Mt Wombat guardian honored for his service

Geoff Broughton awarded with Order of Australia for 22 years of keeping watch

COMMUNITY-MINDED RESIDENT RECEIVES OAM: Long-time Shire of Strathbogie resident Geoff Broughton will receive an Order of Australia Medal for services to the community of Euroa for over three decades. Employed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning his main job is to watch closely for fire, something he has done for the last 22 years. PHOTO: Anthony Cini

WHETHER you call him a Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteer, a farmer or the guardian of local communities, there is no denying that Order of Australia Medal (OAM) recipient Geoff Broughton is proud to do what he loves.

Mt Wombat’s fire tower observer has been watching over Euroa and its neighboring communities for the past 22 years and he knows how demanding and important his job is.

Employed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Geoff starts his day at the top of Mt Wombat at 11am and watches the terrain for a wisp of smoke.

“My day involves looking around twice every five minutes all day,” Geoff said.

“If the day is really bad, like the Tuesday of the Creightons Creek fire (December 16), you’re looking around every minute of every hour of your day.

“(There’s no time) to read books or the newspaper. We do a welfare check every hour with the other towers in our group – Mt Lurg and Mt Buller.

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