CFA’s Debra Luke has been awarded the prestigious Australian Fire Service Medal as part of this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours.
Debra’s involvement with CFA goes beyond her full-time role as Regional Operations Coordinator for Northern and Western Metropolitan Emergency Management Region. She is also a well-respected volunteer who has just been elected as Captain of the District 14 Headquarters Brigade which she will commence in July.
Debra has been awarded for her exceptional service to CFA and the community for over 42 years, in both her volunteer brigade contributions, and as a valued employee who inspires others through her belief in high quality service delivery.
She joined CFA in 1980, and has been a volunteer, administration co-ordinator, project manager, regional operations coordinator, and a lieutenant at District 14.
Debra was recently awarded a CFA Honorary Life Membership for her outstanding contribution and a 40-year Service award. A National Medal 1st Clasp and National Emergency Medal were awarded to Debra in 2014.
Debra said she was extremely humbled by the thought of being nominated for the Australian Fire Service Medal and more so, for receiving the exceptional award.
“The AFSM is a great honour and I wish to acknowledge all my colleagues, including volunteers, staff, operational and non-operational members who work together tirelessly to serve our communities, whether it’s in the office, on the fire-line or performing a role in operational support,” she said.
Debra has been involved in multi-agency operational deployments to numerous major fire events in Victoria, interstate and internationally. These include the destructive fires in NSW in 2002 and in Tasmania in 2013. In 2014, her expertise was instrumental in establishing effective logistics management systems during the Hazelwood Mine Fire. In 2015, she was also selected for international deployment to assist in the wildfires in British Columbia, Canada.
Deb says her current role as Regional Operations Coordinator has enabled her to build relationships across many agencies in the Emergency Management sector, something which she enjoys immensely.
“During my career with CFA, I have undertaken roles across all three levels of emergency management, being incident, regional and state as well as worked extensively at District command level,” she said.
“I believe the opportunity to work across all these levels has provided me with extensive knowledge of the sector and enabled me to build a successful and enjoyable career.”