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Supportive employer

The NSW RFS Supportive Employer Program recognises the vital contribution employers make to the NSW RFS, especially by releasing volunteers to attend incidents and other NSW RFS activities during work hours.

The program seeks to recognise and acknowledge the contribution of employers and self employed volunteers, and aims to:

  • formally and informally acknowledge the significant contribution employers and self employed volunteers make to the NSW RFS
  • encourage employers to become more flexible and supportive of their employees when called upon to perform their volunteer duties with the NSW RFS
  • educate employers about the type of work undertaken by NSW RFS volunteers and the skills and attributes NSW RFS volunteers bring to the workplace
  • increase public awareness and appreciation for the important role NSW RFS volunteers and their employers play in bush fire prevention and mitigation within NSW.

The primary aim of NSW RFS Supportive Employer Program is to recognise the contribution of the time given by volunteers, either self employed or employed by a supporting organisation. This program does not include financial contributions and donations made by businesses or organisations to the NSW RFS.

For further information you can:

If you would like to nominate your employer, you can complete the form.

2020 Supportive Employer Special Commendations

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) is part of a network of hospitals within the Sydney Local Health District. It is the principal teaching hospital of the University of Sydney and has been operating since 1882. Peter Linnegar from Valley Heights brigade nominated RPA and the Nursing Executive Team for the supportive employer’s award due to their ongoing support of his activities in the RFS.

This last fire season Peter was given 20 Emergency Volunteer leave days and staff he works with adjusted their rosters and days off to enable Peter to assist with multiple deployments throughout the state. Peter is well supported by colleagues throughout the whole hospital offering their support.

Camden Council

The Camden Local Government Area is situated in the south west of Sydney, about 60 kilometres from Sydney. The LGA covers about 200 square kilometres and is bounded by Liverpool City Council in the north, Campbelltown City Council in the east, and Wollondilly Shire Council in the south and west.

During the Bushfire Crisis in late 2019 and early 2020, Camden Council provided special leave entitlements to five staff members who are NSW RFS volunteers.

Camden Council’s Natural Resources Cadet, Taylor Sparkes, nominated Council to receive the NSW RFS Supportive Employer Special Commendation Award describing in her nomination that she is extremely fortunate to have her leadership team be so supportive with her volunteering and this level of support helps her to support her local community in times of emergency.

BAE Systems

BAE Systems provides advanced defence technology that protects people and national security, and keeps critical information and infrastructure secure. BAE has a workforce of 85,800 people in more than 40 countries.

BAE Systems were nominated by two separate volunteers being Brett Dolan from Bolwarra-Largs Brigade within Lower Hunter and Glenn Nicolson from Carwoola Brigade within Lake George.

BAE have a volunteering policy of 10 working days however, have extended this provision to both volunteers over the years.

Brett explains in his nomination “BAE Systems have been very flexible in supporting my deployments With the NSWRFS all over NSW from August 2019 to February 2020”.

Glenn describes the support he received “I’ve done in excess of 30 days at fires in Tasmania, Victoria and NSW in 2019 & 2020. BAE Systems have been incredibly understanding and supportive of my firefighting efforts during this time.

Australian National University

Australian National University (ANU) is a world-leading university in Australia's capital city, Canberra.

ANU was nominated by Russell Buzby from the Braidwood Brigade within Lake George Zone. ANU has provided generous Emergency Services Leave and flexibility to its staff which Russell describes as enabling him “to attend over 40 incidents, pages and shifts from November 2019 to February 2020, including defending my own home, my town, and the homes of my neighbours, friends, and family, suffering no financial disadvantage”.

Department of Education EDConnect

The Department of Education (DoE) recruits and supports skilled volunteers to provide life changing mentoring and learning assistance to students in the school community, through programs such as Project Firestorm.

One such example is Bill Reid a Resolution Manager for the DoE, and a Deputy Captain from the Dapto Brigade located in the Illawarra.

The RFS recognises the DoE – EDConnect, for their support during the most recent bushfires of 2019/2020 allowing Bill to devote his energies towards firefighting.

In his nomination Bill said even before whole of government announcements were made, his manager completely supported him, telling him to “go fight the fires and don’t come back until they are all out!” Bill also received many encouraging messages of support and gratitude from colleagues, managers and executives.

“Knowing I had the support from my workplace meant I could make myself available for any shifts, allowing my station and district to put more crews on the road, which directly translated to more properties being protected and lives saved,” Bill said.

Coles Australia

Coles Supermarkets is a national full service supermarket retailer operating more than 800 stores across Australia. Beginning as a variety store more than 100 years ago, we are part of Australia’s history.

Coles was nominated by two separate volunteers being Michael Luckman from Yerrinbool Brigade within the Southern Highlands and Warren Denniss from the Marulan Brigade within the Southern Tablelands. Michael works at Coles Eastern Creek while Warren works at Coles Supply Chain.

Michael describes in his nomination how “During the green wattle creek, currowan, and Morton fires I was told by My Manager, Greg Seve. “if you’re needed on the truck you man the truck if you are not needed on the truck and are fit, come to work”. Also told me not to worry about my pay he will sort it out and I never had an issue and I was on the truck a lot through our busiest period being Xmas”.

Warren describes in his nomination how “Coles is very understanding with allowing me to attend local callouts or out of area strike teams for a period of time”. And “no matter what RFS role is undertaken” Warren was supported 100% also receiving check-up calls.

Fujitsu Australia Limited

Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand is a leading service provider of business, information technology and communications solutions. As one of the largest ICT companies in the Australian and New Zealand marketplace, we partner with our customers to consult, design, build, operate and support business solutions.

Marty Boyce from the Sutton Brigade within Southern Tablelands nominated Fujitsu Australia. Fujitsu provide Emergency Service Leave and provided an additional four weeks paid leave during the Bush Fire emergency period of 2019/2020. A flexible working from home policy provided by the business, allows members to work remotely during periods of elevated fire danger.

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is an independent statutory authority that supervises institutions across banking, insurance and superannuation, and is accountable to the Australian Parliament. APRA was nominated for its strong community support, allowing two staff members to volunteer over a long fire season.

