Some of CFA’s most experienced and distinguished CFA members have been awarded the Australian Fire Services Medal (AFSM) in recognition of their outstanding service to the community when the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List was announced today.
With more than 250 years of combined service between them, CFA’s seven recipients have contributed across bushfire management and community fire preparedness, incident management and operational command, training and development, and welfare and wellbeing.
The recipients hold experience with CFA during some of the state’s most severe disasters including Black Saturday, Ash Wednesday and the 2019/20 bushfire season, as well as making contributions and positive change to their local community and the wider organisation.
This year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List include two of CFA’s highest-ranking firefighters, Deputy Chief Officers Alen Slijepcevic and Garry Cook, who have been commended for their contributions to bushfire management, incident management and firefighters’ welfare and wellbeing.
The 2021 CFA Australian Fire Service Medal recipients also include:
Peter Baker, Grovedale, for more than 50 years of dedicated and exceptional services to CFA, initially as a volunteer and since 1983 as a staff member, where he has made a significant contribution to improved community safety and emergency management in Victoria.
Brian Petrie, Gembrook, for his exceptional dedication and leadership throughout more than 50 years as a volunteer and as a career staff member, where he has distinguished himself as an outstanding leader, trainer and mentor.
Lesley Read, Seymour, for her contribution not only as a volunteer with Hilldene Fire Brigade for 18 years, but for her dedication to the welfare of all CFA members through the Peer Program.
Peter Solly, Rainbow, for more than 50 years of sustained exceptional service to CFA and the communities of Wimmera most notably as Group Officer of the Rainbow Group.
Stephen Walls, Campbells Creek, for his exceptional contributions to advancement of fire and emergency management for more than 40 years.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan and CFA Chief Executive Officer Natalie MacDonald congratulated the deserving recipients on their meaningful contributions and outstanding achievements.
“CFA is incredibly proud of its volunteer firefighter and operational staff, and it is amazing to see some of our members recognised with the highest fire service medallion in the country for their dedication to making Victoria stronger and safer,” Chief Officer Heffernan said.
Ms MacDonald concurred: “We are fortunate as an organisation to have so many amazing people who devote a large part of their life to the protection of lives and property in their communities.”