Our top citizen

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: Ballina SES local controller Gerry Burnage.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR: Ballina SES local controller Gerry Burnage.

THERE was little time for Gerry Burnage to reflect on the accolades bestowed upon him on Australia Day.

No sooner had the formal Ballina shire ceremony ended on Saturday morning, and Gerry, the citizen of the year, was off with the Ballina State Emergency Service unit as the wild weather hit the shire.

Mr Burnage has been a volunteer with Ballina SES for 28 years, and 25 of those have been as local controller - a job he took on as a fill-in for "a few weeks".

He said he "likes helping people", and this was the reason he stayed in the volunteer organisation.

He also has been involved in the local St John Ambulance and was on the Shire Promotions Committee.

Gerry said his mother provided the example for him. She was an ambulance officer during the Blitz bombing attacks on England in the Second World War and was a long-time volunteer with St John Ambulance.

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