16 March, 2018

The Union’s editorial policy provides that “the new FBEU website will … include a candidates’ information area to which candidates will be invited to submit a written profile (and photograph, should they so choose) in support of their candidacy and which will begin operating upon the closure of nominations and conclude operating upon the closure of the ballot.

This page will be updated as candidates for the following contested positions submit their profiles:

  • President
  • Senior Vice President
  • Junior Vice President
  • Illawarra Sub-Branch Secretary
  • Sydney Central Sub-Branch Secretary
  • Sydney Central West Sub-Branch Secretary
  • Sydney Inner West Sub-Branch Secretary
  • Retained Sub-Branch Secretary

Letter to all candidates


There are two candidates for the office of President and they will appear on the ballot paper in the  following order:

  • NAIRN, Michael
  • HENRY, John

Mick Nairn

I’m running for President because the role requires a broad range of experience across both Brigade and within the Union.

I’ve been in the job for 17 years, 15 as a permanent and 2 as a retained. I am an LF, trained in rescue and USAR.

I’ve been on SCOM for 6 years as the Sydney South Sub Branch Secretary. I’ve been a station delegate for 10 years.

As Sydney South Sub Branch Secretary I built my sub branch from scratch as it didn’t exist before 2012. I’m a  successful campaigner having run campaigns to stop TOLing in permanent stations and the Miranda by-election. I was responsible for organising approximately 100 FFs to attend polling booths across the electorate to hand out Put the Liberals Last flyers and educating the community about the government’s cuts to fire services.

I will use my experience to improve the training and engagement of our Sub Branch Secretaries. I will also get the President and Vice Presidents engaging more with the entire membership both permanent and retained.

I am committed to expanding our membership by growing jobs through regional expansion and growing our core roles of fire, rescue and hazmat.

For a print version of this profile click here.

Senior Vice President

There are three candidates for the office of Senior Vice President and they will appear on the ballot paper in the following order:

  • PERRIN, Chris
  • JOHNSEN, Michael
  • ROSS, Trevor

Chris Perrin

I have been a member of the FBEU since 1986 when I joined the NSWFB, now FRNSW. I have been a member of a union since I was 15 years of age & have always been passionate in standing up for & representing my workforce. I was the Secretary of the Country Sub Branch & have been on the Executive of the CSB for almost 14 years, prior to that I was a Station Delegate in Sydney & I’m currently stationed at Tweed Heads.

I think there needs to be changes on the State Committee & some fresh ideas. The last few years have seen changes brought into our Awards uncontested & generational change sold for a pittance. Things need to change!

Things I stand for & want to see are:

  • UNITY – The FBEU is split into factions & many members feel marginalised
  • CHANGE – Improve the way we perform industrially
  • ENGAGEMENT – Talk with the members not at them
  • ACCOUNTABLE – Transparent & accountable at all times to all members
  • Electronic voting & video conferencing of meetings
  • Plan for Award rounds with the input of members
  • Carry out a review of the FBEU from the Office to the Sub Branches &

For a print version of this profile click here.


Michael Johnsen

My name is Mick Johnsen and I’m a candidate for the position of Senior Vice President of the FBEU, your Union. I have been a Firefighter for over 20 years and currently work as a regionally based rescue instructor, having worked as a firefighter in several of the Sydney metro and regional areas.

I am running as an independent candidate, not aligned to any group. My responsibility will always be to the members.

As a former SCOM official and current station delegate, I believe that I have the knowledge and experience to carry out the role of Senior Vice President. Most recently, I successfully negotiated with FRNSW Senior Management & the SCOM on behalf of regional trainers, leading to the adoption of a flexible roster for regional trainers.

As a Union, I believe we must

  • Protect & improve our working conditions
  • Improve member consultation & engagement
  • Secure Presumptive Legislation for firefighter illnesses
  • Provide voluntary qualification & promotional pathways for all members, retained & permanent

I seek your vote and your support so that I can work with all members to bring about positive change, inclusive decision-making, ultimately bringing better working conditions for all.

Contact me directly on 0417 439 172,

For a print version of this profile click here.


Trevor Ross

I’ve been a firefighter for 36 years, with 15 of those as a Retained.  I have served on State Committee for the last 6 years as the Secretary for the Sydney Outer West Sub Branch.

One of my biggest achievements on a local level was communications. I visited every station and platoon in our Sub Branch regularly and began the email network we still use today.