Ivan Chan is from the Hills District, Glenhaven Brigade and APRA supported his role as a volunteer frontline firefighter and response driver. Despite being new to the organisation, and not having completed his probationary period, Ivan was able to volunteer for a sustained period of time without loss of pay and was the first person to utilise the organisation’s community service leave arrangements.

Catherine Dawson recently joined the Northern Beaches district and APRA supported her role as a communications specialist by allowing her flexibility to attend shifts on total fire ban days in the early days of her membership.

Shaw Contract Group Australia

Shaw Contract Group Australia has established itself for over many years in providing commercial flooring solutions for Australia.

Anton Arathoon from the North Rocks Brigade within the Hills District nominated Shaw Contract Group Australia and describes in his nomination how “The team actively support my role in the NSW RFS by releasing me from work when emergencies require attendance to an incident”.

Anton also mentions in his nomination how the company acknowledges his volunteer role and is “very thankful to an employer who allows me to assist the community whenever the need arises...”.


Goodman is an Australian headquartered, global property group, that owns, develops and manages industrial and commercial real estate in major consumer cities around the world. The company’s portfolio covers logistics and industrial facilities, warehouses and business parks.

Matthew Devlin from the Ku-ring-gai Brigade nominated Goodman for the flexibility and support provided to attend RFS incidents with minimal notice. Matthew in his nomination, described how he “was able to deploy with only a single business days’ notice. And when I asked for the leave, the only question was "do you need a lift to the airport?". Matthew has not been financially impacted and describes the business as empowering staff “to make a real difference in the community.”

NTT Ltd.

“NTT Ltd. is a leading global technology services company. We partner with organizations around the world to shape and achieve outcomes through intelligent technology solutions. We employ more than 40,000 people in a diverse and dynamic workplace that spans 57 countries, trading in 73 countries and delivering services in over 200 countries and regions.

Paul Barr is from the Arcadia Brigade within the Hornsby/Ku-ring-gai District. The company provides Emergency Services Leave however, Paul mentions how “due to the extreme fire conditions we have been experiencing, I have been advised that anytime I need to take leave due to strike team / deployment requests, leave will be made available” Paul also goes on to mention how “immensely grateful he is to have this flexibility and to work for an extremely supportive organisation”.

Fowler Road SSP Merrylands

Fowler Road SSP is located in Merrylands and has 56 students who come from a number of Sydney districts. The school provides programs for students from Kindergarten to Year 12 who experience emotional/ behavioural and mental health difficulties.

Mark Brown from the Berkshire Park Brigade within Cumberland nominated Fowler Road School Merrylands.

Mark has been supported by the school’s principal and other staff members and has been deployed across the state providing over 70 hours of time from paid work to undertake RFS activities.

2019 Supportive Employer Special Commendations

Bakers Delight Port Central

Aaron Hall, Owner of Bakers Delight Port Central and volunteer in Sancrox/Thrumster Brigade of the Mid Coast Team, goes above and beyond as a self-employed volunteer to attend NSW RFS incidents, training and Community Engagement activities. Aaron’s business regularly donates bread for local brigades, district and RFSA functions, and Aarons commitment to attend incidents and training as a volunteer regularly sees him rostering extra staff on to cover his absence.

Batterline Earth Moving, from Coonamble in the state’s west

Batterline Earth Moving is based in Coonamble and was established in 2000. They provide various earth moving services to residential, agricultural, government and commercial sectors.

Daniel Dexter, of Coonable Headquarters Brigade based in the North West Zone, nominated Batterline for their ongoing commitment to the local community, including their commitment to support Daniel at short notice when he attends incidents, both short term and long running fires, as well as being flexible and allowing Daniel to attend training around work commitments.

Country Wide Mechanical

Country Wide Mechanical are a small business that installs, services and repairs fixed fire pumps and systems in NSW. Josh Sullivan of Central Coast Communications Brigade, nominated Country Wide Mechanical for their ongoing commitment to supporting their staff who are volunteer members of the NSW RFS. Whether it is during stand-by days, local incidents or out of area commitments, Josh states that the management and team at Country Wide Mechanical allow flexibility and leave provisions to support their staff commitment to their community.

Sharon, the Secretary/Director of Country Wide Mechanical, goes above and beyond in contacting staff and their spouses in the case of staff attending emergencies, checking on their wellbeing. The fabulous support is best explained using Josh’s own words: “Sharon is the most supportive and caring boss I have ever known.”

DHL Supply Chain

DHL Supply Chain are a part of the international DPDHL Group. DHL supply chain is present in over 55 countries and territories; with 1,400 warehouses and offices; and over 146,000 supply chain employees, and can be considered as one of the world’s leading contract logistics providers.

Nominated by Lynette Lawrence, Member of Orangeville/Werombi Brigade within the Southern Highlands District, DHL Supply Chain have a generous volunteering policy in place. This policy, along with supportive management and co-workers, has allowed Lynette the opportunity to attend various out of area strike team deployments.
Lynnette believes that the skills she developed in the NSW RFS have directly impacted on her ability to deliver in her current role, and states “I am very proud to be an employee of DHL and being a part of an organisation that wants to do more than just make money but to make a positive impact on the country and the world”.

Embella Jewellery, based in Yamba and Darwin

Embella Jewellery is a small Australian employer, with retail stores based in Darwin and Yamba, NSW. Embella’s owners Ross Wilsher and Sally Rogers were nominated by a staff member of the Yamba store, Manager Kirra Innes, of Wooloweyah Brigade in the Clarence Valley District, for their unwavering commitment to support Kira in her volunteering activities with the NSW RFS.

Whether it was allowing Kira to take leave at short notice to complete a multi-day deployment to Tasmania, or their willingness to support Kira’s requests for time off or flexibility, Kira states: “They know how much I enjoy and want to pursue this and are fully supportive.”

Locate and Map

Locate and Map provide end-to-end drafting services from pre-project planning and surveying to delivering high quality and accurate as-built drawings for excavation works.

Mitchell Bradac, of Glenhaven Brigade in the Hills District, has nominated Locate and Map for their willingness to allow a flexible approach to his work aligned with the needs of the community as a volunteer firefighter. Mitchell states that an honest, open communications channel is always open to his boss, and he is allowed to attend stand-by days at station, local incidents and longer out of area commitments, such as a five-day deployment to Grafton.

