennant Hills (Cherrybrook) Rural Fire Brigade in 1966 and attending his first fire at the age of 15. He was elected as a deputy at West Pennant Hills in 1977 and held this position before being voted as Senior Deputy in 1985. He was later elected Captain in 1990 and in the same year, was appointed as a Deputy Group Captain for the Hornsby Shire. In 1994 he relinquished his Captaincy to take on the role of Vice-President, and was recognised as a Life Member of the Cherrybrook Brigade. In 1999 he became a Group Captain and in 2001 he received his 25 years Long Service Award and National Medal. He has been elected as the leading Group Officer for the past three elections, indicating the level of confidence, trust and respect volunteers in his District have for him. His honesty, integrity, leadership skills, calming influence, strategic thinking and mediation and conflict resolution abilities are particularly valued. He has held a primary role in the development and coordination of a significant number of firefighing strategies within major incidents over the past 25 years. His extensive local knowledge and commitment to the progress and potential of the Rural Fire Service has seen him also guide his District in the development of innovative new approaches to improve the way things are managed. In 1996 he became a member of the Steering Committee that drafted the new constitution for the Fire Control Officer’s Association, which brought the NSW Rural Fire Service Association Inc (RFSA) into being. He participated as a member of the ‘Interim RFSA Executive’ as a Volunteer Member and worked diligently to develop and promote the RFSA around the State. In 1998, he became the RFSA Volunteer Vice President, and in 1999 was instrumental in preparing the RFSA submission to the Upper House Inquiry into the NSW Rural Fire Service, also appearing before the Committee. In 2000, he resigned from the RFSA as the Volunteer Vice-President to take up a full time position within the Service. He was the intellectual driving force behind the RFSA for its first four years and for some time since his resignation. His drive, dedication and clear thinking contributed immensely to the development of the RFSA. He currently holds the role of Manager, Corporate Planning and Performance and has been recognised with two Commissioner’s Commendations for Service; as an individual in 2000 and as the Manager of his Team in 2003. His passion, motivation and commitment to the Rural Fire Service continue to grow. He has been the driving force behind a number of change management initiatives that have brought the Rural Fire Service into the 21st Century, including the development of the Service Delivery Model, Strategic/Corporate/Business Planning and the development of the Service Audit Framework as well as playing a major part in the transfer of the District Staff to State employment.

346

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr Mark Robert WHYBRO, Beaconsfield NSW 2015 Mr Whybro was appointed to the NSW Fire Brigades in 1981 and has provided outstanding and dedicated service to the people of New South Wales and the NSW Fire Brigades, culminating in his rank of Chief Superintendent and position as Assistant Director Preparedness and Response. His progress through the NSW Fire Brigades has seen him serve and achieve a standard of proficiency second to none. Mr Whybro, through his role within operational communications, has been a primary voice in the establishment of closer working relationships between other emergency services, resulting in a number of initiatives that have benefited all agencies in the public safety sector and the community of New South Wales. Mr Whybro is widely respected within and outside the NSW Fire Brigades and his distinguished service has been of the highest order.

