Local heroes named for WA Fire and Emergency Services Awards

  • 44 finalists chosen from different regions across Western Australia
  • 127 nominations received for 15 categories
  • Winners to be revealed at WAFES Awards gala dinner on 7 September

A marine rescue group that battled treacherous seas off the coast of Esperance to save a stranded vessel and a volunteer firefighter who helped residents escape a raging bushfire are among 44 finalists announced for the 2024 Western Australian Fire and Emergency Services (WAFES) Awards.

Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson said the annual awards recognise the vital contribution that emergency services personnel make to Western Australia every year, particularly volunteers who donate their time for the benefit of their community.

More than 28,000 emergency services volunteers and staff across WA work round-the-clock to prepare, respond to and recover from emergencies including cyclones, floods, fires, storms, land and ocean rescues and hazardous material spills.

Fifteen awards are up for grabs across three categories in 2024 – individual, team and youth – acknowledging excellence in firefighting, Marine Rescue and the State Emergency Service.

A number of the 2024 finalists have been recognised for their efforts at major emergencies from the past year including the Nanga Brook bushfire, Mariginiup bushfire, Severe Tropical Cyclone Ilsa and Tropical Cyclone Lincoln.

Other nominations acknowledge finalists who have excelled in emergency preparedness or community education and engagement.

The winners will be revealed at the WAFES Awards gala dinner at Crown Perth on Saturday, 7 September.

Further details are available athttps://dfes.wa.gov.au/wafesawards

As stated by Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson:

“Over the past year, our emergency services have faced incredible challenges and dangers, selflessly putting themselves at risk to serve their community.

“Day or night these people are ready to respond to major bushfires, storms, cyclones, floods and land and sea search rescue operations without hesitation.

“They are always on hand to help, whether it’s helping us to prepare for disasters or responding and rebuilding our local communities after an incident.

“On behalf of the Cook Government and all Western Australians, I would like to thank and commend these amazing finalists and all of our emergency services personnel for their efforts and commitment.

“The WAFES Awards are a chance for all of us to recognise the inspiring stories of our first responders and to acknowledge and thank them for their heroic efforts.

“The 44 finalists come from all walks of life, highlighting the diversity and community spirit of Western Australia’s emergency services.”


Career Fire and Rescue Individual Achievement Award

Jayden Edwards, Firefighter, Bunbury Fire Station

Mark Papadopoff, Station Officer, Butler Fire Station

Doug Spear, Station Officer, Daglish Fire Station

DFES Corporate Staff Individual Achievement Award

Anni Fordham, Public Information Manager

Kathleen Colgate, Land and Buildings Executive Manager

Lynelle Fozard, Youth in Emergency Service Coordinator

DFES Operational Staff Individual Achievement Award

Bec Benson, Marine Services District Officer

Lisa Bishop, Firefighter School District Officer

Victoria Gardener, Natural Hazard West Kimberley District Officer

Marine Rescue Individual Achievement Award

Bradley Nicholas, Marine Rescue Cockburn

Cameron Bell, Marine Rescue Dampier

Fabio Renzullo, Marine Rescue Windy Harbour

Murray Lang Bush Fire Service Award

Anthony Mort, Cuballing/Popanyinning BFB

Luke Johnson, West Swan BFB

Murray Brooker, Mt Lindesay BFB

Peter Keillor Award

Danny Jeater, Swan SES

Craig Makin, SWORD SES

Nathan Donald, Broome SES

Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services Individual Achievement Award

Peter Stark, Lower South West VFES

Jessica Jenkins, Marble Bar VFES

Michael Simpson, Waroona VFES

Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Individual Achievement Award

Harry Casey, Cue VFRS

Brian Dunphy, Kalgoorlie VFRS

Thomas Kuster, Lancelin VFRS


DFES Staff Team Achievement Award

Pilbara Regional Team

Asset Design Fleet Delivery

Strategic Volunteer and Youth Programs

Firefighting Team Achievement Award

Tom Price Bush Fire Brigade

Kununurra Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service

Broome Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service

Marine Rescue Team Achievement Award

Marine Rescue Esperance

Marine Rescue Port Walcott

Marine Rescue Port Denison

SES Team Achievement Award

Swan SES

Roebourne District SES

Gary Littlewood and Maxine Burrell


Firefighting Youth Achievement Award

Andre Bradley, Tom Price BFB

Chais O’Dwyer, Kununurra VFRS

Lily Ludgate, Secret Harbour VFRS

Marine Rescue Youth Achievement Award

Byron Schaffer, Marine Rescue Broome

Tristan Rausch, Marine Rescue Geraldton

SES Youth Achievement Award

Joshua Yates, Margaret River SES

Jack Watson, Tom Price SES

Corey Wozencroft, Mandurah SES

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