Meadows Family Restaurants PTY LTD (Trading as McDonalds Macarthur Square)

Peter Meadows, as owner of a McDonalds Restaurant in Macarthur Square, was nominated by Jai McLeod of Menangle Park, in the Macarthur District. Jai cited in his nomination that Meadows Family Restaurants, using the McDonalds Restaurants emergency service leave provisions, have continued to support his volunteering for small and large incidents, both locally and out of area.

Jai stated that he receives fantastic support and flexibility from Peter Meadows as the Owner/Operator, including flexible shift arrangements to attend local incident calls whenever possible.

Nielsen TAM Australia

Nielson TAM is the official provider of television audience measurement services to the major Television broadcasters in Australia.

Nielsen TAM Australia has been nominated by Ben Cantwell from Kyogle Headquarters Brigade in our Northern Rivers District. Ben, a Field Technician, stated in his nomination that Nielsen TAM have a flexible and supportive approach to work, fully supporting Ben’s volunteering, including access to leave at short notice to attend multi-day incidents, and his ongoing role as brigade training officer. Ben stated: “…Management is always willing to allow me to go on deployment when needed.”

Northern Cooperative Meat Company Ltd.

The Northern Co-operative Meat Company Ltd (NCMC) is Australia’s largest meat processing Co-operative, proudly 100% member owned. Members are Australian farmers and businesses excelling in the paddock to plate philosophy.

NCMC have core values of respect, fairness and compassion, which translates not only into their products and services, but also into the support shown to their staff and their local community.

Robert Piling, NCMC Projects Facilitator and member of Tomki Brigade in the Northern Rivers Team, nominated NCMC for their ongoing commitment to integrating the knowledge and skills learnt by staff that are NSW RFS volunteers into the business, specifically within their on-site response team; as well as ongoing commitment to supporting staff to attend incidents within the local community.

The Westport Club, a part of the Mingara Leisure Group, is nestled on the banks of the Hastings River. The Westport Club has been an important part of the social fabric of the Port Macquarie community for many years.

The Westport Club was nominated by Aaron Mendham, of Lake Cathie Brigade from the Mid Coast team, who cites ongoing support from the team at Westport, especially with regards to his personal wellbeing when he has been released to support firefighting efforts. Aaron states: “Anthony (his manager), The Westport Team, and our parent organisation, The Mingara Leisure Group have been behind me completely in my work in the RFS as it fits our vision: to make a significant contribution to the quality of community life.”

Varley Vehicles

Varley Vehicles is a business unit of Varley, one of Australia’s oldest engineering and manufacturing companies. Established in 1886, Varley has steadily grown and diversified to provide a comprehensive range of products, service and workmanship to various industries.

Varley Vehicles provide a range of services including design, ADR testing and compliance, manufacturing, fit-out and finish, refurbishment, as well as servicing and spares.

Varley Vehicles was nominated by Karl Giebeler of Paterson Brigade in the Lower Hunter District. Karl receives ongoing support to attend local incidents and longer out of area commitments. A focus on ‘getting out and getting the job done’ by his senior management team has imbued a sense of real support for Karl to volunteer for the NSW RFS. In return Varley Vehicles uses the skills and knowledge gained by Karl by way of making him Chief Fire Warden for the Tomago Facility. Karl also assists in the facilitating of the Varley emergency response team, designed to support the Varley team until emergency services arrive on scene.

Wollongong Emergency Family Housing

Wollongong Emergency Family Housing Inc (WEFH) is a registered not-for-profit charity. WEFH supports families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to either sustain their existing accommodation or attain and keep new tenancies through a combination of early intervention, case management, referral, advocacy and information.

Wollongong Emergency Family Housing was nominated by Lawrence Wood, of Bulli Brigade in the Illawarra Zone, who believes that his Manager, Mandy Booker, has allowed him a supportive and flexible work environment to attend various incidents.
Lawrence goes on to say: “In my many different workplaces, I have yet to come across an employer who is so understanding of the role we play as volunteers within the NSW RFS.

2018 Supportive Employer Special Commendations

Allam Homes

Allam Homes was established in 1991 and has helped over 5000 customers find their new home. Allam creates a range of homes to suit a wide range of lifestyles and budget requirements.

Nominated by Blake Foster, a Deputy Captain from the Narellan and Macarthur Remote Area Brigade, Allam Homes allows Blake to attend call-outs and training without financial disadvantage which has included being paid during a 5 week deployment to Canada.

As part of his nomination, Blake wrote “Allam Homes are proud of my dedication to helping the community and have an active interest in my involvement with the NSW RFS”.

Canon Australia

Canon is the world’s leading imaging brand that actively inspires and enables people to achieve more than they ever thought they could through products, services and solutions for business and consumers.

Glen Webster from the Hawkesbury Headquarters Brigade nominated Canon Australia. Canon’s Leave Policy allows Glen to work from home during heightened fire periods as part of its ongoing commitment to the local communities in which it operates. Canon also promotes the community spirit within their company newsletters where they publish work carried out by employees who are members of NSW RFS.

Citadel Technology Solutions

Citadel Technology Solutions is an ASX listed Technology Company that specialises in managing knowledge in complex environments.  Citadel Technology designs, implements, integrates and supports audio visual, video collaboration and managed service solutions. Citadel Technology has broad capability, with particular expertise in Security, Surveillance, Command and Control systems.

Nick Hornbuckle a Senior Deputy Captain from the Queanbeyan City Brigade nominated Citadel. Citadel (during company functions) publicly thanks Nick for the work undertaken as a NSW RFS volunteer where Nick is also encouraged to promote the work carried out by the NSW RFS. Nick is supported to attend day time emergency calls and during days of Total Fire Ban, Citadel provides Nick the support and tools to work remotely from the Fire Station, significantly reducing brigade response times, providing increased safety to the local community.

Collier & Miller

Collier & Miller are based in Griffith and provide retail and wholesale goods and services to the agriculture, engineering, industrial and trade industry.

