Rod Diery - Great Southern
Rod Diery was born in Warwick, Queensland. He lived there until he left home at the age of 16 years to join the Australian Army as an apprentice fitter and turner.
Upon qualifying as a tradesman, he served in numerous Army workshops at bases located all over Australia. Rod served in a time of relative peace and did not have to go overseas on active service. His trade specialty was as a marine engineer and he spent a large part of his Army career maintaining, servicing, and crewing all types of Army watercraft.
Rod’s interest in firefighting arose during his marine engineering training. During his initial training, he was sent for an intense three day firefighting course with Qantas at Mascot in Sydney. He also attended many Navy firefighting courses at the naval base at Nowra, New South Wales as part of his continuation training.
After attending a two week Army unit fire officers course at Singleton, NSW he was offered the position to be the chief fire officer for the small army water transport base at Woolwich in NSW, a role he held for two years.
In 1992, Rod left the Army after 21 years of service and eventually found his way to Kulin, a town located in the eastern Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 280 kilometres southeast of Perth.
Rod joined Kulin Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) in December 1995. “I wanted to make a difference in my community,” explains Rod. Since then, Rod has filled every position in the brigade including the role of captain twice for a total of 15 years! Currently he is in the officer role of secretary / treasurer.
“I have always been interested in promoting the interests of my fellow firefighters and in improving their training and equipment,” says Rod. He was a VFRS representative on the Volunteer Vehicle and Equipment Committee for 13 years. “I am proud of the quality of the appliances and equipment that I had some small part in establishing in that time,” says Rod. He is currently an VFRS Association representative on the Light Tanker, Urban Tanker, Rescue Tender and Rescue Trailer Project Advisory Teams (PATs).
Initially, to fill a casual vacancy representing the Great Southern zone, Rod joined the VFRS Association executive committee in 2006. More than 16 years later, he is still on the team. “I very much enjoy being a part of the work of the executive in it’s endeavours to make the lives of our volunteers and our communities so much better,” explains Rod.
After a 20 year career working fulltime in local government, Rod retired in 2021. When his time isn’t spent as the chief bush fire control officer for the Shire of Kulin, assisting the VFRS Association (including maintenance work at the Gil Fraser firefighter competition running track), or volunteering at Kulin VFRS and using his trainer / assessor skills to pass on his knowledge and experiences to his fellow firefighters, he keeps himself busy with model trains, restoring old cars and trucks and camping and caravanning around Australia.
In recognition of Rod’s dedication and long-term contribution, he was awarded life membership by VFRS Association in 2021.