From the Newsroom

Prestigious honour bestowed upon Ramornie firefighter

Emma Pritchard

A devoted member of the Mt Ramornie Fire Brigade who has selflessly contributed close to two decades of service through localised firefighting efforts and during out-of-area deployments, Walter Murray described himself as feeling very humbled when he learned his name was among 737 Australians who were recognised and celebrated for their respective achievements on the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours List.

The Senior Deputy Captain, who has been a member of the local brigade for 38 years, will receive the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) at a ceremony to be held in Sydney later this year in honour of his exemplary commitment and pivotal role in assisting those in need and helping to keep members of the public safe from harm.

While he admits there have been “a couple of hairy moments” throughout the years, namely the destructive bushfires which devastated Northern NSW in 2019 when they tore through several remote townships and villages across the region, Mr Murray told the Clarence Valley Independent it has always been a pleasure to be out there, lending a hand, and giving something back to his local community and communities further afield, wherever he has been needed.

“I’ve always been someone who has always wanted to help other people,” he explained.

“I don’t really consider it a part of the work I do; it’s always been something that I have wanted to do.”

Mr Murray attributes the camaraderie within the Mt Ramornie Fire Brigade, and the dedication and resilience demonstrated by members of other local brigades alongside strike teams who travel from other districts to provide additional assistance during emergency situations as the inspirational motivation which encouraged him to join in the mid-1980s.

Despite revealing that he still hasn’t quite worked out who to officially acknowledge for nominating him for the extraordinary accolade, a humble Mr Murray said while it feels good to be recognised for the work he has done, he said a lot of other people who do the same work as himself also deserve recognition for their selfless deeds.

“I consider it (this nomination) a great honour,” he said.

“I would also like to encourage many of the young ones throughout the community to sign up, join their local brigade, and have a go.

“The fire brigade is a great association to be involved in.

“They look after you, and we all look after each other.”