Collier & Miller was nominated by Adam Bertolissi, a Senior Deputy Captain from Hanwood Brigade. During work hours, Adam is supported to attend emergency incidents without financial disadvantage. Adam wrote in his application “If it was not for my boss there would be multiple call outs where our truck would either have no crew or only one”.

Elders - Walgett

Elders is a leading agribusiness brand in rural and regional Australia. Elders works with farmers across all aspects of the farming business from office to field.

Elders was nominated by the Inspector Jillian Butler of NSW RFS North West Zone for releasing Barry Henry, a Group Captain from the Bogan Brigade with short notice to attend meetings, incidents and out of area deployments. Already in 2018, Barry has attend a number of S44 incidents due to Elders flexibility in accommodating and changing plans to suit Barry.

Lawson Car Care & Tyre Centre

Lawson Car Care & Tyre Centre (LCC), has been a local business in the Blue Mountains for over 30 years providing automotive and small engine servicing and repair along with being a major tyre supplier balancing and fitting tyres in the area.

LCC was nominated by Heather Helvie from the Hazelbrook Brigade. Ray, the owner of LCC, has allowed all three NSW RFS volunteers he employs to attend call-outs at short notice without financial disadvantage. He supports many local organisations and community members with both their vehicles and financially. Ray also encourages the discussion of ‘preparing for fire’ with customers. Heather wrote in her nomination “Ray is the most supportive boss I have ever known”.

Mars Petcare Australia

Mars Petcare is one of Australia’s leading pet food manufacturers. Mars has been making well-known brands such as PEDIGREE® and WHISKAS® at their Australian headquarters in Wodonga since 1967, and prides themselves on supporting the local community.

Southern Border District Manager Patrick Westwood nominated Mars Petcare Australia. The Mars Wodonga site has eight NSW RFS volunteers employed with the company: Nathan Cooper, Darren Gugger, Andrew Harris, Cassie Steer, John Townsend, Neil Wight, Natasha Hedrick and Lisa Wilkie. The company goes above and beyond in providing flexibility so volunteers are able to undertake training, deployments and emergency incidents. Patrick mentioned that “Mars Australia provides a tremendous amount of support, it’s employers like Mars Australia that allows us to keep the true Aussie spirit of helping our mates”.

Overall Photography Mid North Coast

Overall Photography in Port Macquarie is a licensed provider of aerial cinematography and video production services including for television commercials, documentaries and real estate agencies, utilising cutting edge drones and camera equipment.

Tim Hitchins is a self-employed volunteer and Deputy Captain in both North Shore and Lake Innes Brigades. Tim was nominated for regularly rearranging or postponing work (as a sole operator) to be able to attend incidents which can at times span to multiple days off from paid work."

Peabody Wilpinjong Coal Mine

Peabody is the leading global pure-play coal company and a member of the Fortune 500, serving power and steel customers in more than 25 countries.

Lucas Lunney, a Captain from the Mullamuddy Brigade nominated Peabody for this award. A number of Peabody employees are NSW RFS volunteers. Employees are provided with the time away from work, where required, to attend incidents in their role with the RFS, without financial disadvantage. Then employees are able to bring the skills learnt from the RFS back into the workplace, such as leadership, teamwork and communication. Lucas wrote in his nomination “The sheer fact that Peabody takes responsibility for and supports its employees who are also NSW RFS volunteers and their local community is a credit to the company.”

Roads & Maritime Services Russell Vale Laboratory

The Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) Russell Vale Laboratory provides engineering services and tests various road construction materials.

Andrew Toole is the Captain of the Dapto Brigade and nominated the RMS Russell Vale Laboratory for this award. Andrew has discussed his role as Captain with RMS and has been provided time from work to attend to the responsibilities involved.

RMS has also supported Andrew by providing special leave to attend to local and interstate incidents as well as an overseas deployment to Canada. Andrew mentioned in his nomination “It’s great to be able to discuss matters easily and be given special leave to do what I love”.

Sliced Tech

Sliced Tech provide computer, storage and network solutions that meet compliance and reporting requirements.

Kevin Fitzgerald from the Wingello Brigade nominated Sliced Tech. Sliced Tech are flexible with Kevin’s working arrangements where Kevin works from home during busy fire periods which allows him to support his brigade as the First Response Brigade. Kevin wrote in his nomination “They are a business that support volunteer work”.

Tatham Poultry

Tatham Poultry has been breeding poultry since 2004 and services regional NSW.

Tatham Poultry was nominated by Ross Hansen a Captain from the Woodburn Brigade and Northern Rivers Aviation Coordinator. Ross is provided with support to attend to incidents with short notice. Ross in his nomination describes a time he only was working for Tatham Poultry for just over a week and yet he had been provided with a week off work to be the Airbase Manager at Richmond Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) for the Large Air Tanker and Very Large Air Tanker. Ross mentioned in his nomination that his employer is “very supportive of the NSW RFS”.

2017 Supportive Employer Special Commendations

Airservices Australia

Airservices Australia is a government-owned organisation providing air traffic control and aviation rescue fire fighting services to the aviation industry.  Nominated by David Hanzl, Captain of the Stoney Creek Brigade, Airservices was nominated for releasing David, a new contract employee, during work time to attend the Taliesin fire where David worked for eight days. As an active volunteer, David is also provided with time off to attend to other incidents as required.

Arakoon Computers

Arakoon Computers is owned by NSW RFS volunteer, John Collins. John is self-employed in South West Rocks providing computer sales, computer upgrades, accessories, support and mobile service and computer repairs. Arakoon Computers is proactive and 100% committed to promoting and supporting NSW RFS call outs and emergency incidents. All four staff members are NSW RFS volunteers and as a result, it is necessary for the business to close its doors during emergencies.

Hawkesbury City Council

Hawkesbury City Council is the largest local government area in metropolitan NSW. Nominated by Bruce Earle a Captain from the Freemans Reach Brigade, the Council provides Special Leave entitlements to Bruce and six other staff members who are NSW RFS volunteers. Bruce has been able to attend to call outs and emergency incidents during weekday work hours along with deployments to other states for the past 30 years.

K-Line Agriculture

K-Line Agriculture began in 1993 and is an Australian-owned family run business, dedicated to the manufacture and supply of quality agricultural machinery. Nominated by Luke Bryant, a Senior Deputy Captain from the Waugoola Brigade, K-Line Agriculture releases Luke and two other staff who are active NSW RFS volunteers during work hours to attend to callouts.


