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Congratulations to our national local hero.



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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Wilson Tuckey MP Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government

28 January 2003 WT03/2003

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR NATIONAL LOCAL HERO

Federal Minister for Regional Services, Territories, and Local Government, Wilson Tuckey, has congratulated the national inaugural winner of the Local Hero Award.

Brian Parry AFSM, from Shoalhaven in New South Wales, received the award for dedicating his life to protecting his community against the ravage of fires.

The Prime Minister announced this award at the Australian of the Year ceremony in Melbourne at the weekend.

Brian has been fire fighting for 36 years, initially as a volunteer and professionally for 29 years. He has fought nature's worst, including the 1994 crisis which saw northern NSW communities under threat from 67 fires and the 2001-2002 Shoalhaven community bush fire emergency.

"While Australia is in the middle of an unprecedented bush fire season it is highly appropriate that a veteran fire fighter be honoured for his lifetime community service today," Mr Tuckey said.

"I understand Brian is known and respected for his trade mark calmness, courage, and leadership style when overseeing operations.

"It is the Aussie Spirit and dedication by many volunteers to their community life, Australia-wide, just like Brian, which makes Australia such a wonderful place in which to live."

The Commonwealth Government through the Department of Transport and Regional Services provided $150,000 sponsorship for this award.

Mr Tuckey also congratulated this year's Senior Australian of the Year, Bruce Campbell MBE, for his tireless efforts in promoting Australia's country lifestyle and business innovations during the Year of the Outback.

"The Commonwealth Government provided $3.86 million in sponsorship towards the 2002 Year of the Outback to support the efforts of Bruce who founded and chaired this significant regional initiative."

This year is the first time that all three award programmes, the Australian, Senior Australian, and Young Australian have been combined. The Local Hero Award is a new category which recognises the contributions and achievements of outstanding Australians in their communities.

State and Territory award winners were announced late last year.

"I wish to congratulate each State and Territory winner and recognise these outstanding individuals for their significant contribution and dedication to their local communities and our nation as a whole."

Media Contacts

Graeme Hallett 0419 688 440 ( Minister Tuckey's Office ) 0419 688 440