He captured the nation’s heart during Australia’s bushfire crises with his unwavering leadership and now Shane Fitzsimmons is being honored for an even greater achievement – being an awesome dad.
The former New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) commissioner has been named Australian Father of the Year 2020 by the Australian Father’s Day Council and The Shepherd Centre.
Mr Fitzsimmons, now the NSW Resilience Commissioner, has two children. He described fatherhood as a ‘incredibly special experience’ grateful to be recognised.
“It is an enormous honour and extremely humbling to be recognised as the Australian Father of the Year,” Mr Fitzsimmons said.
“For me, I’ve always wanted to be a dad and have a family,” he told Essential Kids. “If I’ve achieved anything in life it is to see, together with my wife, our two daughters grow into beautiful, independent, young women.”
“Growing up, I had a troubled relationship with my dad, this instilled in me an ambition to prioritise having a stable and healthy family. ”
He also thanked his wife Lisa and their two daughters, Lauren and Sarah, for ‘teaching me so much’.
“Dads and father figures are important in setting the example,” he explains. “We need to lead by example about how we can behave, share our thoughts and feelings, express our emotions and concerns, and how we respect and treat others, in particular women.
He describes Father’s Day as a “gentle reminder” to reflect and value family.
“While spending time with my family this Father’s Day, I’ll be thinking of all of those that have lost fathers and grandfathers but especially the families of our fallen firefighters who tragically died while serving and protecting their community,” he said.
“They paid the ultimate price while seeking to protect others and in my view they are absolute heroes and we should never let their children forget that