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NZDF Volunteer of the Year announced

Wing Commander Mark Brewer has been selected as the 2022 Volunteer of the Year.

24 November, 2022

WGCDR Brewer is driven by a desire to help his Upper Hutt community and it shows through the breadth of work he has committed himself to. Much of his work, across a number of organisations, is focused on highlighting, publicising, and commemorating the contributions of New Zealand service personnel by mounting the medals of fellow service people, cleaning the graves of war veterans and past service personnel, researching members of the St John Ambulance who served during the World Wars, as well as serving as a volunteer firefighter, and trustee on a local School Board.

With 14 years’ service as a volunteer firefighter, WGCDR Brewer has recently joined the Operational Support unit of Remutaka Station. His role as a fire appliance driver is critical in getting support capability to fire calls in a timely manner, and he has recently become a core member of the management team as an acting Station Officer, working to ensure the Operational Support capability is always available to support the community.

In his role as a School Trustee for Upper Hutt College, Mark’s work has had a considerable impact on improving his local community. He serves on every sub-committee of the Board, including the difficult Disciplinary Committee, through which he has endeavoured to help improve the level of professional support provided to troubled youth in Upper Hutt, by increasing the number of school funded counsellors and other support staff.

He has undertaken research into members of the Order of St John Ambulance who served during the First and Second World Wars which has filled a critical gap in that organisation’s understanding. In the last year he has spent in excess of 100 hours researching and presenting, and produced articles for publication in their international journal.

Continuing his commitment to keeping the memory alive of those served before us, Mark also cleans the graves of war veterans and service personnel, and publishes stories of the contribution of these individuals. WGCDR Brewer displays the values he has learned in his almost 35 years as a uniformed member of the NZDF, and works to ensure this kaupapa is passed on to the next generation.

Thank you, Mark, for your ongoing service and commitment within your local community, your Defence Force whānau, and to all New Zealand Service people. Your incredible efforts have not gone unnoticed and will be formally recognised at the Person of the Year Awards ceremony.