Sydney Swans AFLW star kicking goals with Fire and Rescue NSW - Orchard Hills

Published: 18 Nov 2022 12:08pm

Sydney Swans AFLW star, Rebecca Privitelli, today has graduated as a firefighter with Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW), fulfilling a long-time goal to serve the community and protect the irreplaceable.

The 27-year-old Centre Half Forward is one of 227 new Permanent and On-Call (Retained) firefighters who have qualified to join the ranks of the 112-year-old organisation, honoured during a Graduation ceremony today at the Emergency Services Academy at Orchard Hills in Sydney’s west.

Rebecca joined the Sydney Swans AFLW side for its first season this year after stints with Carlton and the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

A member of the Swans Leadership group, Rebecca hopes she can also excel at her new-found firefighting career. She’s already finding a purpose.

“I think with Fire and Rescue…I feel like it’s a role where I can have a real impact in my community and I was really excited by the opportunity when it came up,” Rebecca said.

“(It’s been) incredible, I’ve got an awesome station (Lakemba) and a really great crew, so I’ve landed on my feet there and they’ve just been super supportive, introducing me to the role…it’s been really great…I’m loving it.”

As an AFLW player, Rebecca found it beneficial to have a good fitness base when she entered the Academy but was quick to point out the Physical Aptitude Test (PAT) required extra work.

“I’ve been at that (fitness) level for a little while, so I’ve been able to get some consistent training in, mind you, the ‘PAT’ is a very different test, compared to what I’m probably used to with AFL, but I probably had a good baseline coming into it…it’s still hard but it was a good one.”

“As someone who’s quite a hands-on person, the study was probably the more challenging part for me but the Academy was set-up in such a good way that it actually made it really easy to learn the theory-based component and we actually did a lot of practical as well.”

Rebecca is loving ‘station life’ and has begun a slow campaign to convert her Rugby League-loving crew to Australian Rules football.

“They’ve been along to a few of my games and they’ve just been so supportive…they bring their kids along.

“I definitely came in and made sure AFL was on the tv and it wasn’t league anymore, they’ve been really great.”

Rebecca is grateful to the Swans who are very supportive of her commitment to FRNSW.

“They know that my priority is Fire and Rescue but I do get a lot of time in my week to make up for any missed training which is really great as well, so it’s a perfect balance for me and I’m really enjoying that.

“I’ve had plenty of experience being in a team and it’s something that I really value and love…that’s why being in the ‘firies’ was such a good role for me, I love being around people and I love being part of a team that can make a difference.”

Updated: 30 Jan 2023 09:13pm

listView more incidents

Details about this incident may change and should not be used as emergency information and/or advice.

For all life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000)

For flood information, warnings or requests for non-life threatening assistance, call the SES on 132 500 or visit the NSW State Emergency Service website here. [external link].

For information directly relating to bushfires please call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737 or visit the NSW Rural Fire Service Website here. [external link]

Stations nearby

PENRITH Fire Station

290-294 High Street, Penrith NSW 2750


2-6 Jeanette Street, Regentville NSW 2745

ST. MARYS Fire Station

1 Marsden Road, ST Marys NSW 2760