347

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr Steven George YORKE, 92 Thompson Street, Scotland Island NSW 2105 Mr Yorke joined the Evans Shire Headquarters Rural Fire Brigade as a volunteer and held various positions including that of Captain between 1977 and 1981. He moved to Pittwater in 1991 and joined the Scotland Island Rural Fire Brigade as a volunteer, achieving the rank of Senior Deputy Captain. In November 1999 he was successful in obtaining a full time position with the Rural Fire Service as Deputy Fire Control Officer, Training and development, being responsible for the initial and ongoing training of the 1,200 volunteer members of the Warringah Pittwater Rural Fire District. Initially in late 1998, he was approached, whilst he was a volunteer, to assist in the recruitment and training of Volunteer Firefighters to be part of the Olympic Volunteers in security. This request was embraced openly and soon he was heavily involved in this project. Being responsible for the Olympic Training of some 400-500 Rural Fire Service volunteers from up and down the coast of the State, he worked long and hard to ensure that all was on track for the Games. Given his volunteer tenure this was a significant commitment and a testament to his dedication to the Service and the community. Following his successful appointment to a full time position he continued in this role up until the Games. His ability to coordinate and communicate was recognised when he was appointed as the Rural Fire Service Liaison Officer to the Police Security Command centre for the Olympic and Paralympics period. Sometimes commencing work at 4:00am, this in itself was a feat as he was living on Scotland Island and public transport is not really outside the door. He worked practically every day during the Games to ensure that the 550 Rural Fire Service volunteers working at the venues were performing their tasks to expectation and sorting out the logistical requirements that this operation presented. In 2001 he became the Chairman of the Central east Salaried Officers Committee of the Rural Fire Service and within 12 months was elected to the State Executive Council of the Rural Fire Service Association and became President between 2002 and 2005. He became President at a time of great change in the Association’s affairs. Having started on a shoestring, the Association became well financed and with that came a requirement for significant change in its operations and management. Mr Yorke provided the steadying hand and resolute leadership required at the time and set the Association on a steady growth path. Under his leadership the Association continued to flourish. He was recognised for his contributions at the 2007 Annual Conference by being granted Life Membership of the Association. At the end of his constitutional period of Presidency, he continued to serve as the Association’s Salaried Vice-President from 2005 until 2007. His influence and leadership during this time greatly assisted the Service in establishing a long-term professional and cooperative relationship with the Association that has allowed a range of significant issues to be resolved in a manner that has always resulted in an outcome beneficial to the Service, Association and the Community. In early 2006 he became co-founder of the Coffe4Kids Foundation, a charitable organisation established to support the health, safety and well being of children particularly in the areas of oncology, mental health, protection, intensive care and homelessness. He currently holds the rank of Chief Superintendent and the position of Manager Region East and he continues to make a substantial contribution to the aims and objectives of the Service in a manner that far exceeds the expectations of his supervisors and colleagues.

348

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

VICTORIA Mr Barry Richard BARNETT, 10 Chauncey Street, Lancefield Vic 3435 Mr Barnett has provided outstanding leadership in the encouragement and development of others, particularly youth, within the Country Fire Authority of Victoria (CFA), and has fostered and furthered CFA’s aims to the benefit of the community. Mr Barnett joined the Lancefield Fire Brigade in 1964 and held the positions of 3rd Lieutenant for 10 years, 2nd Lieutenant for 14 years, and both Group Secretary and Treasurer concurrently for over 12 years. He has also held many other positions as a volunteer firefighter, including serving for over 10 years as a Group and regional delegate. He also co-developed the first Group training manual. Apart from his remarkable service to the Lancefield community as a firefighter, Mr Barnett is best known for his commitment and outstanding achievements with the Lancefield Junior Fire Brigade. He and other members of the Lancefield Junior Brigade raised over $40,000 to take the Junior Members to Belgium in 2003 to be the first Junior Fire Brigade from outside Europe to compete in the European Junior Fire Brigade Championships. They then raised funds to return for the 2007 championships, held in Sweden.

Mrs Patricia Elaine BIGHAM, 103 Killara Road, Gruyere Vic 3770 Mrs Bigham joined the Country Fire Authority of Victoria (CFA) in 1979 as a volunteer firefighter and, 4 years later, was elected Communications Officer for Gruyere CFA, a role she held for 20 years. In 1997 Mrs Bigham was elected as Group Communications Officer for the Killara Group, a role she held for 8 years. Amidst this local volunteer brigade activity, she became involved with the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) program. The CISM program in Victoria had its origins in the aftermath of the Ash Wednesday fires in February 1983. In the same year, Dr Jeffrey Mitchell, a firefighter in the United States graduated in psychology and developed a program (known as the Mitchell Model) specifically designed to help firefighters deal with unpleasant events. In 1989, CFA formed and trained its first CIS peer team based on the Mitchell Model and has been faithful to the model ever since. One of the strengths of the model is its basis in ownership by the peers for CFA personnel, both career and volunteer. The model operates at both Brigade and family level and works not only to reduce stress levels and as an aid in welfare support, but also to develop and foster greater camaraderie and support amongst CFA members. Mrs Bigham joined the CIS peer team late in 1993 and became the peer coordinator for Yarra Area early in 1994; a role she still holds today. She is "can do" person whose first priority is to help people during difficult times, and has brought compassion and care from her earlier nursing training to her role in CISM. Mrs Bigham is totally committed to the program’s principles and has been instrumental in the development of its service delivery and standard; and has provided outstanding service and dedication to the CFA, in particular, the Killara Group of Brigades and Gruyere Brigade. She is a recipient of the “Communications Award for Service” by Gruyere CFA, and the “Outstanding Service Award” for her service to the Killara Group, and the “National Service Medal” for diligent service to the CFA.