Nowchem is a Chemical and Pharmaceutical manufacturing business located in Nowra in the Shoalhaven region of NSW, Australia. Nowchem produces over 500 specialty chemicals including various cleaning products, disinfectants, water treatment chemicals and topical pharmaceuticals. Nominated by Casey Addison, a Senior Deputy Captain from the Tomerong Rural Fire Brigade, Nowchem provides Casey and another NSW RFS volunteer with paid leave to attend fire emergencies. The organisation also encourages participation in various events including the cadet program which assist the community and youth of the region.

NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet

The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) leads the NSW public sector to deliver on the Government's commitments and priorities. DPC was nominated by Matthew Schroder, a Deputy Captain from the Glenhaven Brigade. When pre-emptive strike teams are required, Matthew is able to work from home. Flexibility is also provided by reassigning Matthew’s work duties and accommodating his return to work at short notice.

Public Service Association of NSW

The Public Service Association (PSA) is the public sector union and the proud defender of public services in NSW, representing employees in diverse roles across state government departments, state-owned corporations, schools, universities and TAFE NSW. The PSA was nominated by Greg Corrigan, a Group Captain from the Blue Mountains District, for providing over 25 years of support to Greg’s NSW RFS volunteer activities. This support has extended to periods of time off to attend incidents or activities without any disadvantage to Greg.

Real Aussie Sheds

Real Aussie Sheds is a national developer and supplier of residential, commercial and industrial sheds. Based in the Shoalhaven region, the organisation designs and constructs granny flats and storage facilities. Real Aussie Sheds was nominated by Ash Charlton from the Wreck Bay Brigade for encouraging staff to join a NSW RFS Brigade. Working in a high-level management position within the company, Ash has never been refused time off from work to attend to incidents, nor has he been financially disadvantaged due to his NSW RFS volunteer commitment.

Scientific Devices Australia

Scientific Devices Australia is a quality certified business for Electronic Test and Measurement Instrumentation. The organisation has been nominated by Christopher Dawes from the Charmhaven Brigade in recognition of its longstanding support of Christopher during his 19 years of activity with NSW RFS.

Southern Highlands Christian School

Southern Highlands Christian School has been educating students from Prep to Year 12 for over thirty years. The School has been nominated by Paul Sloan, a Deputy Captain from Mittagong Brigade, and Megan Moore from Robertson Brigade, for the support provided during numerous deployments. Paul and Megan, both of whom are Teachers, have been provided with extended periods of leave without financial disadvantage. The School also supports the NSW RFS Cadet Program and allows Paul time to plan and conduct courses.

Southern Hospitality Australia Pty Ltd

Southern Hospitality provides products and services to the hospitality business. Nominated by Damien Fear from the Tumbledown Dick Brigade, the organisation regularly demonstrates its support of Damien’s NSW RFS commitment with leave provided without financial disadvantage during periods when it is necessary for Damien to attend deployments and to participate in related activities.

Storage King

Storage King provides simple storage solutions. The organisation has been nominated by Shaun Cox, a Captain from the Clarence Town Brigade. When required, NSW RFS volunteers are provided with extended leave without financial disadvantage.  Storage King also supports the community and people who have lost possessions during fire emergencies, by enabling its premises to be a drop of point for donations.

2016 Supportive Employer Special Commendations

Avis Western Plains

Avis Western Plains provides car hiring services within the Dubbo area.

Avis Western Plains was nominated by Daniel Stoner from the Boothenba Brigade. The business as nominated for going above and beyond to assist Daniel with his RFS commitments by allowing flexibility to take courses, classes, and deployments.

Blue Wheelers Pty Ltd

Blue Wheelers has approximately 200 fully trained dog washing/grooming operators Australia wide.

Blue Wheelers was nominated by Col Burrow from the Empire Bay Brigade. The business was nominated for being 100% behind Col. Cols pager goes off and so does Col. Not only is Col released but Col receives a call to check he is home safely.

Visit the website.

Cowra Toyota

Cowra Toyota was established in 1970 and provides new and used vehicle sales. Owned by local people who own and operate the business, live in the community and support their town and customers.

Cowra Toyota was nominated by Andrew Vale from the Waugoola Brigade. The business was nominated for providing Andrew time to attend to RFS matters such as attending a pre school to do fire awareness during the hours of work. Cowra Toyota provides flexibility and always adjusts the work load so Andrew can attend to RFS call outs.

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Dr Abul Salim

Dr Abul Salim runs a general practitioner service at Coonabarabran.

Dr Abul Salim was nominated by Caron Hams from the Coona Fringe Brigade. Dr Abul Salim was nominated for providing four volunteers that work at his practice with time off to attend to RFS call outs. He is always supportive even though he runs a small busy rural practice.

Karignan Plantation

Karignan Plantation is on a large property set up to accommodate tree production through all sizes.

Karignan Plantation owned by Silvia and Jim Warner was nominated by Simon Smith from the Mannering Park Brigade. The business was nominated for being flexible during short notices. Simon mentioned that ‘if it wasn’t for having employers like Jim we wouldn’t be able to keep the communities safe’.

Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services, Bloomfield Hospital

The Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Service is responsible for the prevention and management of alcohol and drug related harm.

The Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services, Bloomfield Hospital was nominated by Stephanie Huysman a captain from Spring Hill Brigade. The organisation was nominated as it has always been supportive allowing Stephanie to attend emergencies and incidents as well as interstate deployments. Stephanie’s NSW RFS skills are being used in the training and education of clinical and non-clinical staff in fire awareness and various emergency procedures.

Nestle Purina Petcare

The Nestlé Purina PetCare factory, which began operation in 1989, manufactures a wide range of products including dry cat and dog food for domestic and export markets.

Nestle Purina was nominated by John Mackie from the Blayney Brigade. The organisation with five RFS volunteers is very supportive anytime to local incidents and also provide a volunteer leave provision.

Orora Beverage Cans

The largest and most innovative beverage can supplier across Australia and New Zealand.