I have also been involved in boundary reviews on behalf of the Union. This involves high level meetings with FRNSW and RFS officers to ensure a safe work place for us by extending station boundaries.

I’m proud the SCOM I’m part of voted to take strike action that won the 2012 Workers Comp dispute, that we put an end to TOLing and that I was involved in bringing in the flexible roster changes to achieve 24 hour shifts.

Since my time on SCOM I think we have achieved a huge amount but it never ends. I am excited and keen to use my Union experience in an executive position.

You can read my full details here https://ourfbeu.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/trevor-ross-svp1.pdf contact me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/trevor.ross.330 or by phone 0413 503 410.

For a print version of this profile click here.


Junior Vice President

There are three candidates for the office of Junior Vice President and they will appear on the ballot paper in the following order:

  • LINTON, Sandy
  • TOWNSEND, Andrew
  • GRAVES, Matthew

Sandy Linton

I joined the Retained ranks of NSW Fire Brigades in 2000 originally at Moss Vale and transferred to the Woolgoolga Station several years ago.

I have held the position of Deputy Captain at both stations and currently still do at Woolgoolga.

I’ve been one of two FBEU Station Delegates at Woolgoolga for some years now and was successfully voted onto the FBEU Retained Subbranch committee last elections.

My campaign pledge is based on being contactable to all members, listening to all the different sides of what the members want, not making any personal decisions or taking action without all the facts BUT most certainly on any issues with deadlines not to procrastinate until it’s too late.

My aim is to work hard for the benefit of ALL Union members.

Unity within the FBEU is something I am extremely passionate about!Sandy Linton

If I’m successfully voted as the FBEU Junior Vice President I promise I will:

1: Be open and contactable for all members.
2: Constantly look for ways to improve the conditions of all firefighters.
3: Be willing to work with all members on the SCoM.
4: Most importantly; keep all Union values high.

Feel free to ring me on 0408 486 869

For a print version of this profile click here.


Andrew Townsend

I joined the NSW Fire Brigades in 1998 as a retained fireman in Molong. I then moved back to Sydney and joined the permanent brigades. I was stationed at Darlinghurst for a number of years, and enjoyed every minute of the mateship, the camaraderie, the tomfoolery, the niggle and the water fights between 004 and City of Sydney. This is missing from our job today.

I then moved to Bathurst station for a number of years, before moving to Macquarie Fields, Queanbeyan, Goulburn, Lane Cove and now back out to Orange.

I am running a No campaign.

No to MFR.
It is not our job, plain and simple.
No to selective calling for retained.
No to wasting money on new logos.
A stop to the corporatisation of the brigades.
We need presumptive legislation.

The bandaid fix that is just another KPI for some back room pencil pusher, will have dramatic effects on the lives of many of our brothers and sisters in the brigade.

I am standing for Junior Vice President of the FBEU, those of you who know me, know where i am at and where i am coming from, others please feel free to ring me on 0411331033.

For a print version of this profile click here.


Matthew Graves

I am nominating for the position of Junior Vice President, I strongly believe this position is about balance and leadership. It’s keeping your word, and seizing opportunities.

Being a union member since 2003 and currently the Country Sub Branch Executive with the FBEU and Chairman of the Maitland Community Unions Alliance, has afforded me the skills and understanding of what members need.

I have shown I can get the job done! The results speak for themself. As Country Sub Branch Executive of our union I’ve:

  • Built a rapport with both Retained and Permanent Fire- fighters of all levels;
  • Unified our membership by listening to the needs of all our members;
  • Proven my unwavering commitment to building our union, the confidence to stand alone, and the courage to make tough decisions; and
  • I have worked tirelessly to ensure that the union is transparent and accountable for all decisions that affect its members.

I am ready to continue the work of building a strong union, and involving members to keep our union strong.

For a print copy of this profile click here.

Illawarra Sub-Branch Secretary

There are two candidates for the office of Illawarra Sub-Branch Secretary and they will appear on the ballot paper in the following order:

  • MAHON, Tony
  • HAAS, Andrew

Andrew Haas

Since joining the FBEU and the NSWFB in 2001, I have been stationed at Guildford, Wollongong Comms and Wollongong (Rescue). Currently I am a SF/Hazmat Tech at Shellharbour Hazmat.

I’ve been a station delegate at Guildford then Wollongong Comms until it was closed in 2012. The Comms closure agreement between the FBEU and the Department is something I am extremely proud of. It was the result of the continual negotiation, research and work that the Katoomba Comms delegate and I conducted alongside FBEU Industrial Officers for nearly 2 years.