349

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr David MILLER, Benalla Vic 3672 Mr Miller commenced employment with the Forests Commission, Victoria in 1979 as a Forester at Swifts Creek, and in 1981 was appointed as a Forester at Corryong. He developed extensive experience in operational firefighting during these postings. In 1986, Mr Miller was appointed as a Project Officer at Wodonga and almost 4 years later was promoted to Planner. These positions were primarily focused on park planning and management, but Mr Miller continued to have a key operational firefighting role, particularly in aviation. In 1996, Mr Miller was appointed to the Regional Fire Management Coordinator position at Benalla where his key role was to coordinate fire operations across north east Victoria. He was appointed to his present position as Manager Strategic Fire Planning, Department of Sustainability and Environment, in late 2004 where his key roles include strategic fire prevention planning, community engagement, fire training and systems development. As Regional Fire Management Coordinator and subsequently Manager Strategic Fire Planning, Mr Miller has played a key leadership role in the development and implementation of systems and processes to support the operational delivery of fire management and to maximise services on public land in Victoria. Throughout his career, Mr Miller has provided distinguished service and leadership in the management of fire in forests and parks in Victoria. His motivation, leadership and involvement in the development and implementation of tools such as the Model of Fire Cover, Fire Role Development Plans and Incident Resource Information System Electronic Time Recording have been significant.

350

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr Paul RITCHIE, 10 Young Street, St Kilda Vic 3182 Mr Ritchie joined the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB) in 1989 as a permanent Full-Time Firefighting Officer and has spent the majority of his career at Windsor. He has attained a wide range of skills and is an experienced and competent firefighter attending many fires at one of the MFB's busiest stations. However, his real passion has focused on promoting the MFB to the community; he has organised 3 runs, the first occurring in 2005, from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra to the Melbourne Cricket Ground with the finish coinciding with the traditional AFL Anzac Day match between Essendon and Collingwood. Mr Ritchie has organised these runs in his own time, coordinating over 50 people on each ossasion, with the team made up of runners, support members and representatives from the Fire Services Museum. These runs have resulted in significant funds being raised for the RSL, promotion of the ANZAC spirit and experience amongst the communities visited during the 600 kilometre journey, promotion of the MFB, and delivery of important fire safety messages to the communities. His management of this significant event has resulted in a consolidation of the relationship between not only the Country Fire Authority and MFB but also the fire services in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales. These relationships now see the Brigades in the towns along the route promoting the event and lending support to runners and support crews. This community-minded initiative was recognised in 2005 when the MFB's Running Club received the National ANZAC of the Year award. Mr Ritchie is putting the final touches on a run to commence on Anzac Day this year leaving from Gallipoli and travelling through key battlefields where our diggers fought, to finish in London. The beneficiary from this run will be the Alfred Hospital Burns Unit. Mr Ritchie is an outstanding individual who has fostered and furthered the role of the MFB within the community, promoted firefighter fitness, and helped raise funds for charities.

351

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr Richard Kenneth (Rick) WILLIAMS, 113 Doodts Road, Ballarat Vic 3350 Mr Williams joined the Newstead Fire Brigade, Country Fire Authority of Victoria (CFA), in 1984 as a volunteer firefighter and has made an outstanding contribution through his great energy, enthusiasm and passion for CFA, fellow volunteers and the safety of the community. As a Founding Member of the Critical Incident Stress Peer Support Team in CFA Region 15, Mr Williams has proved to be an exceptionally caring and professional counsellor who is prepared to listen to and support all CFA members and to provide valuable knowledge and advice for fellow critical incident support peers. His extensive professional experience in training has been of great benefit to CFA members. This commitment has included comprehensive operational training across all levels and the assessment of minimum skills for Brigades. Mr Williams’ expertise and experience were also vital in the successful introduction of Competency-Based Training including ‘recognition of prior learning' and ‘recognition of current competency' within CFA. The leadership and expertise Mr Williams demonstrated in operational areas at Newstead was greatly enhanced by an ongoing commitment to training and welfare of volunteers at Brigade, regional and state level. He has also provided outstanding operational leadership at major fires around Australia including CFA deployments to New South Wales in 1994 and 1997, Berringa Fire 1995, Creswick Fire 1997, Spring Hill Fire 1998 and the Linton Fire in 1998. Today, Mr Williams is still an important member of the CFA Region 15 Headquarters Brigade, providing valuable assistance and advice and ensuring his contagious enthusiasm is still a driving force within CFA.