Orora Beverage Cans was nominated by Pablo Anwandter from the Glenhaven Brigade. The business as nominated for being conscious in providing work life balance so that their employees can pursue other interests out of work. Orora provide a volunteering provision of 5 days each year which is assisting Pablo with his volunteering call outs.

Queanbeyan Local Courts, NSW Department of Justice

Most criminal and civil cases first enter the New South Wales court system via the local court. The New South Wales Department of Justice administers the NSW Local Court.

Local Courts was nominated by Nathan Heerey from Queanbeyan City Brigade. The organisation was nominated as it provides recognition and achievement awards to Nathan for volunteering.

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Ravensworth Open Cut

Ravensworth Open Cut mine is located in the NSW Hunter Valley, between the towns of Muswellbrook and Singleton.

Ravensworth Open Cut was nominated by Jason Hayes from the Edinglassie Brigade. The organisation was nominated as it is very flexible allowing Jason to attend to fire calls. They provide a volunteering provision of 5 days each year.

Smith Plant Lismore Pty Ltd

Smith Plant (Lismore) has been supplying councils, local and national contractors with Quality Quarry Products for 30 years.

Smith Plant at Lismore was nominated by Stephen Battistuzzi a Deputy Captain from the Clunes Brigade. The organisation with three RFS volunteers was nominated as it provides volunteers with time off during work hours to respond to incidents.

Wingvale Plantation

Wingvale plantations was established in 1992 and produces a large quantity of macadamia nuts.

Wingvale Plantation was nominated by Neville Battistuuzzi a Captain from the Clunes Bridage. The business was nominated because it always encourages volunteering and allows Neville to attend call outs and brigade duties during work hours without a question.

2015 Supportive Employer Special Commendations

Bega Cheese

Bega Cheese is involved in the dairy industry and supplies cheddar cheese in Australia and overseas.

Bega Cheese is a major business and employer in the Bega Valley of NSW with over 700 employees is the largest employer in Bega. A vast number of factory workers are locals.

Visit the website.

C2K Swimming

C2K at Castle Hill RSL Club is one of the largest Fitness and Aquatic Centre's in Australia and winner of Australian Fitness Centre of the Year Award! C2K prides itself on offering members and visitors the latest fitness, gymnastics and swimming programs with excellent customer service from our friendly team.

C2K Swimming provides aquatic education programs for children from 6 months old to squad swimming including adult learn to swim. Our programs are the result of extensive experience, research and innovation and this ensures a consistent, child centered and professional experience.

Visit the website.

Catholic Education Office

The Catholic Education Office (CEO) Sydney is responsible for the leadership, efficient operation and management of the systemic schools which educate over 69,000 students in 149 parish primary and regional secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney. The CEO's main focus is providing support for schools and helping to ensure that every student receives a high-quality Catholic education.

The CEO supports Fire-fighters and emergency services volunteers allowing teachers to actively participate in the NSW RFS and allows paid time to all volunteers.

Visit the website.

Cummins South Pacific

A foreign owned proprietary company that sells and services diesel engines, power generation equipment and related parts. Cummins South Pacific operates in Australia and New Zealand, employs approximately 1,600 staff and is headquartered in Melbourne. Cummins South Pacific is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cummins Inc, a US based enterprise that designs, manufactures, distributes and services diesel and natural gas engines, electric power generation systems and engine-related component products.
Cummins South Pacific sells and services diesel and natural gas engines for use in heavy equipment in the following industries:

  • Agriculture,
  • construction,
  • mining,
  • defence,
  • marine,
  • oil and gas,
  • truck transportation and
  • rail.

Visit the website.

Defence Archives Directorate

The Defence Archives Directorate;

  • Manages the storage, archiving and retrieval of service records (both personal and health) for discharged members in Defence Archives custody.
  • Responds to requests for information for service records (both personal and health) for discharged members or their advocates in Defence Archives custody.

Visit the website.

Essential Energy

Is a NSW Government-owned corporation, with responsibility for building, operating and maintaining Australia's largest electricity network - delivering essential network services to more than 800,000 homes and businesses across 95 per cent of NSW and parts of southern Queensland.

Visit the website.


Australia's largest integrated provider of import and export logistics services with national operations that provide a broad range of services.
The Ports and Bulk division has diversified operations with Port Hedland being used to load iron ore for export markets and Port Kembla being used for motor vehicles, heavy machinery and project cargoes.
The Logistics division has strategically located facilities in all capital city ports and provides road and rail container transport, customs and quarantine services, container parks, intermodal terminals, warehousing and international freight forwarding.

Visit the website.

RM and HY Eglington and Son

The business is family owned since 1926 and third generation owners Min and Judy Eglington produce sweet potato which is sold across Sydney Markets and local farmer markets from Ballina NSW to Brisbane QLD.

Min and Judy are both long standing volunteer members of the NSW RFS and employ two full time staff who are also NSW RFS volunteer members.

Sayers Smash Repairs

Proudly servicing Warren and districts for over 40 years we specialise in repairs to all cars and 4WD's with no job too big or small.

Our staff have 115 years combined service in Smash Repairs and are highly qualified tradesman with a vast range of knowledge and experience in the industry.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Western Plains Zoo opened to the public on 28th February 1977 and was the first zoo in Australia to be constructed on the open range principle. It was also the first zoo to be built in Australia in 60 years. When the Zoo opened, it contained 35 different animals from six countries. Today visitors can see over 1,000 different animals from five continents of the world.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo provides much more than animal displays, it is a place to come and relax and enjoy the atmosphere. It is also an education centre, a research centre and a wildlife conservation and preservation centre for species from throughout the world. It is really much more than a zoo

Visit the website.

Taylor's Hardware

Taylor's Hardware is a family owned and operated business and has been providing a quality service to the Woodenbong region for the past 50 years.

Our well established local business is a cabinet makers and wood workers ideal toyshop, stocking an abundant supply of doors, timber, mouldings, plywoods, machinery and more.

Our team are all trade qualified or have been working within a trade for many years and can give advice on all types of jobs. We provide a cutting and edging service to both trade and retail customers.


For over 200 years Wesley Mission's commitment to its Christian faith has guided us to support and advocate for the most vulnerable members of our society.

