We know that hundreds if not thousands of the incredible 26,000+ women and men who give their time and expertise as fire volunteers deserve more than a medal for the work they do for the rest of us. But when the rest of the world notices – even when it’s just one of our amazing team – we do our best to recognise the person/people/organisation and encourage them to look for more ways to acknowledge our team of selfless, unspoken heroines and heroes.

So today we help WA’s emergency services Minister Hon Fran Logan MLA take a bow for using a few minutes of Parliament today to publicly acknowledge the recent awarding of a very well-deserved Medal of the Order of Australia to Mr Peter Clews from the Cowaramup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade.

Good job Minister and thank you Peter for the incredible work you and so many of your volunteer colleagues do to keep our communities safe.

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Statement by Minister for Emergency Services

MR F. LOGAN: I would like to take this opportunity to inform the house about a bush fire brigade volunteer, Mr Peter Clews, who has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia. Mr Clews is a 60-year veteran volunteer with the Cowaramup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade, and was announced by the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC, as part of the 2019 Queen’s Birthday honours list.

The Order of Australia is a prestigious honour in recognition of the outstanding and meritorious service of individuals in our community. I am delighted to share with members the achievements of Mr Clews, who I had the honour of meeting shortly after I took on the emergency services portfolio. I presented him with his Department of Fire and Emergency Services 60-year service medal, and had a great chat with him and his children about his extraordinary service.

Mr Clews joined the Cowaramup Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade in 1954, at 17 years of age, when the standard equipment was a wet sack and a sturdy branch. He attended many incidents over his time and was elected president of the brigade in 1997, and continues to hold that position. Mr Clews is actively involved in his community and was instrumental in the establishment of the new fire station facility in Cowaramup, which was opened in October 2012. During his many years of volunteering, Mr Clews attended countless fires and has always been willing to assist wherever he could. After many years of active firefighting service, Mr Clews still attends hazard reduction burns and gets vehicles and equipment ready for his brigade to turn out to incidents.

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At president, Mr Clews leads by example and champions education and training, which includes routinely assisting with weekly and monthly training of volunteers and mentoring new members. He visits schools to assist with educating children on fire safety to make sure the next generation of our community is bushfire aware.

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