In a reflection of wider sentiment towards Queensland’s hard-working firefighters, Greenbank locals have thrown their support behind Matt Hilder, voting for him to be named this year’s ‘Community Hero’. 

The Chairman of the Greenbank Rural Fire Brigade was named the 2019 winner during Everleigh’s Christmas Movie Night earlier this month, in recognition of his tireless work during this incredibly challenging bushfire season. 

But Matt says he doesn’t see himself as “anything special,'' just a regular member of the community who likes to give back when he can. 

“I joined the firies over 10 years ago when I saw a real need in the area, and I’ve never looked back,” says Matt. 

“Especially with severe bushfire seasons like we have currently, it’s very rewarding to be able to help.”

As part of the award, Matt received a $500 EFTPOS gift card and commemorative plaque donated by Everleigh. 

“Community sentiment generally rises in times like this; particularly given we’re seeing fire behaviours a lot of people have never experienced before.

“It’s good to remember we do need services like the rural firies, and to ensure they’re supported appropriately during times of desperate need.

“We’re largely funded by the community, so monetary donations are always very welcome. 

“However even a simple handshake and a thank you whenever you see one of our yellow trucks goes a long way towards showing support and appreciation for the volunteers trying to make a difference.”

The father-of-two says it was exciting to be named winner of the people’s choice award, especially with his young family amongst the audience. 

“My wife is a massive support - I couldn’t do what I do without her. There are many afternoons and nights where I’m not home to help look after the kids, so she carries all the home burdens while I’m out with the brigade,” he explains. 

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Mirvac and Enriching Communities Greenbank for supporting this initiative; it’s heart-warming to see so much support for the volunteers in our community and well done to all the other nominees.”

Greenbank Community Hero Award founder and Enriching Communities Greenbank Director, Suzanne Guastini, says Matt was an outstanding nominee for the 2019 title.

“Matt is an amazing example of a selfless member of the community, who makes their best effort to help and improve the lives of those around them,” says Suzanne. 

“It comes as no surprise that he was chosen by his peers to receive this year’s Community Hero Award, especially given the current bushfire conditions and challenges facing our rural firefighters.

“All our nominees are very deserving of recognition and praise for their work within Greenbank, and are shining ambassadors for this incredible place we call home.”

Mirvac Queensland Residential General Manager, Warwick Bible, says the company is proud to support the third annual Community Hero Awards, through masterplanned community, Everleigh, and Enriching Communities Greenbank. 

“A very well-deserved congratulations to Matt and his young family for their work in supporting the wider Greenbank community through the Greenbank Rural Fire Brigade,” says Mr Bible. 

“Initiatives like the Community Hero Awards are an important way of recognising the hard-working and compassionate people of Greenbank, and serve as a great opportunity to show our appreciation for their dedication.”

The runners-up for this year’s Community Hero Award include local business owner Mandi Thurston, ‘Greenbank 50 Plus Club’ founders Louise Bryant and Joy Patterson, and foster carers Rob and Dell Livermore.