Gulgong DC Rural Fire Brigade volunteer and State Mitigation staff member, Lachlan Sutherland, has become the first recipient of the Dot Hennessy Emergency Services Youth Scholarship (DHESYS).
The scholarship was awarded as part of the Rotary NSW and ACT Emergency Services Community Awards.
And recognises Young NSW and ACT emergency services personnel, members under the age of 21, who have performed their duties in line with Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self” - hard work surpassing normal expectation.
“It was a great honour to actually receive the inaugural award, because that’s the first time they’ve ever done such an award,” Lachlan said.
A deserving recipient of this award, Lachlan has already dedicated many hours of service to the NSW Rural Fire Service, even at a young age.
He became a junior member when he was just 12 years old.
At it was family service to the organisation – and its interstate counterparts – that inspired him to join.
“Dad was in the RFS for a couple of years before I joined up and I had an uncle who were members of the CFA in Victoria,” he said.
Lachlan is now is a valued senior member of his brigade, as well as a remote area firefighter and assists with training when he isn’t busy working around NSW as part of the State Mitigation service.
And he said that he hopes to continue down this path with the organisation making it his career.
“I’m already on staff with the organisation and I’m looking at going into fire investigation in the future,” he said.
Winners for each service, plus two special winners for NSW and for ACT, and the young volunteer were announced at an Awards Presentation Dinner at the Bankstown Sports Club last week.
Minister for Emergency Services, Troy Grant, announced the creation of the $1,000 Dorothy Hennessy Emergency Services Youth scholarship for a volunteer aged up to 21 for training and educational materials or equipment.
“This scholarship celebrates our young volunteers and honours the outstanding contribution of an individual in providing support to their community,” Mr Grant said.
The awards also support Australian Rotary Health, PhD Scholarship Research into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Emergency Services Personnel.