We've pioneered a diverse range of services that address the needs of the whole person, not just their current challenges.

Thanks to more than 2,000 staff, over 3,000 volunteers and many supporters including strong Federal and NSW Government partnerships. Wesley's services now cater to a broad spectrum of the community, from children, youth, and families, to older people and carers, to anyone struggling with financial or domestic challenges, homelessness, addiction or mental health issues.

Visit the website

2014 Supportive Employer Special Commendations

Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd

The Allianz Group is a global leader in insurance and financial services. Operating in more than 70 countries, Allianz has a local presence in Australia and in New Zealand.

As the fourth largest general insurer in Australia, Allianz has more than 3500 people helping over two and a half million customers take care of their insurance needs. The team at Allianz works with customers to safeguard their property and businesses. They help manage their risks through a range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. Allianz is also a leading private Workers Compensation insurer.

Allianz has won many industry awards, including being named ANZIIF's Large General Insurer of the Year for the last three years in a row and has been recognised as an Employer of Choice for Women by the Equal Opportunity for Women Agency every year since 2009.

Visit the Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd website.

AstraZeneca Pty Ltd

AstraZeneca is a global innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company specialising in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription medicines that make a meaningful difference in healthcare.

Science and patients are at the heart of everything we do, and our skills and resources are concentrated on those therapy areas where we believe we can make the most difference. We focus primarily on cancer, cardiovascular/metabolic disease and respiratory/inflammation/autoimmunity. Alongside this, we remain active in infection and neuroscience with targeted investments in opportunities and collaborations.

  • We operate in over 100 countries and our medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide
  • We employ around 50,000 people worldwide
  • We conduct R&D across 3 continents and we invest over $4 billion in R&D each year
  • We manufacture in 16 countries

AstraZeneca is one of Australia's largest private sector investors in medical research and development (R&D) and has, invested more than $250 million in Australia in the last decade.

We are the largest national manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, providing $1 billion of medicines to the local market and over $200 million in exports.

We are currently involved in more than 20 clinical trials at 130 sites across Australia, investigating potential new treatments in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular, diabetes, infection, gastrointestinal, neuroscience, respiratory, and inflammation.

In Australia we employ more than 900 people and are committed to being recognised as an 'Employer of Choice'. We aspire to be famous for our medicines, scientific innovation and a great place to work.

Visit the AstraZeneca Pty Ltd website.

Australian Astronomical Observatory

The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) a Division of the Commonwealth Department of Industry is Australia's national optical and infrared observatory. Its mission is to provide world-class optical and infrared observing facilities enabling Australian astronomers to do excellent science. The AAO operates the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT), that provides Australian and international astronomers with leading-edge observing facilities with which to undertake astronomical research. The AAT is the only world-class optical telescope based in Australia. The AAO also operates the 1.2-metre UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST), which carries out large dedicated surveys. AAO also manages access to large international telescopes on behalf of the astronomical community and is a world leader in astronomical research and in the development of innovative telescope instrumentation. It also takes a leading role in the formulation of long-term plans for astronomy in Australia.

The AAO employs 25 full time staff and a number of casuals at its Siding Spring Observatory site, many of whom reside in Coonabarabran or more broadly in the Warrumbungle Shire.

Visit the Australian Astronomical Observatory website.

Big W

BIG W is home to a huge range of Australia's favourite brands, including Apple, Bonds, Peter Morrissey and Mambo. BIG W is committed to giving Australians the lowest prices every day.

BIG W also stock a range of house brands including, Smart Value, AWA, Dymples and of course Emerson and Avella the on trend fashion brands at great everyday low prices. BIG W online stocks around 20,000 product lines and the BIG W mobile App makes it possible for every shopper to be savvy with the price comparison scanner as well as buy and layby online.

Visit the Big W website.

Liverpool Hospital, South Western Sydney Local Health District

Liverpool Hospital is located approximately 50 minutes drive from the Sydney CBD. It began as a tent hospital for convicts and soldiers 200 years ago and now provides a health service of international standing, with 23 operating theatres, capacity for 877 beds, diagnostic and imaging services, emergency and trauma care, maternity, paediatric, cancer care, mental health, ambulatory care, allied health and medical and surgical services from birth to aged care.

The Hospital is the major health service for south-western Sydney, providing services to the local government area of Liverpool City Council as well as district services to residents and visitors in the area. It also provides a range of statewide services in areas such as critical care and trauma, neonatal intensive care and brain injury rehabilitation.

Visit the Liverpool Hospital, South Western Sydney Local Health District website.

M and A Green Plumbing

M and A Green Plumbing is a family run business providing plumbing services to the Batemans Bay and Moruya area.

With over 40 years experiences you can rest assure that our service is of the highest standard with reliable friendly service.

Mars Australia

Our Australian business began when we started selling the iconic MARS® bar here in 1954, followed by the launch of PAL® and WHISKAS® in 1965. We built our first factory in Wodonga, Victoria in 1966, and since then we have grown significantly, across the four segments of our business. Today, we have six manufacturing sites across Australia and New Zealand, and employ more than 2,000 Associates .

With a turnover exceeding $1 billion , we are one of Australia's leading consumer brands companies, supplying local and export customers with high quality Food, Petcare, Chocolate, Gum & Confectionery products.

Although most of our sales are in Australia and New Zealand, we export to more than 30 countries around the world.

Whether it's the simple pleasure of savouring the world's best-loved chocolate and confectionery, the warmth that a healthy and contented pet brings to your family, or the rewards that come from creating fantastic tastes in your own home, Mars is the company behind many of the enduring brands Australians and New Zealanders (or Pacific consumers) have come to know and trust.

Visit the Mars Australia website.

Moolarben Coal Operations

The Moolarben Coal Complex is situated within the Western Coalfields of NSW, within the Mid-Western Regional Council Local Government Area. Moolarben Coal is located near the village of Ulan, approximately 45 kilometres north-east of Mudgee and 25 kilometres east of Gulgong.

The Moolarben Coal Complex encumbers  an area of approximately 11,000 hectares (110 sq km).

