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Soapie star doubles as CFA Vol
***Andrew Morley, Home and Away actor and CFA volunteer is being profiled as part of a special series focusing on volunteers in the lead up to National Volunteer Week May 12-18.
From shooting scenes on Sydney’s famous Palm Beach to turning out to grassfires, car accidents and more, Wildwood CFA Brigade member Andrew Morley manages to seamlessly combine two of his great passions – acting and CFA.
Andrew’s day job is one you wouldn’t usually associate with being a CFA volunteer – he’s an actor on the popular soap Home and Away.
Juggling both can sometimes be difficult but Andrew says he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Andrew has been a member of the Wildwood CFA for the past eight years having joined as a CFA junior.
“My older brother Thomas joined the Brigade first, and I followed. My Mum has been in CFA for 16 years and back operational for the past five years with Wildwood after originally joining Clarkefield.
“When I joined I was too young to get on the truck and turn out to incidents, but I did all the training so that when I was of age I could start turning out.”
Andrew recalls the 2006 Mt Beauty fires were a massive learning curve for him.
“That summer I learnt a lot about fire behaviour, and how destructive the fires can be.”
Andrew moved to Sydney two years ago after landing a role on Australia’s most popular drama Home and Away.
Despite not getting to spend a lot of time with his Brigade, Andrew has no plans to leave CFA.
“Being a volunteer with CFA is an amazing opportunity, with the endless range of training offered, and life skills you innately gain. Some of the best leaders are formed within CFA.”
He also clearly relishes the social aspects of being a CFA member.
“The brigade is a great team in the community. There’s always something going on, whether it’s a brigade BBQ, training, Sunday morning comms, community events or a brigade meeting – being a CFA member is never dull.”
“Coming from a small town like Clarkefield, everyone knows each other. It’s great to be a part of a country community built primarily on farming, though we do have some urban areas creeping in.
“I love the involvement of being a CFA volunteer. Ideally I would like to be able to do more, but am very restricted in Sydney.
|“If I have a few days off over the weekend, I’ll often fly down and carry the pager around in case any incidents arise.”
Andrew says one of things he enjoys most about being a CFA volunteer is the variety of different incident call outs they receive.
Wildwood brigade is a busy volunteer brigade with a good variety of jobs including car fires, car accidents and grass fires.
“At the moment I probably get there once every one to two months, which is enough for me to keep up with training, meetings and catch up with the crew.
“I had three weeks off in December which I spent on the farm, and was able to attend a fair few incidents.”
Though Andrew was busy filming in Sydney for most of the recent fire season, he was not completely unaffected by it.
“We were threatened by the Mickleham-Kilmore fire to our east and the Gisborne fire to our west. The fire edge came within one kilometre of our family property.
“I was absolutely amazed by the community spirit shown during the fires. Members who weren’t on the back of the truck were offering their help anywhere they could.”