352

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

QUEENSLAND Mr Ilikena DABEA, 189 Dee Street, Palm Island Qld 4816 Mr Dabea has demonstrated genuine commitment and provided strong leadership within his own Brigade in the advancement of rural firefighting volunteers. He has also been a dedicated member of the Rural Fire Advisory Council and a strong advocate for all rural volunteers through his membership of the State Indigenous Australian Reference Group. Mr Dabea has served the Queensland community with distinction.

Mr John Frederik van KLAVEREN, 66 Lislane Street, Ferny Grove Qld 4055 Mr van Klaveren has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the development of staff over many years. He has mentored, coached and shown genuine interest in their professional development, particularly in relation to their business management skills. Mr van Klaveren's dedication and commitment, especially during the formation of the Brisbane North and Brisbane South Regional concept and the later amalgamation of these Regions back into the singular Brisbane Region, are commendable. He has served the Queensland community with distinction.

353

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

WESTERN AUSTRALIA Mr David George GOSSAGE, PO Box 250, Byford WA 6122 Mr Gossage joined the Oakford Brigade in 1981 and was instrumental in obtaining and building its fire appliance. In 1984 he became a Lieutenant and introduced Guidelines for Occupational Health and Safety in the Brigade following a member receiving serious burns the previous year. In 1987, he became Captain of the Brigade and began a campaign of fundraising to obtain a Light Tanker, raising some $45,000. Also, he searched for a suitable place to build a Fire Station. He successfully negotiated a location and had the station erected after a generous offer to locate the facility on land owned by a local family. During 1996 Mr Gossage assisted in the review of fire services within the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale, and was instrumental in the strategic planning and rationalisation that was required to enable the current high quality volunteer service. In 1999 he was appointed by the shire as Fire and Emergency Services Officer, which included the role of Chief Bushfire Control Officer. During this time he realised the need to provide a better water supply at fire incidents in areas of remote supply. He received approval from the shire to purchase 2 portable water tanks and developed a system now adopted statewide. During this time he and the Oakford Brigade also conducted extensive helicopter firefighting trials, finally culminating in the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) adopting this method in 2003, some 4 years after Mr Gossage introduced this method. He was also instrumental in the setting up of the ‘What's at risk Program’ within the shire to empower the local community to be more aware of the risks they face and be more emergency ready and self reliant. Mr Gossage is recognised as one of the best incident controllers in Western Australia, and has given outstanding service to the community. Mr Gossage currently represents volunteers on the State Bush Fire Consultative Committee and State Vehicle and Equipment committee and still contributes approximately 15 to 20hrs a week as a volunteer.

354

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr John Campbell McMILLAN, Kallaroo WA 6025 Joining the (then) WA Fire Brigades as a career firefighter in 1979, Mr McMillan served as an operational firefighter responding to fire and other emergencies and completing fire prevention activities. Promoted to Station Officer in 1988, he became responsible for managing a team of firefighters in their emergency response and prevention activities, including building inspections of commercial buildings. In this operational role, Mr McMillan developed a keen interest in building fire safety standards and, after a period as Fire Service Education Officer, he commenced service in the WA Fire Brigades’ Fire Prevention Department in 1993. This involved Mr McMillan undertaking building plan assessment for commercial buildings to determine fire safety requirements. Within the Built Environment Branch of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority, Mr McMillan has taken a leadership role in overseeing a number of major commercial building projects across Western Australia, including working closely with public transport managers and fire engineering consultants to ensure the recently commissioned Perth Rail Tunnel contained fire safety features in the project design so that fires and other emergencies can be managed effectively to achieve public and emergency responder safety. Mr McMillan is regarded as a specialist structural fire safety practitioner and is well respected within the fire protection and fire engineering community. Mr McMillan has also undertaken duties as a Fire Investigation Officer and has provided long-standing support to firefighters who investigate the origin and cause of both structural and bush fires. With his long standing experience, he has also provided a mentoring role in the development of new fire officers who have commenced duty in this specialist role.

