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Burra to make nomination count


Steve Dresler, Founder of the What Ability Foundation, Chanel Contos, Founder, teachusconsent.com, Lottie Dalziel, Banish sustainability champion and Burra McHughes enjoy the view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge before the awards ceremony. Photo contributed

Tricia Duffield


For Brewarrina’s Chris ‘Burra’ McHughes, being nominated for NSW Young Australian of the Year was a huge achievement.

However, being at the awards ceremony with some of the most inspiring achievers in the state was an experience he intends to use for the good of his community.

Burra was nominated for his volunteer work, particularly his dedication to the Brewarrina community during COVID and for his leadership role with the Rural Fire Service State Indigenous Mitigation Team.

He flew to Sydney from his current base in Toowoomba on Thursday night, ready for a round of engagements on Friday before the awards ceremony got underway at Luna Park.

“On Friday morning I was picked up from my motel in North Sydney by the NSW Deputy Commissioner of Fire and Rescue, Jeremy Fewtrell, and we went for breakfast at Pyrmont,” Burra said.

“He then took me up to the Pyrmont Fire Station where the senior executive committee was meeting and they all wished me luck, and then walked over to the City of Sydney Fire Station where I met the media team.

“Then it was time to head over to Government House where all the nominees had morning tea with Her Excellency Governor Margaret Beazley and that was great, meeting everyone and having a proper yarn with the other nominees.

“One of the nominees I was talking to was Chanel Contos and she and her family invited me back to their house. We went to Bondi Icebergs for lunch then back to their place for a cuppa and a yarn - they were really good people,” he said.

The awards ceremony overlooked the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and for Burra it was a rare ordeal to be dressed in a suit and tie.

“No, not what I usually wear but then we had photographs with Premier Dominic Perrottet before the award winners were announced,” he said,


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