A Turvey Park firefighter and a long-time regional librarian have been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Deputy Captain David Gill has been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM), the highest honour an Australian firefighter can receive, and Robert Knight, the executive director of the Riverina Regional Library, has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM).
Both men have been humbled by their awards.
Mr Knight said he was surprised and honoured, and particularly grateful to the people who had taken the time to nominate him for the OAM, which recognises his service to the library and information sciences sector, particularly in the Riverina.
“My career in the public library sector over the past 37 years has exceeded any expectations that I had when I first entered the profession,” he said.
Mr Knight said one of the proudest achievements of his career had been watching the development of the Riverina Regional Library over 25 years, as it has grown into one of the largest and most successful regional library services in NSW.
He also paid tribute to library staff across Australia.
“We are all proud advocates for the free and equitable services that public libraries offer to all Australians, and for the difference that libraries make to the lives of so many people nationwide,” Mr Knight said.
Mr Gill is one of just four Fire and Rescue NSW firefighters to receive the prestigious medal in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter has paid tribute to Mr Gill, who has been deputy captain and engine keeper at Turvey Park since 2005.
“Deputy Captain Gill has displayed great leadership at one of the busiest fire stations in regional NSW, leading our response to building fires, hazardous material incidents, road accidents and medical emergencies,” Mr Baxter said.
“He has continually gone above and beyond the call of duty, maintaining firefighting vehicles at Turvey Park Fire Station and ensuring his fellow firefighters are always working in the safest possible environment.
“Deputy Captain Gill has helped recruit and mentor firefighters attached to Turvey Park Fire Station and his enthusiasm for promoting fire safety is second to none.”