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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

Graeme came to Malua Bay in 2012 being drawn to the lifestyle of the NSW South Coast and its people. After a stint of soldiering and working in the outback, his career includes transport and logistics, agriculture and building. 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.

The Training Officer’s role is to assist Brigade Members to gain, develop, maintain and practice fire fighting knowledge and skills. Malua Bay Brigade conducts training on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday evenings of each month and on selected Saturdays or Sundays to undertake specialist training. The Brigade aims to ensure all Members are ready to protect and serve our community and to assist other communities when they are threatened by fire.

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

Dave Beare

Dave first gained fire experience in the Navy, where he was trained to handle fires on ships and aircraft. He was later a volunteer with the Sanctuary Point RF Brigade for 9 years, attending motor vehicle accidents, structural and bush fires. He joined the Malua Bay brigade in 2006.

In 2019 recognising his commitment and long term dedication to the Malua Bay community Dave was awarded "life membership" of the Brigade. He responds to most callouts without fail, diligently every week assists in making sure our trucks and gear are in top shape ready for the next call out and is one of the chief organisers of social events.

In Dave's words: "I joined because these small country areas rely on volunteers to look after their communities. It's in my family - my grandfather was in the Sydney Fire Brigade  from 1900, and my father and brother have also been long-term volunteers with the RFS. I like the sense of achievement you get from helping others in the community."

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.

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.

 

Martin Green 

Martin takes time out of his plumbing business to lead crews, mentor members and be an active ongoing member ready to assist whenever needed. He's been a volunteer with MBRFB for over 30 years and has held various position including being the Captain from 2008 until 2015, He also acted as Captain during the latter part of 2015 when the brigade Captain was overseas. He is a very experienced brigade member and has been awarded "life membership" of the Brigade.  

He has experienced many of the major bush fires in that time, like the 1994 fires, and 'Section 44s' in the Deua National Park as well as attending most of the house fires and motor vehicle accidents in his area.

David Grybaitis 

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

Retirement saw John and his wife move out of the Sydney hustle and bustle to the lovely south coast in 2016. Initially residing in Malua Bay he met a few of the Brigade members and signed up for the training.

 

John confides "Retired people say they have never been so busy but he finds time for some social tennis, a bit of swimming/surfing, trying to garden in the local clay soil, catching up on a bit of reading and the odd crossword." also adding "He enjoys outings with his wife (if it involves food or coffee rather than shopping)". 

"I found the spirit and support of RFS members very helpful in learning a whole new range of skills so different from my previous public service life. Now living on a bush block I can better appreciate the challenge bush fire presents to the community. As part of a committed team it is good to feel able to make a contribution to our community. And still so much to learn as well."

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 Batemans 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.

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.

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

Cheryl says "I joined Malua Bay RFS to play a constructive role within the community and be part of a very dedicated group of volunteers. I am also a member of MacKenzie Beach Landcare group and a Friend of the Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens.

 

"I am originally from Wagga Wagga and moved to Malua Bay in 2014.

 

"I have been a registered nurse of 40+ years and have 5 grandchildren. I enjoy gardening, running, cycling, swimming and hiking."


 

Last Update August 2019