NSWFB employees named in Queen's Birthday Honours List

Published: 11th June 2007

NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Commissioner Greg Mullins today congratulated five NSWFB officers and the Senior Industrial Officer on receiving awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List announced on 11 June 2007.

Commissioner Mullins said Superintendent Gary Meers, Superintendent Keith King, SO Alan (Sam) Walker, SO William Clifford and Captain Vincent Oliver had received the Australian Fire Service Medal, while Stuart Henderson received the Public Service Medal (PSM).

The Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) is one of the highest honours an Australian firefighter can receive.

“The AFSM recognises outstanding contribution made by the NSWFB officers to the community and the NSWFB throughout their career,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“The community holds the efforts of emergency service workers in extremely high regard and this medal is testament to their long-standing dedication and achievements in serving and protecting the people of NSW,” he said.

Of Mr Henderson’s PSM Commissioner Mullins said: “The public sees firefighters battling fires, conducting rescues and attending hazardous material incidents, however, they are supported by a strong team of non-operational staff, including Stuart Henderson.

“Stuart is very dedicated and has played a pivotal role in assisting the NSWFB to develop and implement its industrial reform agenda.

“The Public Service Medal gives Stuart the public recognition he deserves and is a fitting tribute,” Commissioner Mullins said.

Read about the recipients:
Supt Gary Meers
Supt Keith King
Station Officer Alan (Sam) Walker
Station Officer William Clifford
Captain Vincent Oliver
Stuart Henderson

Superintendent Gary Meers

Superintendent Gary Meers, of Maroubra, has served the NSWFB for 27 years. He worked as a firefighter at several fire stations in western Sydney before being promoted to Station Officer in 1995, taking up the position of recruit instructor at the NSWFB State Training College, and later Senior Training Instructor. His diverse career has also included Manager of the NSWFB Rescue Section, Manager Station Infrastructure where he was responsible for project managing the establishment of 13 additional fire stations in western Sydney, Manager Counter Terrorism and his current role as Zone Commander in charge of fire stations in the Illawarra area.

Superintendent Keith King

Superintendent Keith King, of Davistown, joined the NSWFB on 13 December 1974. He worked as a firefighter at Sydney fire stations, and later as a Station Officer at stations in Sydney and regional NSW. In May 1991, Supt King was promoted to Inspector, working in Sydney and Newcastle, and later transferred to the NSWFB Fire Safety Division, inspecting buildings and investigating fires. He achieved his current rank in 1997, taking up the position of Zone Commander in charge of fire stations on the Central Coast.

Station Officer Alan (known as Sam) Walker

SO Alan Walker, of Mona Vale, has served the NSWFB for 29 years. He worked as a firefighter at a number of Sydney fire stations. As a Senior Firefighter he served at Crows Nest Fire Station as a specialist operator of high-rise firefighting vehicles and trained other firefighters on those vehicles from 1985 to 1991. SO Walker was promoted to his current rank in 1991. He was attached to the City of Sydney Fire Station in 1992, and six years later was appointed as the D Platoon Station Commander, putting him in charge of the busiest fire station in the NSW.

Station Officer William Clifford

SO William Clifford, of Biraganbil, joined the NSWFB as a firefighter on 20 January 1967, and worked at a number of fire stations in Sydney and the ACT. Seven years later he was promoted to the rank of Senior Firefighter and attained his current rank in September 1979. As Station Officer he served at various Sydney and regional fire stations, before being transferred to Dubbo Fire Station, as Station Commander in April 2002. SO Clifford was heavily involved in establishing and revamping the NSWFB critical incident support program, which provides counselling, support and assistance to NSWFB firefighters and support staff.

Captain Vincent Oliver

Captain Vincent Oliver has served the NSWFB for 46 years. He joined the Scarborough Fire Brigade as an on-call Firefighter on 1 February 1961, and was appointed Captain on 3 March 1986. He has made a strong contribution to Scarborough Fire Station’s professional standing with other emergency services and the NSW Police Force as well as within the Scarborough community. He and his crew have been heavily involved in community activities and in promoting community safety.

Public Service Medal

Stuart Henderson

Mr Stuart Henderson, of Woy Woy, joined the public service in 1964 and held numerous industrial relations roles before being appointed NSWFB Senior Industrial Officer, a position he still holds, in December 1993. He has had a significant role in the negotiation of successive NSWFB Awards since 1994, and has played a pivotal role in assisting the NSWFB to develop and implement its reforms that have assisted the NSWFB to become a leading fire and rescue service. Despite a degenerative condition that resulted in the total loss of his sight, Mr Henderson has continued to meet professional challenges to a superior standard, and is held in very high regard both in government, and by unions.