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Australia Day honours

Australia Day honours in Victoria 2024

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Feb 1, 2024

Ross Sullivan

CFA Deputy Chief Officer (DCO) Ross Sullivan was recognised in the Australia Day Honours, receiving an Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) for his more than 45 years of dedicated service to CFA and his community.

Throughout his career Ross Sullivan AFSM has exemplified the values of CFA and is well regarded by volunteers and staff alike as an assured, knowledgeable, supportive, empathetic and humble leader.

He has held the role of DCO North East Region since 2018, overseeing 271 brigades and more than 14,000 volunteers within an area stretching from the eastern Melbourne suburb of Scoresby to the northern border of the state.

Ross began his career at Bolinda and Monegeetta brigade in the junior running team before officially joining as a volunteer in 1978 at the age of 16. By his early 20s he knew that firefighting was the career for him.

“Being a volunteer at a small rural fire brigade was about looking after friends and farms around the district,” Ross said. “It meant a lot to be part of a service that made such a valued contribution to community. After I finished high school, the lure of working with machinery and equipment and the skills I learned operating vehicles led me to seek a career in the fire services.

“I never thought I would have been able to be a career firefighter with CFA and jumped at the opportunity when the course opened up.”

Over the years Ross worked his way through… Click here to read the full story.

Damien O’Toole

EILDON resident Damien O’Toole was the recipient of an Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).

The awards announcement outlined how during his career of over 34 years, Damian O’Toole has demonstrated professionalism, leadership, tenacity, and passion for specialist knowledge and skills within fire and emergency services. He has been involved in executing his leadership, specialist knowledge, and skills throughout Melbourne and Victoria at complex fire, rescue, and emergency incidents including the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

Mr O’Toole has recently concluded 10 years as a full-time fire investigator in the State Fire Investigation Unit (SFIU) at Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and has maintained his training to respond to emergencies. This longevity has been achieved by only a few dedicated fire investigators within the ranks of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and FRV. Mr O’Toole’s prolonged tenure in the SFIU represents a distinguished career as a….. Click here to read the full story.

Leon Costermans

LEON Costermans was awarded an OAM, and is known in the Alexandra area for his work as a math teacher at Alexandra Secondary College during the 1960s and 1970s, as well as for his publications on native flora, including around the north east part of Victoria.

He received the award for “service to conservation and the environment.”

Leon is a botanist, geologist and author, and is a former Senior Lecturer in Science Education and the Outdoor…. Click here to read the full story.

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