Mr Richard John SNEEUWJAGT, 17 Banksia Terrace, South Perth WA 6151 Mr Sneeuwjagt is internationally recognised for his extensive knowledge, experience, and leadership in fire control and management. He has many achievements in the fields of fire control, fire management, fire administration and fire research while employed with the Western Australian Forests Department, the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) and the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). Mr Sneeuwjagt is Manager, Fire Management Services, within DEC and the former CALM. In this position he is responsible for leading and coordinating the Department's fire management activities on parks, reserves and forest conservation and unallocated Crown lands covering approximately 114 million hectares of Western Australia. These activities include prevention, preparedness, prescribed burning, planning, suppression, training and recovery. Mr Sneeuwjagt has held this leadership position since 1992. He has provided outstanding service to fire management in Western Australia for over 40 years. Over this period he has made a major contribution to Australian society and culture through his achievements in and influence on fire prevention, fire research and development, community education and awareness about fire management, and fire administration in a land management agency at state, national and international levels.

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AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr Ray SOUSA, Gosnells WA 6110 Mr Sousa joined a volunteer bushfire brigade within the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) in Western Australia over 30 years ago. He has since held various positions including 3rd Lieutenant, 2nd Lieutenant, Fire Control Officer, Captain, and is currently Chief Bushfire Control Officer and Training Officer and also Emergency Services Coordinator. Mr Sousa has established an outstanding record of leadership at emergency events, and in establishing firefighting services on the difficult urban/rural fringe and in their maintenance. He has also put in an outstanding effort into the Outer Metropolitan Volunteer Bushfire Games; particularly in the organisation, coaching and running of the Games. He also assisted in running the South West Volunteer Bushfire Games in 2006. A well as his outstanding service within the FESA, Mr Sousa has achieved a leading position within the community, spending 21 years as a Scout Leader.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA Mr Graham Andrew THOMAS, Mount Bryan SA 5418 Mr Thomas joined the Mount Bryan Brigade of the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) in 1966 and has been an active firefighting member since then. He has trained continuously to keep up with the requirements of the ever-changing CFS role within the community. In 1982, Mr Thomas assumed responsibilities as the Brigade’s Chairman and continues to hold that position. In 1988, he became Brigade Captain and was later elected Group Officer of the Burra Group. Mr Thomas has served with distinction, never failing in his duty to the Mount Bryan and Burra and District communities. His experience shows in his exceptional handling of all fire incidents; he always appears to be composed and in control, often under difficult circumstances. Mr Thomas has undertaken many training CFS courses and leads his personnel by a wonderful example, communicating at all levels of staff in a clear and concise manner. For over 20 years Mr Thomas has given exemplary service to the CFS and the community.

356

AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICE MEDAL (AFSM)

Mr Arthur Robert TINDALL, 23 Langer Court, Fairview Park SA 5126 Mr Tindall joined the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) as a volunteer with the Tea Tree Gully Brigade in 1978. He is currently serving as Manager, Infrastructure and Logistics. Mr Tindall has embraced and demonstrated a passion for bush firefighting safety; in particular, the design of firefighting appliances, exemplified by the development of a substantial amount of innovative technology and design features on CFS firefighting vehicles. The CFS rural tanker, largely designed by Mr Tindall and his team, has been recognised by the award of Safe Work Authority Awards “for the best solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue” at state and national level. Mr Tindall has also been instrumental in establishing two national projects aimed at driving further efficiency and operational interoperability. The first is a collaborative purchasing model, whereby individual fire emergency services are able to initiate bulk contracts for the purchase of equipment, resulting in substantial savings and efficiencies. The second project is the development of a common fire hose coupling across Australia; through Mr Tindall technical ability, communication and advocacy, a national project proposing a standard of couplings is being embraced by many jurisdictions. Operationally, Mr Tindall has been instrumental in developing the logistical capacity of the CFS, both for major bushfire incidents and in support of other agencies such as the State Emergency Service for major flood events. Mr Tindall has consistently demonstrated outstanding energy, ingenuity and technical innovation. He is a highly dedicated professional who serves as an inspiration to others.

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