Hawkesbury City Council has today, Thursday, 3 September 2020, hosted a Thank You Civic Reception for Hawkesbury Rural Fire Service as part of Emergency Preparedness Week. A second reception will also be held this evening.
The Civic receptions are being held to thank and acknowledge all Hawkesbury Rural Fire Service volunteers and staff, and everything they have done for the Hawkesbury over many years, and most particularly what they achieved during what was one of the worst fire seasons ever seen in the Hawkesbury, the 2019/2020 bushfires, especially the Gospers Mountain Fire which started with a lightning strike.
The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Barry Calvert acknowledged the Hawkesbury Rural Fire Service for everything they have done, and continue to do, for the Hawkesbury community.
“Council and our community obviously wanted to give Hawkesbury RFS a big thank you Street Parade. But as things have panned out, this has unfortunately been unable to happen,” Mayor Calvert said.
“Resilience shows up in many ways, and that includes finding other ways to thank our firies, who have given so much in the past and who continue to do so now and into the future to protect our communities, our families, our animals, our bushland, our homes and our assets.
“I doubt any of us can see a firefighter, or anyone in emergency services uniform, in the Hawkesbury and not feel a sense of pride and appreciation for what you do for us,” he said.
“We appreciate so much also for what you and your families risk for us in every fire season and all emergency situations where you assist.
“Saying thank you is really important to us. Today’s ceremony is about that, just as our Thank You cards were a big part of that, as it was a way for Council and our community to show our heartfelt appreciation.”
The Mayor presented Hawkesbury RFS volunteers with Thank You Frames.
“We had Thank You cards available at all Australia Day Events and placed at all Council facilities during February, with over 3000 people filling out the thank you cards. All schools in the Hawkesbury also participated and had their students write thank you cards,” Mayor Calvert said.
“We are now delighted to present you with Thank You Frames made with these cards as a keepsake.
“As part of building resilience and recovery, Council has continued working closely with the community and key government agencies in bushfire recovery during 2020, including holding community meetings and asking our community members what they need to help them recover,” he said.
“We will continue this process as the journey to recovery can take a great deal of time, especially the mental recovery and also business recovery.
“It doesn’t go unnoticed that you, our firefighters, support staff and other volunteers are also on this journey to recovery.”
Deputy Mayor Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett also thanked and congratulated Hawkesbury RFS volunteers and staff for their amazing efforts during the Gospers Mountain Fire and the 2019/2020 bushfire season, and presented certificates to RFS Captains and Deputy Captains.
The event was attended by the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Barry Calvert, Deputy Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett, Councillors Amanda Kotlash, Peter Reynolds, Sarah Richards and Danielle Wheeler, Kim Cowper on behalf of Ms Susan Templeman – Federal Member for Macquarie, Virginia Ellis on behalf of Robyn Preston State Member for Hawkesbury, Council’s General Manager Peter Conroy, Tim Seary Hawkesbury Rural Fire Service Inspector, Rural Fire Service volunteers and staff. The evening session will be attended by Robyn Preston State Member for Hawkesbury, Rod Walker, Operations Officer, Hawkesbury Rural Fire Service on behalf of Karen Hodges, Superintendent, Hawkesbury Rural Fire Service as well as Councillors John Ross, Danielle Wheeler and Nathan Zamprogno.
Both Civic Receptions meet COVID-Safe requirements including a limit of 20 attendees per session.
Brigades that received frames at the morning session
- Accepted by Ken Pullen for Kurrajong
- Accepted by Bruce Earle for Freemans Reach
- Accepted by Allen Barry for Blaxland Ridge
- Accepted by Tim Seary for Hawkesbury Fire Control
- Accepted by Mick Calleja for Upper Colo
- Accepted by Stuart McKinlay for Bilpin
- Accepted by Michael Scholz for Wilberforce
- Accepted by Andrew Rutter for Oakville
Group Officers who received a certificate at the morning session
- Phil Hurst – Deputy Group Captain
- Mal Bobrige – Deputy Group Captain
- Don McKillop – Deputy Group Captain
- Paul Bryant – Deputy Group Captain
- Dave Ryan- Deputy Group Captain
- Ken Pullen – Group Captain
Brigades that will receive frames at the evening session
- Accepted by Adam Rutter for Catering Brigade
- Accepted by Matt Reeves for Hawkesbury Headquarters
- Accepted by Brian Williams for Kurrajong Heights
- Accepted by Lilly Stepanovich for St Albans
- Accepted by Warwick Sinfield for Mountain Lagoon
- Accepted by Bobbie Colbran for Grose Wold
- Accepted by Peter Morrison for Glossodia
- Accepted by Peter Gatt for Tennyson
- Accepted by John Ashton for Yarramundi
- Accepted by Graham McCoy for East Kurrajong
- Accepted by Dennis Mitchell for Ebenezer
Group Officers who will receive a certificate at the evening session
- Chris Petrikas – Group Captain
- Craig Burley – Group Captain