Lesley Read (right) received an AFSM this year, and is now encouraging nominations for next year's honours
Fifteen years of commitment to CFA’s Peer Support Program and even longer as a volunteer firefighter saw Lesley Read honoured with an Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) earlier this year.
The AFSM recognises distinguished service for members of Australian fire agencies, and for Lesley, receiving the award was a welcome surprise.
“It [receiving the award] was mind blowing to say the least… to be nominated was an honour but to actually receive this award is very humbling,” she said.
Lesley said receiving the AFSM represents the wider work that the Peer Support Program undertakes within CFA.
“For me this is for all members of the Peer Support Program. We are a small group of outstanding people who often go under the radar,” Lesley said.
“Mental health and wellbeing is certainly something that drives me, often members and their families just need someone to be there for them and to listen and support them.
“This is something that has evolved over the years that I have been part of the program and now is the best it has been for many years. The focus is on ensuring that our mental health is just as important as our physical health.”
Lesley says being a CFA volunteer is a fantastic way to give back to her community.
“I love everything about being a volunteer. I love the sense of community that being part of the CFA brings and being accepted not only across the state but the country and overseas as part of the fire services. I love being able to give back to my community in some way.”
With nominations for next year’s AFSM Queen’s Birthday Honours closing soon, Lesley encourages all members of CFA and our wider communities to think about who they could nominate for the honour. While the nominee must be a member of a fire service, anyone can submit a nomination for the Award.
“There are so many outstanding members of CFA, it is important that the quiet achievers are recognised and given the appropriate recognition.
“If you have someone in your brigade, group or office who is doing an outstanding job…nominate them and show them that they are not going unnoticed.”
More information on the AFSMs, including how to submit a nomination, can be found here.
||CFA News & Media