Our members are volunteers from a wide range of ages and backgrounds, bringing a broad range of knowledge and experience to the team, creating a fantastic pool of talent, strength and diversity.
We are always ready to welcome more volunteers to join our brigade; not everyone wants to fight fires, but there are a number of other important roles for those who do not wish to be on the front line. Get in touch to find out how you can become part of our dynamic team.
Berkeley Braham CAPTAIN
Berkeley joined the brigade in 2016 when he moved to Lilli Pilli. He was a crew leader with the Batemans Bay RFS Area Mitigation Team at the time and is now a Bushfire Recovery Officer with the Department of Primary Industry. He is an advocate of effective, well planned hazard reduction to mitigate against damaging high intensity bushfires like those that affected NSW and our district on 31st December 2019. He also understands that all the phases of the emergency management cycle (planning, preparation, response and recovery) are equally important and hopes that reviews into recent fires will see changes in how fires are planned for, environmental hazards are managed, and response is coordinated. Berkeley is also a fire line tree feller and hopes to help build a greater capacity for dealing with dangerous trees on the fireground by the RFS in the Eurobodalla Rural Fire District.
Graeme Skelton SENIOR DEPUTY CAPTAIN
Graeme came to Malua Bay in 2012 and joined the Malua Bay Brigade in November 2013 in recognition of the bush fire prone environment to which he had moved. Graeme is currently the Brigade’s Training Officer and is also a Deputy Captain.
Wayne Dawson DEPUTY CAPTAIN
Ray Markham DEPUTY CAPTAIN & TRAINING OFFICER
Born Melbourne Victoria 1 of five children trained as a Motor Mechanic and qualified in the 70s
Then went to GMH experimental engineering for 5 years as a technician in developing new cars for Australia. From there I worked as a technician in air filtration for hospital operating theatres and pharmaceutical manufacturing. In 1988 I moved from Melbourne to the gold coast and Started in a career in floorcoverings. I remained in QLD until covid forced a move to Malua Bay in 2020 a great move indeed. I joined Malua Bay RFS on the first weekend I spent here and have enjoyed the mateship and community spirit ever since. I still work in floor coverings today.
Tony Preston-Stanley DEPUTY CAPTAIN
has been a member of the Malua Bay RFS for eight years. In previous lives he was a public servant and consultant. He holds an Advanced Firefighter qualification, is a Rural Fire Driver and First Aid qualified as well as being a member of the Brigade Executive in the position of Secretary for the last two years. He is now one of the Deputy Captains in the Brigade.
Dave Beare PRESIDENT (LIFE MEMBER)
Dave first gained fire experience in the Navy, where he was trained to handle fires on ships and aircraft. He was later a volunteer with the Sanctuary Point RF Brigade for 9 years, attending motor vehicle accidents, structural and bush fires. He joined the Malua Bay brigade in 2006.
In 2019 recognising his commitment and long term dedication to the Malua Bay community Dave was awarded "life membership" of the Brigade. He responds to most callouts without fail, diligently every week assists in making sure our trucks and gear are in top shape ready for the next call out and is one of the chief organisers of social events.
In Dave's words: "I joined because these small country areas rely on volunteers to look after their communities. It's in my family - my grandfather was in the Sydney Fire Brigade from 1900, and my father and brother have also been long-term volunteers with the RFS. I like the sense of achievement you get from helping others in the community."
Michael Lane TREASURER
I joined the Malua Bay RFB about two weeks after I moved from Melbourne to become “tree changers”, living the dream on the NSW Mid Far South Coast. Having just retired from a long career in teaching (Mathematics, Science and IT), I was looking for an opportunity to get involved with the local area and contribute whatever I could as a volunteer to this great region of Australia. That was just before Christmas in 2014 and I was chuffed to be invited to the brigade Christmas party as my first brigade event, even before I had earned a brownie point. Wow, such a friendly and hospitable group of volunteers and so it remains.
Greg Shaw SECRETARY
Born in Queensland with close family connections on the NSW far north coast, the beach has always been in my blood. My family moved to Canberra when I was in primary school so despite learning to surf at and making an annual pilgrimage each Xmas to the north coast, most of my surfing life has been spent here on the south coast with my first solo surf trips starting as soon as I was allowed to catch the coast bus on my own. After a 35 year career in IT, my wife and I moved to Lilli Pilli four years ago and I joined the Malua Bay Brigade in 2020 after the fires. I wanted to join the RFS so that I could contribute to and become more involved in the community I’d sort of been a part of since I was a teenager. The community spirit and camaraderie I’ve experienced in our brigade is stronger than anything I’ve experienced anywhere else and having recently taken on the mantle of brigade Secretary I look forward to becoming even more involved.
