My brother Brian and the Botswanan President

My brother Brian Graham who will be awarded The Presidential Order of Meritorious Service in Botswana next week © Lorrie Graham

Next week my younger brother Brian, or Superintendent Graham, will be in Botswana to receive The Presidential Order of Meritorious Service. In our family to be a skite is a step way too far. So I’m stepping out of his comfort zone here.

Also these images were when he was probably looking his best …. I”d say around 16 years of age. How nice am I?

Our father was the Captain of our community Bush Fire brigade for as long as I can remember. So our weekends were spent – by all of us, my mother supplied cake – fighting fires or burning off to build breaks for the up and coming fire season.

So it is no surprise that Brian should end up in the Rural Fire Service ….. this is what he’s been up to.

Brian has more than 45 years operational and management experience in the fire and emergency management sector. He has extensive experience in wild land fire operations, communications and training and is a highly qualified instructor, assessor and mentor in Incident Management.

Over the past 20 years he has gained significant experience designing and leading the delivery of fire and emergency management operational assistance and capacity building projects in remote areas of Indonesia, South-East Asia and Southern Africa.

Superintendent Graham has provided instruction, guidance and mentoring in various courses on Incident Command Systems (ICS) with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) in Bangkok, Thailand through 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

So why the award …..this is what he has done for Botswana…..

This is an overview of the Botswana Fire Management Program. There have been many key achievements within this program but if we are to identify the main achievement then it would be that Botswana now has the capacity to manage wild fires through the establishment of a Fire Division within the Department of Forestry and Range Resources, which now has the budget, trained personnel and resources across the country to manage wild fire. This will be further strengthened through the proposal to establish the Botswana Rural Fire Service as a standalone agency totally responsible for wild fire management in the short term.

In 2012 Mr Russell Taylor and Superintendent Brian Graham were jointly awarded the AFAC Laurie Lavelle Achiever of the Year award for the Botswana Fire Management Program.

Advice has also been received that the NSW Rural Fire Service will be honoured by receiving the Presidential Order of Meritorious Service by the President of Republic of Botswana, His Excellency Lt General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama on the 29 September 2017 at the National Stadium in Gaborone. The award will be accepted on behalf of the NSW Rural Fire Service by Superintendent Brian J. Graham AFSM.

Pretty bloody cool….The only thing I’ve done in Botswana was to dance madly and badly to Boney M at a disco in Gaborone.

Oh and another thing this award has been awarded only to this lot…..

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Merck Company Foundation for their work with HIV, Bob and Sara Rothschild from The Rothschild Foundation, Tim and June Liversedge producers of ROAR- Lions of the Kalahari and Author Alexander McCall Smith to name a few.

I’ll shut up now… X


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Comments 8

  1. Having been mentored and coached through parts of my professional career and personal life, I know the effect he has had on me. A true gentleman and fantastic leader. I had the opportunity to work on the Botswana Fire Manahement Program and it was a life changing experience. I will be forever in his debt.

  2. Great story Loz. Proud sis with reason to be.
    My bro on the other hand got caught as a kid lighting a fire in our back yard, it nearly burnt down the chook yard.

  3. What an amazing man. It’s almost unbelievable that Botswana actually has any fire service. And in large part because of Brian’s experience and determination. I’m proud of my own brother too who is one of my best friends.

  4. That is indeed something to skite about! Congratulations Brian and nice story Lorrie … just shows there’s always a time you need your big sister…

  5. What a wonderful story from a very proud older sister.

    Brian is indeed an incredible person, just like his big sister. His achievements setting up fire fighting systems and regimens along the lines of the NSW Rural Fire Services around the world have been remarkable. And largely unknown in his own country and state.

    An incredible international honour, well deserved.

    Go the Grahams!!!

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