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Brigade Executive


 

Brigade Members

In addition to the Brigade Executive we have a group of committed volunteer members who are available to immediately respond to the wide range of incidents that occur. All members are well trained, many have been involved in the brigade for many years and are committed to fire protection in the community they live in. Along with strong friendships that have developed over the years we have an enthusiastic and capable team.

Our volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds and to share a sense of who we are there are short bid's on each member set out below. The list of members has been split into two groups below and they are operational officers and brigade members.

Within our team there are a number special coordinating roles that individual members have taken on to assist us in being able to quickly respond to any emergency. These critical positions ensure that members are well trained in the latest combat techniques, all equipment is constantly in perfect working order and there are sufficient members on stand by in times of high risk. In the brigade we call these members operational officers and their roles are follows:

Training Officer - looks at the overall training needs of the brigade, the types of emergencies likely to be encountered and continually honing members skills in the use of equipment. The brigade has regular brigade station training session every second week, location specific training (that is getting to know the area) as well as training at the Moga Training Facility.

Equipment Officer - has the responsibility to review the readiness of all equipment particularly the tankers and ensure that when called out everything is ready to go. There are a team of supporters who assist in this review every Tuesday.

First Aid Officer - has the responsibility to monitor all safety equipment, first aid kits and devices as well as keeping track of member qualifications. Many brigade members have an RFS safety qualification and these need to be regularly refreshed.

 

Community Engagement Officer - has the critical responsibility to engage with our local residents, liaise with the RFS generally as well to provide regular updates to members of needs within the community.

Call out Officers - there a number of brigade members that carry out this role. They ensure that sufficient brigade members are available to respond to a call out and that the burden of call outs do not unfairly fall on a few brigade members. In times of extreme weather conditions it may mean that all brigade members are rostered to be at a fire emergency, at the station and on standby to respond immediately.

Operational Officers

Training Officer 
Graeme Skelton

While originally from Sydney Graeme was quickly drawn to the rural life and its people. After a stint of working in the outback his career includes transport and logistics, agriculture and building with a bit of soldiering thrown in along the way. After moving to Malua Bay in 2012 Graeme joined the Malua Bay Brigade in November 2013.

He is a keen bush walker, cyclist, fisherman, golfer, and appreciator of red wine.

“Joining the NSW RFS was an easy choice given the bush fire prone environment within which most south coast residences exist. An added but not unexpected bonus is the diversity of people who are in the brigade and their various life experiences” he concluded.

Equipment Officer 
Robert "Bugsy" Blake

"Bugsy" joined the Malua Bay RFB in February 2012 and has used his practical engineering skills to add to the Brigade's facilities - most recently building the hose drying racks. Originally from Victoria he in an earlier life drove trucks until coming north to the Batemens Bay area. Shortly after arriving as he says "a long time ago" he as a qualified mechanic operated his own business and later additionally expanding into panel beating and crash repairs. In later years he returned to some truck driving.

After "retiring" to his small rural holding he has kept his hand in with all things mechanical and engineering. Also an avid competition tennis player Bugsy says "I keep busy".

 

He concludes by saying "as Equipment Officer I will, with the dedicated Tuesday morning crew, ensure that all equipment is ready to go whenever there is a call out".

First Aid Officer 
Brian McLoughlin

"I joined the brigade in 2010, having recently settled in this area. I've been enjoying my retirement and new-found leisure time, and I wanted to give something back to the community. I made a choice to live in this beautiful bushy environment and I see it as a responsibility to help protect the environment and the community where I live.

The brigade is like a 'mens' shed' for both sexes - I really value the comradeship and connectedness to others that comes with working side by side on various tasks.

 

 

 

Community Engagement Officer 
Bill Chilvers

Bill signed up with the Malua Bay Brigade in October 2011 after moving to the area in 2010.

Bills says "One of the attractions of this region is the bush but this also means there is an ever present threat of fire. I'm retired and I was happy to join up and become a member of a team trained to protect our community from this threat."

Call Out Officer 
Christine Beare

Christine organises the rosters for members in times of emergencies ensuring that there are sufficient resources to meet the emergency as they are required

Call Out Officer 
Janet 'Jan' Carr

Jan organises the rosters for members in times of emergencies ensuring that there are sufficient resources to meet the emergency as they are required

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brigade Members

 

Rosalyn AllenRosalyn Allen
Bruce Bowmaker
Berkeley Braham

Greg Brown

Greg initially came to Malua Bay as a holiday destination and when he moved permanently to the area he joined the Malua Bay Rural Fire Brigade in June 2007. Working in the mines, in a variety of risk management positions and now as a Fire Services Manager, he brings a depth of experience to the brigade. He says "It is really rewarding to use my skills to support my community and to be part of a committed team".

