Peer coordinator Norm Bowen was given a standing ovation last week following a special presentation in his honour, where OM Mark Gilmore spoke of his outstanding contribution to CFA that spans 60 years.
Norm has saved many lives, helped many families and talked many people out of the shed and back into the family home - often in the middle of the night. He has supported CFA members through many serious incidents, including where there were multiple fatalities.
Norm started with Swan Hill Fire Brigade at age 14, went on to spend four years with Goornong and 37 years with Woodvale. Norm fought fire at Mount Macedon on Ash Wednesday in 1983, became an Officer of Bendigo Group in 1984 and began developing a program to support his peers in 1985.
Norm took on the role of Bendigo Group Officer in 1988 and continued in this position for 13 years. By 1988, Norm was coordinating peers for the entire North West Region. He worked tirelessly to minimise deliberate fire setting, reduce fuel loads and increase preparedness - turning a very busy area into one that was a little easier to manage.
In 2004, Norm was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal. Norm worked as a casual employee of the Huntly Training Campus for fifteen years from 1995 onwards, managing the grounds and maintenance. Norm was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2014.
Although he is soon stepping down from the role of peer coordinator, Norm will continue as a peer and CFA volunteer. There's really no way to express the extent of our deep gratitude to Norm - all we can say is thank you.
Author: Bec McDonald