The outstanding community contribution of local resident, Alan Stuart, a recent recipient of the Order of Australia Medal, was recognised this week in State Parliament.
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, opened by saying “I wish to put on the public record the efforts of a great Australian from my electorate, Alan Stuart.”
“Alan was recently awarded an Order of Australia Medal and was named East Gippsland Citizen of the Year and Lindenow Citizen of the Year at the East Gippsland Australia Day celebrations.
“He has been an active member of the Mount Taylor Fire Brigade for almost 60 years. Joining as a 15 year old, he went on to serve as captain for over a decade.
“He was a founding member of the Bairnsdale Racecourse Committee of Management serving for 34 years and was awarded a life membership of the Polocrosse Club and also served on the Mount Taylor Hall and Camp Draft committees.
“Of more recent times Alan has dedicated countless hours to fire recovery efforts throughout Gippsland,” Mr Bull told Parliament.
“In 2003 he coordinated a volunteer effort to clean up burnt fencing and sheds and then erect new fencing in the areas of the High Country affected by bushfire.
“He organised 33 volunteers and their families into groups, working over 11 weekends on properties in Gelantipy, Black Mountain, Bindi, Benambra and Suggan Buggan.
“Following the Black Saturday fires in 2009, Alan coordinated another volunteer clean up and fencing venture in Callignee, Currajung and Traralgon South for 35 weekends spread over 18 months.
“More Alan Stuart coordinated volunteer clean ups also occurred following fires in 2011 in Tostaree and his latest efforts have concentrated on Glenaladale, Buchan and Bonang -Tubbut communities.
“Alan is a humble man who in typical fashion said he did not know what all the fuss was about when receiving these awards and gave credit to his band of volunteers, but he is a great East Gippslander and very deserving of the recognition he has received,” Mr Bull concluded.