Garry Nash with Acting Chief Officer Gavin Thompson
South Wangaratta Fire Brigade’s Garry Nash has received the 2020 Spirit of CFA Excellence in Partnership Development Award in this year’s ceremony.
Garry was nominated for the award because of his coordination skills and networking ability. He can effectively understand and advocate the needs and skills of his group of brigades while also being able to pass on important fire safety information and skills to businesses and community members across the Wangaratta area.
Garry has been a CFA volunteer at South Wangaratta for more than 40 years. Previously he was captain for 15 years and is currently a lieutenant. Garry is also the deputy group officer for Wangaratta Group and has been a key representative on the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (MEMPC) for the Rural City of Wangaratta Council and current District 23 VFBV President.
“There is a real opportunity to do something jointly where businesses, organisations and community work together to raise awareness of fire safety emergency management and increase the understanding of shared responsibility when it comes to fire and emergencies,” Garry said.
In addition to his commitments to CFA Garry also runs a successful real estate business where he has incorporated fire safety and emergency information into the ‘purchaser packs’ provided to buyers and renters when moving into a new rental particularly in rural and township situations to help ensure they are aware of their local fire risk.
“With so many people moving from urban and city areas to regional Victoria there is a need to alert them to understand the fire risk of their new environment, where their water supply comes from and what they can do, and how to prepare themselves,” he said.
Garry shares his information and techniques with other members of the local business network to encourage a connection between communities and their local brigades.
Garry has a true passion for regional Victoria and uses every opportunity to promote contributing to, and the value of being an active part of, your local and wider communities.
“These things can’t be achieved on one’s own, you need good people working with you. Working together and providing the same information helps make things happen. Together we can achieve great things. It helps in the end to keep us all safer.”
Garry holds the portfolio of fire preparedness in the Wangaratta Group where he works closely with brigades to understand their fire planning and preparation needs and those of the neighbouring group brigades.
“You don’t do this work for awards or the recognition. You do it because of a desire to keep people safe and make them aware that things can happen and the desire to make sure people are prepared and alert,” he said.