Blue Mountains News

Firefighting Personnel and Community Advocates Awarded Freecitizen Titles

By Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 2 Dec 2020
Richard Kingswood, Mary Waterford, Matthew Waldon, Mayor Mark Greenhill, Judith Finch, Robert Vinzenz, Matthew Waldon and David Crust.
Blue Mountains City Council awarded seven people the City’s highest honour, at a ceremony on Saturday, 28 November, 2020.

Mayor Mark Greenhill said the City’s new Freecitizens had shown exceptional strength, courage, altruism and an unshakeable commitment to the community in the face of sometimes insurmountable challenges. 

They included:

  • Judith Finch and Mary Waterford – Advocates for equity, human rights, dignity and community wellbeing.
  • David Crust – Regional Director, National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
  • Richard Kingswood – Area Manager for Blue Mountains, NPWS.
  • Robert Vinzenz – Blue Mountains District Services Coordinator, Rural Fire Service (RFS).
  • Matthew Waldon – Blue Mountains Zone Commander, Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW).
  • Greg Wardle – Blue Mountains RFS Incident Controller.

“People such as these inspire us to bring our best selves to the challenges of our times, and their efforts benefit us all,” Mayor Greenhill said.

About 30 people attended the ceremony at the Council Chambers to honour the seven awardees.

Judith Finch and Mary Waterford have spent their lives advocating for and supporting the most vulnerable members of the community.

Ms Finch has worked tirelessly for the Blue Mountains community and volunteered on the ground in East Timor, providing much needed support to a developing nation. Meanwhile, Ms Waterford has volunteered in the Women Refuge movement and is a founding member of the Blue Mountains for Reconciliation, ANTaR, East Timor Sisters and Together for Timor. She has been a longstanding advocate for social justice and human rights.

The remaining five awardees received the Freecitizen title for the role they placed in the bushfire emergency faced by the City in the summer of 2019/20.

“With multiple fire fronts threatening the towns and villages of the Blue Mountains, our homes, our communities, our livelihoods – and our lives – were in danger,” Mayor Greenhill said. “And this danger didn’t exist for days or even weeks; by the time Australia’s biggest ever forest fire (Gospers Mountain fire) was extinguished on Jan 12, it had been burning for 79 days.

“Yet incredibly, throughout this extraordinary event, only 22 residential homes in the Blue Mountains local government area were lost, and there was no loss of life.

“This incredible outcome is an example of the exceptional skill, experience and leadership of our emergency services whose responses to this catastrophic event has been widely recognised as having saved a vast majority of Blue Mountains towns and from the impact of the bush fires.

“We honour all seven of the City’s new Freecitizens. They are all extraordinary people, whose selflessness has benefited the Blue Mountains.”

 
Reed Everingham Counselling and Psychotherapy Reed Everingham Counselling and Psychotherapy Reed Everingham Counselling and Psychotherapy Professional, Confidential & Qualified. Visit site for more info.

Recent News

Dinosaur Valley Extended for Four Weeks due to Popular Demand
Dinosaur Valley Extended for Four Weeks due to Popular Demand
Dinosaur Valley has been extended until February 28 due to popular demand,...
Greens Ward One Candidate Pushes for Greening of Lurline Street
Greens Ward One Candidate Pushes for Greening of Lurline Street
Greens Ward One candidate Sarah Redshaw has prioritised the push to transform...
Temporary Closure - Fairfax Track, Blackheath - Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 January 2021
Temporary Closure - Fairfax Track, Blackheath - Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 January 2021
National Parks & Wildlife Service
Blue Mountains National Park –...
Thanking Our Community this Australia Day
Thanking Our Community this Australia Day
The seven Blue Mountains Rotary Clubs, supported by Blue Mountains Cit...
Win, Win for Council's Carbon Reduction Projects
Win, Win for Council's Carbon Reduction Projects
Reducing Council's carbon emissions to zero by 2025 makes great environmental...

What's New

5 Caves Open with Small Tour Groups
5 Caves Open with Small Tour Groups
Jenolan Caves Booking Essential. Bring a facemask and enjoy exclusive small tour groups.
All occasion Beauty at your door
All occasion Beauty at your door
Glamour & Elegance Mobile Beauty Pamper Events-Hens/bridal-Corporate-Kids Parties-Couples-Weddings-Ladies Pamper-Mothers Groups-Vouchers-
1929 Cadillac LaSalle Experience
1929 Cadillac LaSalle Experience
Blue Mountains Limousines & Vintage Cadillacs Blue Mountains Luxury Tours - Stretch Limousine, Caprice, 1929 Cadillac LaSalle
School Holidays Are Here!
School Holidays Are Here!
Federation Gardens and Possums Hideaway Family friendly, fully self contained cottages on offer
Enjoy a cottage in the Blue Mountains
Enjoy a cottage in the Blue Mountains
Matildas Of Leura Enjoy a comfortable stay in this delightful self-contained 3 bed cottage only minutes from Leura Mall
Also in this Section

Have You Visited

Announcement
Limousine Service - Blue MountainsBased in Katoomba, we offer cars for Weddings - Tours - Transfers - Airport/CBDView Blue Mountains Limousines & Vintage Cadillacs »