 

Robert Cogger

Bob joined the Brigade soon after taking up residence in Rosedale in 2011.

The RFS provides an opportunity for me to put something back into our environment and community and at the same time meet and work with people who share similar views and who are real team players.  I am enjoying learning, practicing and applying new skills, and I realise I have a lot to learn. Happily everybody I have met in the RFS is patient and willing to help me get up to speed.

Ken Cush

 

Ken has been residing part time at Malua Bay since 1999 and joined the Brigade in 2008. As well as undertaking various firefighting courses he has completed specialist aviation courses as an air observer and air systems operator. This has resulted in him providing airborne assistance to firefighters on the ground at large fires distant from Malua Bay.

Ken started his career in the Navy, and after training with the RAAF returned to serve on naval air squadrons based at Nowra. He later studied law and after serving in various postings as a naval lawyer left to work in private practice in Canberra. Today he works part time, prefers the coastal environment and enjoys boating.

"I joined the Brigade because the bushfire threat needs to be contained and the need for volunteers is obvious. I have found the members of the brigade to be a great bunch of interesting people from a variety of walks of life."

Duncan Fyfe

Duncan and family retired to Malua Bay in April 2015. He joined the brigade in June 2015.

As a qualified Youth Worker Duncan worked in Qld and NSW but more recently he worked for the Family Law Court of Australia in Wollongong before retiring to Malua Bay. Duncan says his passions are fishing, swimming, sports, bush walking, bird watching, community improvement and the local environment.

He wanted to do something active and positive in the community and while still physically capable the Malua Bay Rural Fire Brigade was the logical choice.  “It is a great way to meet people and support the community I am part of” he concluded.

 

Emily Fyfe

 

Phil Goldberg 

Born and bred in Bombala Phil joined NSW Forestry in 1974 and has been in the timber industry all his life. In the beginning he operated dozers for approximately 10 yrs building roads and fire fighting. Phil left the Forestry Service for a period of four years and went harvesting forests extracting sawlogs for Tablelands Sawmills. He then re-joined the Service and been working with them for 32 years. He transferred to the Batemans Bay office of the Forestry Corporation five years ago. For many years he held the senior position of Div Com in managing fires within the Service.

 

During his career he has been involved in many facets of timber harvesting operations. This included attending many fires in Bombala, Eden, Batemans Bay, as well as many other areas in Victoria and NSW. In 2006 Phil spent 6 weeks assisting in controlling wildfire in America for Washington State.

 

Phil says “I enjoy playing golf and with Debbie, my wife, visiting our daughters and grandchildren”. He concludes by saying “I have joined the RFS to meet new people in the community and to assist with the demands that are required in the brigade.

Peter Gowen

Peter was born in Batemans Bay and spent time on the land in the Mittagong area, helping to fight fires from a young age.  He returned to Malua Bay where he was building a house in 1978.

A bush fire came through  a couple of years later from Dunns Creek Road and impacted on the back of Malua Bay. Peter, along with anyone else who was available, jumped on a truck to help, and at the end of the day, he was asked to take over leadership of the brigade. Peter has been involved in the Malua Bay brigade for over 30 years and is a "life member" of the Brigade. 

From 1984 to 2013 he was Group Captain North and in this role he attended major incidents and oversaw the activities of the Durras, Nelligen, Long Beach, Batemans Bay, Surf Beach, Malua Bay and Mogo Brigades

David Grybaitis 

 

Chris Hall

 

Daniel Hall

Warren Harper

Warren joined the Malua Bay brigade in 2011.

 

 

 

Paul Kennedy

 

Paul was born in Albury and his dad was a founding and life member of the Lavington RFS brigade.

 

When he moved across the border to Chiltern in the Beechworth area he joined the local rural CFA brigade. Later he moved to Yarrawonga where he transferred to the brigade which was an urban/rural brigade. At that brigade he was the training and equipment officer. In all Paul was and is still a current member of the CFA with 30+ years’ service. When he moved to Nowra it was logical to join the RFS “as it’s in my blood”.

 

After moving to the Batemans Bay area I checked out the local brigades and found the one I feel I fit most with. Paul says “I work as an assistant in nursing at a local aged care facility. I love the bush and fishing.” Paul and his partner have 2 boys (8 and 6) and 2 girls (11 and 7).

