Call to make Australia Day parade a celebration of firies

Gratitude: Business owner and Australia Day emcee Steve Wisbey is calling on the community to make signs to thank our firies on our national day. Picture: Chris Lane
Gratitude: Business owner and Australia Day emcee Steve Wisbey is calling on the community to make signs to thank our firies on our national day. Picture: Chris Lane

Australia Day in Macarthur will look a little different this year.

Event emcee - and owner of Camden business Upstairs at Fred's - Steve Wisbey said the traditional parade through Camden's main street would be led by the courageous firefighters who have been keeping our nation safe during the ongoing bushfire crisis.

To thank the heroes for all their tireless hard work, Mr Wisbey is calling on the community - especially children - to create signs and banners expressing their gratitude to firefighters.

"I think this is a really good way for the community to show their thanks," he said.

"Not everyone can donate money or fight fires themselves, but all of us Australians, especially the young children, can be thankful and show their appreciation for the RFS and other firefighters for all that they're doing."

Mr Wisbey said Upstairs at Fred's would be happy to accept signs and letters in the lead-up to January 26 to display on the premises and give directly to firefighters.

"I think it would be nice to have kids write letters, I know of firies who have cried after receiving letters from kids in the stations," he said.

"We'll collect the letters and pass them all along to the firefighters."

Mr Wisbey encouraged other Australians to celebrate the firies this Australia Day.

"I think not just other businesses and locals should get behind this, but people all across Australia should put our firefighters at the front of Australia Day this year," he said. "Our firefighters, from the community's point of view, have been like the Anzacs of old in that they've stepped up to fight for the community in this war against nature. They've lost lives and shown a true sense of mateship."

Mr Wisbey said he was also toying with the idea of an honour roll, if there were particular firefighters that the community wanted to personally thank.

He had a message for all of the brave souls fighting blazes: "stay safe, we really appreciate everything you are doing for us".

Contact Upstairs at Fred's if you'd like to drop off a sign: 4655 5369.