Katherine Mullett, Parks Victoria
Three generations on the fire ground

'My family has always worked in the bush and I wanted to share the story of how we are doing what we love.

My dad Bob (left) is a long-time logging contractor and has worked in the bush since he was 13 years old. Today at 72 years young he’s still going strong as a dozer operator clearing fire breaks and using the dozer to help flank fires.  

I’m 47-years-old and I’ve worked 20 seasons with the department.

Like my dad, my career started in the bush falling trees and when I decided to try something different, I found my bush skills transferred well into a fire fighter position. I was on a rappel crew, went back to logging again, and I’ve been a Bairnsdale crew member since 1996.

My son Tom is 18-years-old and just finished his VCE. After watching me for years he wanted to give firefighting a go.

He’s a high achiever, a school captain, and he applied and got a position as a Project Firefighter at Bairnsdale. This is his first full-time job and he has come in on our most challenging season. We’ve worked together quite a bit over the fire season.

I’ve been through many bad fire seasons, but the fire behaviour this season is second to none.

What I didn’t expect this year was to be personally impacted. On 30 December, Tom and I helped save our house in Sarsfield.

Our 12-acre block burnt and we lost vehicles, trailers, a ride-on lawnmower, but we managed to save our home. There’s a lot of damage that needs to be repaired to get it back to what it was, but I haven’t been able to take a break to clean up my property.

This photo was taken two weeks later by Katherine Mullett at Parks Victoria who was with us for the day. The Barmouth fire was getting close to Dargo and my dad was working out of the Dargo area helping with fire control.

What I really want people to know is that I love what I do.

I’m out in the bush every day and I have one of the best jobs in the world. I’m proud of my family and how we do our part to help save lives, properties and wildlife.'

Page last updated: 11/03/20