Beth Davidson OAM and Tony Stephens
Malmsbury Fire Brigade held their annual awards night in December, where CFA Board Member Beth Davidson presented brigade member Tony Stephens with CFA’s Outstanding Service Award, much to his surprise.
Tony was nominated for CFA’s most prestigious award by his peers, for his contributions to the CFA and the wider community. Though he admits he was a little embarrassed to receive this significant award.
“The whole brigade deserves this award; we can’t achieve, or effect change without others coming on the journey with us.” Tony said.
Tony joined Malmsbury Fire Brigade and CFA, after relocating from Melbourne to Malmsbury with his young family in 2007.
“It was a good way to be a part of the community and give back by joining the local fire brigade,” Tony said.
“From that point, I saw the brigade as not just about firefighting.
“I saw the broader role and importance of the brigade in the local community, it’s embedded into and integral to community health and wellbeing.”
Tony is also recognised for his inspirational and outstanding leadership of diversity initiatives and readily responds to requests from other brigades and forums across Victoria and interstate to share his wisdom.
In 2018, he was the recipient of a Spirit of CFA Excellence Award for his achievements as an advocate for Inclusion and Fairness.
“Brigade capability is linked to diversity,” Tony said.
“Malmsbury has an increasingly diverse community. Seeing this diversity reflected in the local brigade has not only strengthened brigade capability, it has increased the ability to service the community.”
Tony is a community advocate and encourages everyone to consider joining their local brigade.
“Everyone has value to give to their local brigade and in turn, their community. There is a role for everyone, it’s not just about firefighting," he said.
“Being a member of a brigade builds a stronger and more resilient community and is good for both physical and mental wellbeing.
“All we ask is that people live CFA values and want to contribute. You will get back as much as you put in.”
- Captain Linda Krive
- Tony Stephens
- (left to right): Commander Darren Eenjes, Captain Linda Krive, Beth Davidson OAM, Tony Stephens