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Wayne Bass - OAM
Wayne Bass has dedicated his personal and professional life to working with young people and disadvantaged youth to help them be the best they possibly can be.
“I’m passionate about working with kids and young people, seeing them grow and make something of their lives,” Wayne said.
Today, Wayne is being honoured for his 34 years of selfless service to the Latrobe Valley community with a Medal of the Order of Australia.
“I’m very proud and humbled to be receiving the award – but there is still a lot of work to be done.”
Along with being the treasurer of Port Albert Fire Brigade, Wayne is assistant principal of Kurnai College in Morwell and has been involved with the Australian Air Force and their cadetship program for a long time.
Wayne and wife Debbie (who's also a member of Port Albert brigade) are also part of a team that manages local incident control centres and local command facility communications to ensure they are kept in a functional state and can run at a moment’s notice if an incident threatens. Wayne is also an operational member who regularly turn out to incidents.
When asked how he finds the time to do all this, Wayne said it’s all about time management, and keeping kids off the street is his motivation to find the time.
Proud wife Debbie echoes Wayne’s sentiments saying “we work as a community, not as individuals.”
Wayne and Debbie have been members of Port Albert brigade for almost seven years and one of the first things they did was establish the Port Albert Junior Fire Brigade.
“We established the Juniors brigade because there wasn’t much constructive for kids to do around this area.
“A lot of the kids we see from around this area come from disadvantaged backgrounds, so it’s about pushing them and helping them see where they go and something to work towards.”
Once of Wayne’s proudest achievements in recent times was watching several Juniors rise through the ranks to become fully-fledged Senior members.
“Last year we had six Senior operational members out during the fire season who had come up through the ranks of the Juniors. Seeing how far they’ve come, and out on the fire ground was just great.
Wayne doesn’t plan on giving up his work with CFA anytime soon.
“One of the best things about CFA in addition to the training and all the new skills you learn is the camaraderie and mateship you get out of it.”