Ararat CFA stalwart receives Order of Australia

CFA would like to congratulate Group Officer Max McLean, of Ararat Group, for receiving an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) on Australia Day.


Max received an OAM for services to the tight-knit community of Moyston, where he is a CFA stalwart as well as being a leader in several other local organisations.

Max has a history with the CFA dating back to 1963. Max, who is originally from rural Victoria, left his country roots for Melbourne for work, where he joined Plenty Fire Brigade in 1973. He has held a number of roles with CFA, including Captain of Plenty for 21 years, Group Secretary and Deputy Group Officer and Group Officer of Whittlesea - Diamond Valley Group, before becoming Group Officer of the Ararat Group in 2008.

The OAM is the latest in a long line of awards for Max, including a National Australia Medal, the Australian Fire Service Medal and a CFA life membership.

While his medals and honours are evidence of Max’s outstanding commitment to the community, Max says he is particularly proud of his work developing the Road Accident Rescue for Plenty Fire Brigade, one of the first road accident rescue units for CFA.

 “You don’t join an organisation like CFA for the awards, but it’s nice to be recognised for your work over the years by your community,” Max says.

Max’s family has a long CFA connection dating back to the early 20th century. His grandfather was the first captain of Moyston Fire Brigade and his mother and grandmother ran the local telephone exchange, which was “the hub” of fire telecommunication at the time.

Returning to the country following his retirement, Max says he wanted to follow in the footsteps of family members before him, making his own mark on the history at Moyston.

Ararat CFA Operations Manager Bernie Fradd says Max is a bit like salt and pepper: “whatever’s on, he’s into”.

“He has dedicated his life to CFA and since he has retired he is able to give much more time to our organisation. He has thrown himself into his community wholeheartedly.”

Author: CFA Media