Emergency services personnel honoured


All members of the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACT ESA) and ACT Parks and Conservation have been named Canberra Citizen of the Year for 2020.

emergency services lined up
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr (fourth from right) with ACT Emergency Services Agency (ACT ESA) Commissioner Georgeina Whelan (third from right), has acknowledged ‘summer’s heroes’ as the Canberra Citizen of the Year 2020. Image supplied.

Announced on Monday 2 March, the honour recognises their outstanding efforts and cooperation in responding to the unprecedented conditions experienced during the summer.

The Canberra Citizen of the Year award is presented each year to an individual or a group who have made an outstanding contribution to the Canberra community.

ACT ESA Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said she was “proud of the commitment, integrity and determination that every single individual within our whole team displayed during summer”.

“This incredible team, of staff and volunteers across the ESA and ACT Parks and Conservation, worked together as a team of teams to ensure the safety of Canberrans,” she said. “It was a true representation of us working together to care and protect Canberra.”

Highlighting their efforts, after what had been almost 40 days of constant operations for the ACT ESA, the Orroral Valley Fire in the Namadgi National Park was finally declared ‘out’ on Thursday 27 February.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the challenge following the fire is ecological recovery of the national park. He said the fire has burnt through 83% of the park and it is “one of the biggest ecological disasters in our history”, which will take an “extensive and coordinated recovery effort to repair the damage”.

Canberrans are invited to show their thanks by writing a message of support to our local heroes at specially set up ‘Appreciation Stations’ at four Canberra Day in the Suburbs events on Saturday 7 March.

Canberra Day in the Suburbs will run from 11am to 2pm at Margaret Timpson Park, Belconnen; between the library and Gungahlin College, Gungahlin; Weston Creek Community Centre, Cooleman Court, Weston; and Tuggeranong Town Park, Tuggeranong.

The messages will be broadcast on screens next to the musical stage at the main Canberra Day event on Monday 9 March 11am-6pm, this year at its new location in the Parliamentary Triangle.

Representatives of the organisations will receive the Canberra Citizen of the Year award on Monday 9 March 6pm at the main stage at the Canberra Day celebrations, John Dunmore Lang Place, Parkes ACT. There will also be a Volunteer Family Picnic on Saturday 4 April 11am at Tuggeranong Town Park.

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