As FBEU rep on the South Coast Labour Council for 7 years, I helped organise the local May Day and worked with other Unionists/Unions.

Since 2015 I have been the Illawarra Sub Branch Secretary and I am now seeking re-election.

During my 2nd term I will be strengthening the ISB delegate network making it even stronger to meet the challenges ahead. As I have done over the past 3 years, I will continue to help and support ISB members, bring their concerns to SCoM and be their advocate.

The ISB deserves a Secretary that listens to and respects ALL members and their concerns.

For a print version of this profile click here.

Sydney Central Sub-Branch Secretary

There are two candidates for the office of Sydney Central Sub-Branch Secretary and they will appear on the ballot paper in the following order:

  • CALLOW, Robert
  • SMITH, Wesley

Robert (Bobby) Callow

I am entering my thirty third year of firefighting and have served at a number of stations including 39, cos1, St Marys, Blacktown, Penrith, Mt Druitt, Parramatta, and most recently as an instructor in the BLS section out of the STC.

Running for a position on SCOM is something I’m very excited about I hope to represent the members in the sub-branch by holding meetings at your station collecting your ideas and making sure that I attend as many meetings of SCOM as is humanly possible, I want to see the union establish a position of strength and the rank and file thinking about the collective rather than the individual and when this can happen the strength as a large united union force will be insurmountable. I will be running as an independent with a willingness to work with other elected officials for the greater outcome. Make no mistake this is a difficult time for unions and particularly our FBEU and we must remain strong and vigilant.

For a print version of this profile click here.

Sydney Central West Sub-Branch Secretary

There are two candidates for the office of Sydney Central West Sub-Branch Secretary and they will appear on the ballot paper in the following order:

  • WASSELL, Sam
  • LANGDON, Heath

Sam Wassell

I’ve been a firefighter for 11 years at 42 Ryde, 31 Busby and 23 Gladesville on B platoon for the last few years.

I’m a firm believer that you can’t just sit on the sidelines if you want to have a say in what’s going on. I’ve seen the positives that come from the strength of our union and particularly what can be done when we all get involved. I have attended many SCOM meetings and unless I’m overseas you would probably have seen me at most of the marches and union events. I was part of the crew at 42B who wrote the initial draft and did the first shifts in the trial of the 24 hour roster. We held multiple discussions with management and union officials and it really brought home to me the change that can be made if you get involved and put the effort in.

I love this job and I think most of the reason for that is the people who work here, and I will do anything I can to help anyone who asks. Going forward I will always strive to do right by the members.

For a print version of this profile click here.



Heath Langdon

  • The new FBEU needs to be more open and transparent
  • The new FBEU needs to introduce electronic voting and become modernised
  • One fire and emergency agency for NSW with retained to permanent entry pathway
  • Fix the broken promotional system – where have all the RO’s gone?
  • I am against selective calling for retained stations
  • More support to mental health and fitness for all levels of firefighters
  • Introduce 24 hours of annual Community Service Volunteering Leave for our members which can accrue
  • We need increased pay raises without trading away our conditions

Heath Langdon 0408 975 654
Current SCOM members have over 100 collective years in SCOM …
It’s time for fresh ideas and it’s time for change!!

For a print version of this profile click here.

Sydney Inner West Sub-Branch Secretary

There are three candidates for the office of Sydney Inner West Sub-Branch Secretary and they will appear on the ballot paper in the following order:

  • KELLY, Andrew
  • HAAR, Lachlan
  • DIXON, Martin

Lachlan Haar

I have been a Firefighter and FBEU member since 2009. I have both operational and operational support experience. I am currently working at Fire Safety, having previously worked at inner western and western Sydney stations. I have also been attached to Regional West Area Command. My overall experience means I am well placed to offer ideas and opinions across a wide variety of policy areas. Our population is growing but our Firefighter numbers are not, this needs to change.

I will bring new ideas and viewpoints to the SCOM. If elected I would be an independent voice for the Sydney Inner West Sub-Branch and for all.

  • I will listen to your ideas and be your voice on SCOM
  • I will be readily available to assist you with local matters
  • I will commit to growing more career opportunities in the job, more operational and operational support positions
  • I will promote the introduction of more operational support positions outside of Sydney
  • I will push for more training positions in Metropolitan and Regional areas
  • I support electronic voting
  • I will ensure injured Firefighters are treated with dignity and respect
  • I back the introduction of Firefighters’ presumptive rights for compensation for diseases and injuries

For a print version of this profile click here.


