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We’ve heard countless inspiring stories of bravery, heroism and service to our communities in our 14 years supporting the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Australia Day Achievement Awards and this year, another 97 remarkable Queenslanders have been honoured in the annual awards for selfless service across the state.
Recognising achievements such as the development of training programs for service personnel and educating vulnerable communities on fire safety, emergency workers were recognised in a series of regional ceremonies in June.
Despite the awards being rescheduled from January to protect the health and safety of our communities during the coronavirus pandemic, the value of recognising these essential workers never changed.
As part of our support of the awards, we unearthed some great stories behind some of this year’s recipients.
In Queensland’s south east, Garry Fordham was recognised for his commitment to the Rural Fire Service as a brigade training and support officer.
Mr Fordham’s dedication and commitment to support volunteers’ wellbeing has been uncompromising, particularly during the 2019-2020 bushfire season. He has also worked hard to ensure essential training for volunteers has continued.
On the north coast, First Officer Scot Perrie was recognised for outstanding leadership in heading operations following the “Black Summer” fires. Mr Perrie trained new recruits and had considerable input into the development of a new emergency service centre in Maleny.
Extended periods of service are an achievement themselves, and in Queensland’s far north, State Emergency Service volunteer Marilyn George was recognised for her 26th year of service. Marilyn is pictured above (centre) with Far North Queensland Assistant Commissioner Neil Francis and QSuper Regional Manager Julie Bates.
“QFES is home to thousands of dedicated staff and volunteers committed to serving their local communities through disasters and emergencies,” QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said.
“All recipients of this year’s Australia Day Achievement Awards, and indeed all those within QFES, go above and beyond to keep Queensland safe.
“We sincerely thank the QSuper team and Australian Retirement Trust for its ongoing support. This is an important event in our calendar each year and the support from the QSuper team enables us to recognise the fantastic efforts of our staff and volunteers.”
QSuper, as part of Australian Retirement Trust, is passionate about looking after the future of our members and the communities where they live and work. As part of this, we’re honoured to play a small part in recognising those on the frontline serving these same communities in times of crisis or emergency.
The ceremonies took place in Cairns, Kedron, Maryborough, Rockhampton, Mackay, Toowoomba, Townsville and Beenleigh from 7-10 June, when QFES staff and volunteers received accolades in recognition of outstanding character, integrity and leadership during these ceremonies.
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