Robert "Bugsy" Blake EQUIPMENT OFFICER
"Bugsy" joined the Malua Bay RFB in February 2012 and has used his practical engineering skills to add to the Brigade's facilities - most recently building the hose drying racks. Originally from Victoria he in an earlier life drove trucks until coming north to the Batemens Bay area. Shortly after arriving as he says "a long time ago" he as a qualified mechanic operated his own business and later additionally expanding into panel beating and crash repairs. In later years he returned to some truck driving.
After "retiring" to his small rural holding he has kept his hand in with all things mechanical and engineering. Also an avid competition tennis player Bugsy says "I keep busy".
He concludes by saying "as Equipment Officer I will, with the dedicated Tuesday morning crew, ensure that all equipment is ready to go whenever there is a call out".
Brian McLoughlin FIRST AID OFFICER
"I joined the brigade in 2010, having recently settled in this area. I've been enjoying my retirement and new-found leisure time, and I wanted to give something back to the community. I made a choice to live in this beautiful bushy environment and I see it as a responsibility to help protect the environment and the community where I live.
The brigade is like a 'mens' shed' for both sexes - I really value the comradeship and connectedness to others that comes with working side by side on various tasks.
John MacKay COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT OFFICER
Retirement saw John and his wife move out of the Sydney hustle and bustle to the lovely south coast in 2016. Initially residing in Malua Bay he met a few of the Brigade members and signed up for the training.
John confides "Retired people say they have never been so busy but he finds time for some social tennis, a bit of swimming/surfing, trying to garden in the local clay soil, catching up on a bit of reading and the odd crossword." also adding "He enjoys outings with his wife (if it involves food or coffee rather than shopping)".
"I found the spirit and support of RFS members very helpful in learning a whole new range of skills so different from my previous public service life. Now living on a bush block I can better appreciate the challenge bush fire presents to the community. As part of a committed team it is good to feel able to make a contribution to our community. And still so much to learn as well."
Christine Beare CALL OUT OFFICER
Christine organises the rosters for members in times of emergencies ensuring that there are sufficient resources to meet the emergency as they are required. Another vital role she carries out is assisting with preparation and delivery of food and supplies to brigade members out at the fire ground.
After High School I had four years in the Army. After the Army I qualified as a land surveyor and then married to Carolyn, we lived and worked in Woomerra, Darwin and Canberra. We moved to Malua Bay permanently in 2002 and I joined the Malua Brigade in March 2008. I was elected President in 2010 and held that position until 2021. I have been President of the EVOS Brigade for about 10 years and in early times I gave training in mapping to both Brigades.
I joined the NSW RFS in 1999 and have worked in Regions South and West, South Eastern Area Command and Headquarters. I have worked as a Business Officer in 3 different sections of the RFS being Region, Mental Health & Wellbeing and now Learning Design and Assurance. I have been on an overseas deployment to British Columbia in 2017 as well as many other local deployments including Tasmania in 2016. I am also a volunteer Peer Support Officer with the Critical Incident Support Service (CISS) Team.
I joined the Malua Bay Brigade in August 2011 and became the Brigade Treasurer from 2016 until 2020.
Ian Barnes (LIFE MEMBER)
Ian joined the Brigade after retiring as a professional field forester in 2012. He has messed with bushfire throughout NSW all his adult life in all roles from crew member to incident controller.
He joined the Brigade for the two reasons of contributing to community protection, and a strong passion for hazard reduction burning as the most important tool to control high intensity wildfire.
But it has also been his great pleasure to meet, and work with, many others in the community who have come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience with fire.
Greg initially came to Malua Bay as a holiday destination and when he moved permanently to the area he joined the Malua Bay Rural Fire Brigade in June 2007. Working in the mines, in a variety of risk management positions and now as a Fire Services Manager, he brings a depth of experience to the brigade. He says "It is really rewarding to use my skills to support my community and to be part of a committed team".
Bill signed up with the Malua Bay Brigade in October 2011 after moving to the area in 2010. While an active operational member of the brigade he has also held the role of Community Engagement Officer for a number of years.
Bills says "One of the attractions of this region is the bush but this also means there is an ever present threat of fire. I'm retired and I was happy to join up and become a member of a team trained to protect our community from this threat."