Moolarben Coal Operations Pty Ltd is the operator of the Moolarben Coal Complex on behalf of the Joint Venture (JV).  The JV partners are YanCoal Australia Pty Ltd (80%), Kores Australia Moolarben Coal Pty Ltd (10%), and Sojitz Moolarben Resources Pty Ltd (10%).

Moolarben Coal commenced mining in November 2009 and since then has continued to grow. Currently employing 280 people and with Stage 2 and Modification 9 approvals the workforce is expected to near double .

Moolarben Coal contributes to its local community with its Community Support Program. Donating to local not for profit organisations such as the various rural fire services, schools and sporting organisation with over $350,000 donated since the program began in 2010.

In March 2014 Moolarben was a major contributor in a local radio charity appeal, purchasing over $70,000 in equipment for the Mudgee Hospital including a Cataract surgery machine and the Moolarben Spirit Award is an initiative which  identifies high school students who display commitment at both school and their social interests.

Moolarben Coal is continuing to lead the way with local community support, assisting the community in which it proudly lives

Visit the Moolarben Coal Operations website.

Moree Plains Shire Council

Incorporated in 1890 with nine (9) elected representatives, Moree Plains Shire Council is recognised as an employer of choice and our organisational goal is to provide employees with a happy and healthy working life experience which creates a productive workforce. We aim to lead the way in fostering a healthy, positive and well-resourced community.

Visit the Moree Plains Shire Council website.

Shepherd Electrical (ACT) Pty Ltd

Shepherd Electrical is a provider of electrical contracting services based in the ACT. Established in 1994, Shepherd Electrical has grown from strength to strength through a philosophy of continuous improvement, customer focus and an unrivalled project quality; a whatever it takes approach has been key to our continues success.

Visit the Shepherd Electrical (ACT) Pty Ltd website.

Singtel Optus Pty Ltd

Optus is Australia's second largest telco provider. We're a wholly-owned subsidiary of the SingTel Group, Asia's leading telecommunications company.

We provide customers with a range of services including mobile, fixed and IP telephony, business network services, fixed and wireless broadband, satellite services, as well as entertainment and subscription TV.

Optus also delivers wholesales services to third parties for resale under their own brand. We are the only carrier in Australia to own and operate network infrastructure across three platforms – mobile, fixed and satellite. And, we're the only network provider in Australia to own and operate our own fleet of satellites. We use our satellites to deliver TV, mobile telephony and broadband services across the far flung reaches of regional Australia and New Zealand.

Visit the Singtel Optus Pty Ltd website.

University of New England

The University of New England was formed in 1938 as the New England University College, a College of the University of Sydney. The University became fully independent in 1954 and pioneered teaching to external students by correspondence, making UNE Australia's most experienced provider of distance and now online education.

UNE is Australia's oldest regional university offering more than 200 courses at undergraduate, postgraduate coursework and higher degree research levels. In 2012 UNE had more than 20,000 current students and 1,200 staff.

Visit the University of New England website.

2013 Supportive Employer Special Commendations

The Armidale School

Staff at the Armidale School, an independent boarding and day school in northern NSW, have the flexibility to attend incidents with their brigades during work hours when circumstances permit. They also assist delivery of bush fire training to around 20 students per year through a youth development partnership program with the New England Zone. Last year the school granted leave for a staff member to represent the NSW RFS in Botswana.

BHP / Illawarra Coal

Dane Coulter of Thirlmere Brigade nominated his employer Illawarra Coal for their generous and flexible paid volunteer leave policy and the Matched Giving Program, which provides a $10 matched donation for every hour employees spend volunteering. Illawarra Coal operates in the Illawarra and Wollondilly regions of NSW.

Braidwood & Bungendore Community Bank

Scott Hart of Braidwood Rural Fire Brigade nominated this Community Bank for its generous support of local brigades, active encouragement of volunteering and for allowing him to attend incidents whenever possible.

Brunswick Byron Pest Control

Mark and Leah Ross are self-employed volunteers who also employ one of their children in the family business. All three are active members of the Mullumbimby Rural Fire Brigade and give a lot of their time to the brigade, managing their business around fire calls and other NSW RFS activities.

Chesterfield Australia PL

Chesterfield Australia is a family owned company supplying rural industries farming machinery & equipment. The Warren branch was nominated by Trades Assistant Shaun Doughty for promoting volunteering in the workplace and supporting employees to take time off to attend NSW RFS incidents and training exercises.

Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers PL

Nominator Bert Clarke of Valley Heights Brigade states that in the 20 years he has been a member of the NSW RFS the company has fully supported his volunteering activities and have promoted his RFS achievements in the company newsletter. The company advises Bert's clients of his commitments, particularly during fire season, and of their support.

Impact One

Christopher Muscat is a self-employed musician who is an active member of the Huskisson Brigade. He manages his volunteering activities around his paid work as singer and keyboardist for venues and private functions around the NSW South Coast.

Junction City Transport

Roger Ley has been nominated by the Captain of the Burren Junction Brigade as a self-employed volunteer. Roger owns Junction City Transport and is also a very dedicated member of the brigade. Roger is always willing to attend incidents event if it means putting his work on hold, as well assisting with his tools, equipment and expertise to do minor maintenance jobs for the brigade.


Andrew Henderson of Londonderry Brigade has worked for Schweppes Australia for six years and during that time they have supported him by releasing him to attend emergency incidents on full pay, even if that meant paying a contractor to cover Andrew's position. Schweppes has a generous Emergency Services Leave Policy.

Telstra Corporation

All Telstra employees can take general volunteer leave to participate in either a non-profit organisation of their choice or team volunteering through one of Telstra's charity partners. In addition they provide Emergency Response Leave for Telstra e who are members of recognised emergency organisations such as the RFS.

Wentworthville Leagues Club

Adam Streichler is a volunteer with Westleigh Brigade who was deployed to Coonabarabran in January 2013 and had to leave work at short notice. Due to Adam's situation the Board of Directors has implemented a generous and flexible Emergency Services Leave Policy for Club employees who volunteer.

Zoetis Australia

Zoetis, Australia's largest animal health company was nominated by two employees in recognition of the company's active support for volunteers engaged in community services by providing paid Volunteering Leave of at least 4 days per year. Emergency service volunteers are entitled to additional paid leave.