 

Michael Lane

After retirement from long careers in Education and IT, Michael and his wife moved from Melbourne to Malua Bay at the end of 2014, to enjoy a serene seaside lifestyle. Inspired by the sign near Malua Bay beach encouraging volunteers to join the RFS, Michael signed up immediately and was warmly welcomed at the December monthly meeting. He was impressed with the calibre, the friendliness, the broad range of experience, and the commitment of the members of this well-run brigade.

 

He has also became a member of EVOS, the Eurobodalla Volunteers Operations Support.

 

“I have a lot to learn about the operations and work of RFS brigades, but I enjoy learning new skills and knowledge. I like the RFS high quality training program. I am proud to be a part of this volunteer organisation that works to protect the community. And this gives me the opportunity to be more involved in my newly-discovered local region.”

 

John MacKay

 

Simon May

Simon has been a volunteer since joining the Urana Rural Fire Brigade in 1993. Simon works for the NSW Rural Fire Service as the Regional Mitigation and Compliance Officer - Region South. After 12 years working for the NSW Rural Fire Service at the local level in the Riverina Simon moved to the Regional Office in Batemens Bay where he joined the Malua Bay Brigade in June 2011. He is loving living on the NSW South Coast at Malua Bay. He finds it incredibly rewarding working with volunteers who give up their time to protect the community in which they live from fire.

In addition to his commitment to the Malua Bay Brigade Simon also works extensively in bush fire emergencies across NSW as an (AOM) Air Operations Manager.  Simon has represented the brigade and wider RFS with several stints in Canada and USA assisting with their recent wildfires - his roles have been associated with strategic air command across those emergencies.

These engagements add greatly to the quality of training and advise brigade members are receiving.

Cathy O'Shannessy

After spending holidays in the area for 27 years Cathy moved to Malua Bay in 2013 and joined the Brigade in January 2014. When an opportunity for her to transfer to the Bay with her Federal Government employer she jumped at the prospect of living the coastal life. An added benefit is that she can ride her motor bike along the most picturesque parts of the south coast.

Cathy says "My father was my first hero as a child and he was an active member of the Victorian CFA. He took part in saving the Mount Buffalo Chalet in 2003 where the fire front was in rugged country and needed collaboration with helicopter support. 30 years on and my dream of being part of brigade has come to fruition.

Being a volunteer in my local community is not only extremely important it is incredibly rewarding" Cathy concluded. Think Big, Dream Big, Make it Happen

Tony Preston-Stanley

 

After owning their house in Malua Bay since 1995 Tony and Jan moved here permanently in early 2015. They discovered in the process of rebuilding their home that they lived in a designated “flame zone”.  This and the wish to become more involved in the local community (let’s face it the fire shed is only 700m away) led to Tony joining. 

 

Tony has some prior experience in fighting fires near the ACT and in the NT in one or other of his former lives. He is also a qualified off road driver and holds heavy vehicle licences. Most of the other fires in life he has put out have been bureaucratic.

 

His first role in uniform with the Malua Bay brigade was as Santa Clause in the Cat 1.

 

Peter Reddel

After purchasing a place in Malua Bay in 1997 Peter moved to the area permanently in 2008. Shortly after that he joined the Malua Bay RFB.

 

He has spent over 50 years in aviation as a test pilot and engineer, including 18 years overseas.  He recently completed his heavy vehicle drivers test allowing him to drive all the brigade trucks. Over the last two years Peter has been busy renovating his house and the brigade has been conducting Hazard Reduction burns on the property. 

 

He competes at the Batemans Bay squash club and has completed the last two beginner’s event in the Batemans Bay Challenge.

Helen Riedl

Helen was a member of St John Ambulance for many years before joining the Malua Bay Brigade. She has served in the brigade since 1997, and has held the offices of Secretary and Treasurer for most of the past 12 years.

Apart from brigade activities, Helen is a member of the Eurobodalla Volunteer Operations Support Group, doing radio communications for big fires and aviation at Fire Control. Helen is actively involved in Community Engagement and is a delegate for the RFSA.

Helen is also a member of EVOS.

 

To recognise Helen's service to the brigade she has been made a life member.

Jesse Rowan

"I joined the brigade in 2008 after moving from Canberra to Malua Bay with my family. I have three young children and help run the family business.

We lived in Holder and experienced the Canberra 2003 bush fire. Once you've been through a major fire, you want to be better prepared. It's a terrifying experience.

Every day I can see the bush fire risk from our living room windows, a beautiful forest that could become a wall of flame any Summer soon. I feel much more able to keep my family safe in a bush fire."

Cheryl Wallace

 

Last Update December 2018