Bob joined the Brigade soon after taking up residence in Rosedale in 2011.
The RFS provides an opportunity for me to put something back into our environment and community and at the same time meet and work with people who share similar views and who are real team players. I am enjoying learning, practicing and applying new skills, and I realise I have a lot to learn. Happily everybody I have met in the RFS is patient and willing to help me get up to speed.
Martin Green (LIFE MEMBER)
Martin takes time out of his plumbing business to lead crews, mentor members and be an active ongoing member ready to assist whenever needed. He's been a volunteer with MBRFB for over 30 years and has held various position including being the Captain from 2008 until 2015, He also acted as Captain during the latter part of 2015 when the brigade Captain was overseas. He is a very experienced brigade member and has been awarded "life membership" of the Brigade.
He has experienced many of the major bush fires in that time, like the 1994 fires, and 'Section 44s' in the Deua National Park as well as attending most of the house fires and motor vehicle accidents in his area.
Tony moved from Forbes, Central NSW, in 2018 to Rosedale. He has always loved the South Coast having holidayed there since childhood. He has been farming at Forbes with his family for 30 years and was a member of the Manna RFS (Mid Lachlan Division). He explains his experience was mainly with grass and stubble fires and is eager to learn about village firefighting and forest fires. Canvas hoses and fire hydrants were not part of the Manna RFS so "rolling and bowling" hoses has been an interesting, if somewhat wayward, new experience for him.
Tony concludes he is amazed at the camaraderie and warm welcome extended to him when he joined the Malua Bay RFS and hopes to be able to serve the community in some small way."
Patrick Harris (LIFE MEMBER)
Patrick has always keenly supported his local community and has been an RFS volunteer since joining the Rooty Hill Bush fire Brigade in 1966. After purchasing a farming property in the Bega District he joined the Brogo Bush fire Brigade in 1970 to help neighbours and local families protect their land and animals. He moved to the Riverina area, after 20 years, and joined the Pulletop Brigade near Wagga in 1990. When he relocated to Lilli Pilli in 2010 Patrick immediately joined the Malua Bay Brigade and has been a willing supporter of activities and an attendee at incidents as often as he can. More recent examples of this commitment has seen him as a member of 'out of area' task forces to Bungendore, Wolumla and Belowra fires. "It is important to be part of your local area and I am pleased to be involved in this way to serve and support local people as well as in times of emergency other areas" commented Patrick. He enjoys meeting interesting people volunteering in the RFS from all walks of life and being part of a great crew.
Warren joined the Malua Bay brigade in 2011. He now mentors new members into the process and procedures of the brigade.
Simon has been a volunteer since joining the Urana Rural Fire Brigade in 1993. He works for the NSW Rural Fire Service, initially as the Regional Mitigation and Compliance Officer - Region South and more lately as District Manager Riverina Region.
After 12 years working for the NSW Rural Fire Service at the local level in the Riverina he moved to the Regional Office in Batemans Bay where he joined the Malua Bay Brigade in June 2011. He loved living on the NSW South Coast at Malua Bay. He says "it was incredibly rewarding working with volunteers who give up their time to protect the community they live from fires".
In addition to his commitment to the Malua Bay Brigade Simon also works extensively in bush fire emergencies across NSW as an (OAM) Air Operations Manager. He has also served in support roles in California and Canada over recent years
I retired in 2006 and moved to the South Coast eventually settling in Lilli Pilli. With the bush outside our back door, joining the RFS seemed like a good idea.
While I’ve had no experience in fighting fires, I’ve had some good training and experiences since joining the Malua Bay Brigade in December 2011.
Being a bit of a handyman helps me in support works in the brigade shed and on the trucks. The best thing about the brigade is the great team we have who get in and assist where ever needed such as the Tuesday morning maintenance session.
I enjoy the challenges in this worthwhile community group.
Helen joined the RFS in a little brigade Theresa Park near Camden in 2006. She has been a member in brigades around NSW and Queensland, before becoming involved with Malua Bay in 2020. RFS has been a great way to learn useful skills and get to know lots of interesting people.
Is a Graphic Designer and Website Designer running her own business called Rabbit Warren Creative Services. She always wanted to join the RFS right from when she moved to the beautiful South Coast back in 2008 but she was busy raising 2 boys. Knowing we live in a bush fire prone region I wanted to contribute to our community and learn about fire behaviour. Now with a bit more time on her hands, she joined the RFS in 2019 with the Batemans Bay Brigade and transfererred over to the Malua Brigade in 2021.