A career in the environmental and emergency management fields spanning 38 years has seen Russell Manning awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal this Australia Day.
Mr Manning said he was honoured to receive the accolade, not just for himself but on behalf of the public land firefighting staff who do a “great job”.
“I’m really passionate about the work that we do,” Mr Manning said.
“I really like the emergency management space and working in teams in emergency management situations to protect our communities.”
Mr Manning, a Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning project manager based in Bendigo, started his career in the works crew at Wyperfeld National Park in the Mallee.
Growing up in the small town of Rainbow, he always enjoyed being outside and his career was no doubt influenced by his parents, both of whom volunteered with the CFA.
Mr Manning’s career has taken him across the state, with stints in Melbourne, Gippsland and the Mallee.
He was working in Bendigo as fire and emergency assistant manager when the Black Saturday fires struck.
Other roles have included assistant ranger, ranger-in-charge, Forest Fire district manager, incident controller and operations officer.
His work has not been restricted to in Victoria: he has participated in emergency deployments to the USA to assist in fighting fires, and in 2011 went to Christchurch in New Zealand to help in the wake of the city’s disastrous earthquake.
Looking forward to the future, Mr Manning would like to help bring through the next generation of firefighters.
“What I’d like to be doing in… the next five years is to be more involved in mentoring and training incident control staff,” he said.
A statement of Mr Manning’s achievements in relation to the Australia Fire Service Medal said he was especially committed to collaborating with other agencies.
“His leadership in this area has enabled excellent cross agency responses to major fire events with great benefits to the community of Victoria,” it read.
To meet more of central Victoria’s 2018 Australia Day Honours List recipients, click here.