Warren is among a select few of CFA members who will receive an Australian Fire Service Medal today as part of the Governor General’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Warren Curry originally joined the Yarram Urban Fire Brigade in September 1964 before travelling across the world to follow his passion for art in London.
After Warren’s time abroad he resumed his position with the Yarram CFA and served the community for over 44 years.
Warren has held many brigade management roles within CFA over the years, with both Yarram and Port Albert brigades.
He has also performed roles of Group Delegate, Deputy Group Officer and Group Officer in the Tarra Group.
Over the years Warren has attended several incidents, and was often in very senior roles, including Incident Controller, Sector Commander and Strike Team Leader.
Warren said Black Saturday has stuck with him as one of the biggest and most challenging fires he's fought.
"I was the Sector Commander for the Yarram Sector (Churchill fire) and the SW wind change that came through at 6pm turned the fire towards the Yarram township," he explained.
"Due to the incredible work carried out by the crews that day, the losses in Yarram were kept to a minimum."
Ex-Captain Dick Whitaker, a friend of Warren’s for over 30 years, took over the Captaincy from Warren after he was at the helm for 22 years.
“While Warren was Captain, I was 1st Lieutenant,” Dick said.
“Out of all the people in the Yarram district, Warren has put more effort into CFA than anyone I know.
“He’s one of those guys that whenever there were challenges within the brigade – because everyone respected him so much – he would sort out the issues, settle the dispute and keep things moving forward.
Warren’s strong sense of community and passion for CFA is commended by his friend Dick who said that when Warren isn’t painting or overseas he’s working on ways to help the community.
“He’s dedicated a lot of personal time to the brigade. He was one of those guys who is always at the station.”
Warren is dedicated to serving the community and supporting others. He has a passion for encouraging and developing members particularly the juniors.
In the mid to late 60's, Warren helped establish the Yarram Junior Fire Brigade. Warren said they had around 25 members and it became a very successful team.
"The junior team won the state aggregate in Chelsea in the early 70's and many of those junior members became officers in senior brigades," Warren said.
Warren's commitment to CFA and many other community organisations is inspiring. He encourages everyone to join CFA.
"It's a great opportunity to be able to support your community in a role that is both satisfying and rewarding," he said.
"You will meet a selfless group of like minded people and enjoy the pride of belonging to one of the best fire services in the world."
Warren is extremely humbled to receive an AFSM.
"There are so many deserving people in this great organisation. I thank my CFA friends for such a memorable 45 years and I look forward to continuing my service," he said.
Warren is currently escaping the cold Victorian winter at his second home in Pelekas, an island off the coast of Greece. When he is not painting, Warren runs art tours on the island for other artists to enjoy and learn with him.
Three other CFA members will also receive the Australian Fire Service Medal today, as part of the Governor General’s Queen’s Birthday Honours including: