Gladstone region firey labelled finalist in photography awards

The Heat Is On (Queensland) Photographer Ben Brackin captured a dedicated volunteer firefighter who, like so many, put themselves on the front line to protect our great country.

Eilish Massie

A spontaneous entry made by a Mount Maurice volunteer firey has resulted in him becoming a finalist for a national photography award.

Mount Maurice Rural Fire Brigade member Ben Brackin has been announced as a national finalist in the Resilient Australia Awards.

Mr Brackin is up for an award for his image of a local volunteer firefighter battling a grass fire between Gladstone and Yarwun in the National Photography Award category.

Now in its 22nd year, the annual Resilient Australia Awards recognise initiatives by schools, communities, local and state governments, and businesses that showcase innovation and exemplary practice across Australia that build and inspire community connections and foster resilience to disasters and emergencies.

Mr Brackin said it was a spontaneous decision to enter the photo he took of his fellow rural fire brigade member Josh Jasinski while they were attending a hazard reduction burn near Orica recently.

“Basically it popped up on Facebook feed, and asked if anyone wanted to put forward a photo which best described the resilience of the Australian people,” he said.

“I had that photo in my collection and I thought you know ‘why not?’

“I didn’t think anything of it.”

Mr Brackin said he was shocked when he was announced as a finalist for the award.

“Normally when we are out, we don’t usually get the chance, but when you have a second and see something cool, you try to take a photo here and there,” he said.

“Most of the time it is too busy to take happy snaps but it was good to capture that one of old Josh getting amongst it.”

After spending the last four years as a volunteer firefighter, Mr Brackin said his brigade was like his second family.

“It started out as another thing to do to give back to the community but it’s turned out to be another family,” he said.

While he can’t attend the award ceremony, Mr Brackin said it was nice the awards recognised those who were building a resilient country.

The Resilient Australia Awards recognise initiatives that build resilient communities, with the national awards ceremony taking place on in Melbourne on December 8.