Wollondilly’s Australia Day Winners Announced

Wollondilly’s Australia Day Winners Announced

Posted on: 29.01.2020

Wollondilly’s Australia Day Awards winners for 2020 were announced at a ceremony in the Picton Botanical Gardens this morning.

Barbara Jolley has been named Wollondilly’s Citizen of the Year, in recognition of her service to the Silverdale Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade and the community of Silverdale and Warragamba.

Barbara has been a member of the Silverdale Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade since February 2002. Barbara has represented the brigade as President, Treasurer, Deputy Captain and then becoming the Brigades Captain in 2011.

Barbara is a valued and trusted member of the NSW Rural Fire Service and is involved in her local community of Warragamba and Silverdale as well as other communities throughout the Shire.

As the Brigades Captain, Barbara is a strong driving force within the brigade and committed to promoting bushfire awareness and recruitment into the Rural Fire Service through actively engaging with the community at every opportunity. During the recent and current bushfires Barbara has continually demonstrated her community sprit through organising community information evenings and providing daily responses to concerned and worried residents whilst maintaining her commitment to the Rural Fire Service by organising crews, trucks and equipment ensuring Silverdale Rural Fire Brigade provides a daily crew to assist with the firefighting efforts of the Green Wattle Creek Fire that impacted on our local area.

Behind the scenes Barbara’s community spirit and leadership is also demonstrated by organising resources to assist with the community’s annual Damfest event. As each year Barbara organises, schedules and coordinates a team of Rural Fire Brigade and SES members to direct and control traffic, control car parking. She also provides bushfire advice, general community information and promotes the advantages of becoming a member of the Rural Fire Service through the Brigades community engagement stall, all of which Barbara spends months preparing the roster for all members to ensure the Damfest event runs smoothly.

Barbara embraces the concept of continual education and has undertaken a variety of courses and is continually striving to achieve higher standards as a Volunteer Firefighter and improving the capabilities of all members of Silverdale RFB. Barbara proactively facilitates First Aid/CPR and Advanced Oxygen Resuscitation courses improving the safety of the community and our members. Barbara was the first female member of the Southern Highlands Remote Area Firefighting team (RAFT) and has been active since the inception of the Southern Highlands RAFT five years ago; Barbara also managed to overcome a fear of heights and is now qualified in Helicopter Insertion Techniques (winching in & out of remote locations). In addition to this Barbara has recently completed the Deputy Group Officer Training course, allowing her to stand for Group Captain at the next elections. In 2013 Barbara was instrumental in preparing successful applications for community grant programs with Veolia Mulwaree Trust and Wollondilly Council, these grants allowed for an extension of Silverdale Station to include a much needed training facility and community engagement area.

Mayor Matthew Deeth said, “I would like to congratulate Barbara Jolley for this fantastic achievement and her commitment to the communities of Silverdale and Warragamba and throughout the Shire.”

“Her commitment to the Silverdale Rural Fire Brigade and great sense of community spirit and dedication will have a lasting benefit for the community.”


Other category winners for 2020 were:

•  Young Citizen of the Year – Mali Dillon

•  Achiever of the Year – Jay Seeney

•  Sportsperson of the Year – Shane Taylor

•  Local Hero/Community Group of the Year – Ron Bolton

•  Environmental Citizen of the Year – Buxton Community Garden