Sebastopol Fire Brigade captain Steve Burgess and his wife Jill
Sebastopol Fire Brigade captain Steve Burgess has been honoured at the City of Ballarat Seniors Awards.
Steve won the volunteer award yesterday for his tireless contribution in the local community, where he often gives 40 hours a week to the CFA on top of his full-time job.
“The award is very humbling. I certainly don’t do what I do to get recognition, I do it to serve the community and brigade,” Steve said.
Steve had a message for people wanting to volunteer.
“If you’re thinking about volunteering, get on it and do it. You can’t be part of the community and not serve the community.”
Steve joined Sebastopol Fire Brigade in 2002 and became captain in 2021. He was a member of the New Zealand Fire Service before moving to Ballarat.
He joined CFA to continue his passion and meet new people.
“In my current role as captain, I’m serving the brigade and improving our membership so my brigade can serve the community,” he said.
The awards recognise Ballarat’s community members, aged 55 and over, and their commitment and contribution to the community.
Steve also trains up-and-coming CFA members.
“The most enjoyable part for me is being on the fireground with young people, especially young women and gender diverse people, and knowing I'm helping to train them,” he said.
“It’s the biggest buzz training people and seeing them actually involved and doing it in a safe way.
“It doesn’t matter what gender you are, or what you want to do there is something for everyone. Operational or non-operational."
And he wanted to give a shout out to the unsung heroes.
“We volunteers need to appreciate what our families do for us. My wife Jill especially,” he said.
“They keep the home fires burning, no pun intended. Couldn’t do what we do without them.”
- Sebastopol Fire Brigade captain Steve Burgess, Cr Des Hudson, Mayor of the City of Ballarat and Dawn Fischer, previous Senior of the Year Awards winner 2019.