JANUARY 26, 2015 SOME of Humeâ€™s hardest-working community-minded residents and workers have been honoured this Australia Day
AUSTRALIAN FIRE SERVICES MEDAL
When it comes to the community, Graeme Gant has a fire in the belly that will never burn out.
And now, three decades after joining the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, the Craigieburn man has been recognised with a meritorious award through this yearâ€™s Australia Day Honours List.
The Australian Fire Services Medal recipient was drawn into the career in 1985 by a passion to help the community.
His aim was to simply last in the job for at least 30 years, but he has achieved so much more in that time, serving at several stations and gaining multiple qualifications in the field.
For five years, he dedicated his time to leading the delivery of the Victorian Emergency Management Training Centre in Craigieburn â€” where he is the corporate services commander â€” a feat he hopes will be a legacy for the organisation.
But todayâ€™s award still took Mr Gant by surprise.
â€œIâ€™ll certainly be one very proud but also humble firefighter,â€ he said.
Despite the challenges, including the Coode Island chemical fire in 1991 and the introduction of emergency medical response by firefighters, Mr Gant sees his role as highly rewarding.
â€œ(Itâ€™s) the response you get from people when youâ€™re in uniform, and in particular, children, which you get a buzz out of,â€ he said.
â€œ(Itâ€™s) just being mindful that if you werenâ€™t there, the people would be worse off.â€
PUBLIC SERVICE MEDAL
A REAL-LIFE justice fighter has received top honours for her work in the community.
Moonee Ponds woman Michelle Seddon received a Public Service Medal as part of the Australia Day Honours List after almost 25 years in the justice sector.
Currently the general manager of community correctional services in the Department of Justice, Ms Seddon has a wealth of experience dealing with high-risk offenders.
She started as a case manager, slowly working her way up the ranks, and in 2009 was commissioned to lead the establishment of the Broadmeadows Justice Service Centre.
â€œFor me, it was all about trying to rehabilitate offenders and make the community safer,â€ Ms Seddon said.
â€œWe try to mutually case manage them to get them through their order so they make more positive choices in their lives.â€
Ms Seddon is also a corrections representative on Humeâ€™s risk assessment management panel.
She said she was honoured by the recognition.
â€œMedals donâ€™t come around easily.â€
MEDAL OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA
WHEN she was growing up, Elaine Broganâ€™s father always told her that in order to live in a community, she had to be part of it.
For almost 30 years, the Gladstone Park resident has dedicated her life to serving the community, volunteering with historical preservation groups.
â€œI grew up in the country,â€ Ms Brogan said.
â€œ(Dad) always said, â€˜youâ€™ve got to help out where you canâ€™.â€
She started as a Red Cross volunteer at school, which she admitted â€œjust sort of snowballedâ€, as did her love for Australian history and heritage â€” a passion enhanced by the migration of her family from Scotland in 1848.
Over the years, Ms Brogan has been part of the Essendon Historical Society, for which she is vice-president; a founding president of the Friends of Sandy and the Australian Light Horses; and the president of the Friends of Will Will Rook Cemetery, among others.
Now she has been recognised with a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia.
â€œIâ€™m extremely humbled by it all,â€ Ms Brogan said.
â€œIâ€™m not in it for any rewards. Itâ€™s a lovely thing to do, just to give your time and to give it freely and offer your expertise where you can, when you can.â€
She said she had also made many friends along the way.
â€œYour rewards are endless by meeting people with a common theme; itâ€™s working together with them so that we can get things done to preserve our history and heritage,â€ she said.
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