Shane Fitzsimmons AO AFSM

Chair, Youth Insearch

Shane Fitzsimmons is Chair of Youth Insearch, a not-for-profit organisation focussed on working with at risk youth aged between 14 to 20 supporting them to turn their disadvantages into their advantages, enabling them to reach their full potential.

He is also Chair of the NSW Connectivity Innovation Network (CIN) and the NSW Telco Authority Board, as well as Chair of the National Emergency Medal Committee and a member of the Australian Bravery Decorations Council.

He is a patron of two charities – Kids Xpress and Coffee 4 Kids and is a member of the Australian Fathers' Day Council. He is also and Ambassador for the First Responders Wellbeing Summit and the Rotary NSW Emergency Services Community Awards (RESCA).

Shane served as the inaugural Commissioner for Resilience NSW from 1 May 2020 – 16 December 2022. Resilience NSW was established as an executive agency in the Premier and Cabinet cluster on 1 May 2020. As Commissioner Resilience NSW, he chaired the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC), the State Recovery Committee (SRC), Board of Commissioners (BOC) and served as a member of the NSW Mentally Healthy Workplaces Advisory Board. The NSW Government realigned Resilience NSW across 4 different Government agencies including, the new Reconstruction Authority.

This appointment followed a distinguished career with the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) of over 35 years, serving as both a volunteer and salaried member. The NSW RFS is widely acknowledged as the largest volunteer fire service in the world, is the lead agency for bush fires and bush fire management in NSW.

In 1998 he was appointed an Assistant Commissioner with the RFS and has held portfolio responsibilities for Operations, Strategic Development and Regional Management. In 2004, he was appointed the inaugural Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) Visiting Fellow to the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) for a period of 12-months, developing and delivering programs in management and leadership.

During the period of September 2007 - April 2020 he was the Commissioner of the NSW RFS and was also the Chair of the NSW RFS Bushfire Coordinating Committee and the Rural Fire Service Advisory Council. He was also a member of the NSW State Emergency Management Committee and the NSW State Rescue Board (SRB) and was Chair of SRB from 2008 to November 2015. He was appointed a Director of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) in March 2008 and was the Chair of the NAFC Board from 2009 to 2013. He was a Director on the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre from 2009 to 2014. He was a member of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council from 2007 and was a member of its Board from November 2016 to November 2019 and held the position of Deputy President upon retirement from the Board. He was also a member of the Champions of Change Fire and Emergency.

Commissioner Fitzsimmons has been awarded the Rural Fire Service Long-Service Medal for more than 30 years, the National Medal in recognition of more than 35 years, and the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM).

He has also been acknowledged with a Paul Harris Fellow and a Paul Harris Fellow Sapphire through Rotary Clubs of Berowra and Sydney.

He was announced as the 2021 NSW Australian of the Year, and the Australian Father of the Year 2020 through The Shepherd Centre.

Most recently, he was awarded an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia as part of the 2022 Australia Day Honours list.

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