Martin Dixon

I am nominating for the position of Inner West Sub Branch Secretary.

I have held this position since 2010 and prior to that was on the Sub Branch Executive and a station delegate. You can find my full bio at www.ourfbeu.net.au.

I joined FRNSW in 2001 and have been an active FBEU member from day 1.

I am very proud of what the FBEU has achieved during my time on SCOM, but there is always room for improvement.

Moving forward I would like to see an FBEU without divisions. A Union which works collectively and collaboratively is the most effective.

Some of the key issues I hope to address if reelected: –

  • Job share between Operational Support and Operational positions.
  • Not moving into new territory (MFR), but focusing on and expanding what we already do. Why do Paramedics perform rescue if they need more Ambulances on the road? RFS in metro areas?
  • Our promotional programs.
  • The mess that is cognitive, emotional intelligence and psychometric tests, some which are wasteful and misused.
  • Training.

I’m politically active with no political aspirations.  I’m here solely for the improvement of our job for our members. Contact me on 0416307633 for any questions or discussion.

For a print version of this profile click here.

Retained Sub-Branch Secretary

There are three candidates for the office of Retained Sub-Branch Secretary and they will appear on the ballot paper in the following order:

  • GARDNER, Phillip
  • MORRIS, Nicole
  • MADDEN, Mellissa

Phillip Gardner

I have been a Retained firefighter for over 21 years and have worked at 3 stations from Country to Metro.

During the last 3 years, I have completed more station visits and support meetings than the previous 2 Sub Branch Secretaries spending 95 days away from work and home including 26 overnight stays and over 26,000 physical kilometres to do Union business and attend;

  • 66 stations for station forums
  • 1 Training centre for new member information
  • 24 Medal presentation and retirement functions
  • 35 State Committee meetings
  • 22 other meetings (Cancer Sub Committee, Zone Management, Member support, AGM/SGM)

My action points will remain the same into the future.

  • continue to provide strong representation on the committee whilst navigating a much different Industrial relations system
  • visit stations as often as I can or upon member request to run station forums
  • provide advice and support as needed
  • Continue to advocate for changes within the brigade to bring a better lifestyle balance for all our members.
  • Continue the work towards building a delegate network to combat common fallacies presented by our employer to members in their attempts to constantly erode member award rights

Lets stay united and move towards better outcomes for everyone.

For a print version of this profile click here.


Nicole Morris

In 2015 I joined Bathurst station as a Retained Firefighter. For those unfamiliar with Bathurst, the station is a mixed station with Intermediate HAZMAT located in regional NSW.

The tough stuff

I am running for the position of Retained Sub-Branch Secretary which for me means being the voice for over 3,000 firefighters, I think I am up for the challenge. In my short period of time (I joined after the last election) I have seen the potential introduction of RBRP, selective calling, MFR and health & fitness testing.

What I stand for

Career progression for retained firefighter, a ranking system not based on years in the job. A system where retained firefighters are able to grain the same nationally recognised qualifications as our permanent comrades

Open, honest and transparent communication. In the age of digital media members should be up-to-date with what’s going on with our award negotiations, IR disputes and any potential changes to working conditions.

I am committed to being a voice for anyone who needs it, others would describe me as a dog with a bone. I wont let go of an issue until its solved.

For a print version of this profile click here.


Mellissa Madden

I have been a Retained Firefighter for twelve years with 213 Bangalow, on the Far North Coast of NSW. Eight of those years have been as Deputy Captain.

I believe the FBEU needs to evolve in order to reflect the needs and future challenges of it’s members. All Retained and Permanent fire fighters deserve effective and timely communication, consultation and dissemination of information from their Union. I believe Retained members need the backing of an inclusive and proactive Union, one that supports and advocates for all of it’s members.

It has been said that FRNSW faces more change within the next 5 years than it has in the past 25 years. Retained Firefighters make up half the current membership, but only a small percentage voted last election. Positive outcomes can be achieved if Retained members participate and actively engage with their Union, identify what is important to us and also what needs to change.

If elected, I will seek to engage with Retained members throughout the state and strive to empower us as a collective so that we have a voice in decisions affecting our future and the quality of service we provide to our communities.


For a print version of this profile click here.