Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Australia Day honour for Gretna fire chief
Mr Cunningham joined the Gretna Fire Brigade as a volunteer firefighter in 1987. A year later his fellow members demonstrated their confidence in his leadership by promoting him to brigade chief, a position he still holds today. Similarly, the brigades of the Upper Derwent Group elected him to the lead area co-coordinator's position of Group Officer in 2000, a position he also still currently holds.
Mr Cunningham is also a fire permit officer and was a representative on the Fire Area Management Committee from 1995 to 2013. He is also the Junior and Cadet Co-ordinator for his brigade and is enthusiastic about the program. He is an active member of the Tasmanian Volunteer Fire Brigades Association and serves as its Southern Branch President. He is a member of the state executive of that association and represents it on the Volunteer State Consultative Committee and the Volunteer Learning and Development Committee of the Tasmania Fire Service.
The Australian Fire Service Medal was created was created in 1988 to acknowledge distinguished service by members of state, territory or federal fire service agencies. The citation accompanying Mr Cunningham's medal states: "The community of Gretna and the surrounding districts are fortunate to have Mr Cunningham's commitment, knowledge and leadership in this important emergency service."
In 2000 Mr Cunningham was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in recognition of his decades of involvement in cricket in the Derwent Valley as a player and administrator.