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Burra nominated for NSW Young Citizen of the Year


Burra McHughes of Brewarrina has been nominated a NSW Young Citizens of the Year. Photo TWH

Brewarrina’s Christopher ‘Burra’ McHughes is one of four finalists for the NSW Young Citizen of the Year.

Burra, who is proudly Murrawarri-Ngemba-Yuwaalaraay, was nominated for his tireless community work, through his role as a leader in the Indigenous State Mitigation Team for the Rural Fire Service and his valuable role during the COVID pandemic.

Burra said he was ‘stoked’ by the nomination, but more importantly, he said it would focus more attention on people in the bush and the challenges they face during crises like bushfire and the pandemic.

Now based in Toowoomba, Burra is again playing a vital role with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services unit, using the skills he gained with the local Mitigation team to pass on knowledge about cultural burns and the role indigenous people play in protecting country.

He said he was also acquiring new skills which he intends to bring back with him when he eventually returns to NSW’s far west.

“I still don’t know who nominated me and when I was told I was one of 2000 nominees, I thought ‘that’s cool’ and then I got a phone call saying I was one of the top four finalists,” Burra said.

Even when he was a high school student, Burra knew that he wanted to work for his community, initially as a paramedic. Now 25, he joined the RFS when he was at school and the paramedic career took a back seat when he was invited to take a lead role in developing the Indigenous Mitigation Team.


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