Recognition for a pioneer
One of the pioneers of aerial firefighting in Australia has received an official thank you from the Northern Grampians Shire Council.
The council presented Keith Davidson with an official letter under seal in recognition of 45 years of service to Stawell’s aviation community.
Mayor Tony Driscoll said Mr Davidson was an experienced pilot at the forefront of both aerial firefighting and agriculture in Australia.
His association with the Stawell aviation community began in March 1971, after he took up employment with Stawell-based company AG Airworks.
During his time with the company Mr Davidson helped contribute to the growth of aerial agricultural practices, including spreading fertiliser, spraying insecticides and herbicides and sowing crops, which allowed farmers to develop previously unusable land into more productive pastures.
Thanks to his expertise flying in low level and mountainous terrain, Mr Davidson became heavily involved in aerial firefighting in the 1970s, working closely alongside forestry and fire agencies to help combat fires across the region, as well as helping to develop firefighting practices that are still in use today.
During the significant fires in and around Stawell during the 1990s, Mr Davidson played a leading role in helping to defend many homes and the Stawell airport, which came under direct threat from flames.
His involvement has helped to establish Stawell as a major aerial firefighting base for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Country Fire Authority in Western Victoria.
He has flown firefighting aircraft from the Stawell airport almost every year since arriving in town in 1971.
The State Government recognised Mr Davidson’s contribution by naming a road in his honour.
Cr Driscoll said Mr Davidson deserved not only the gratitude of the Northern Grampians Shire community, but also that of Victorians in general.
“Keith is someone who never seeks praise for the outstanding service he provides to our community, but he is certainly someone who deserves it,” he said.
“For more than four decades, Keith has shown unwavering commitment to ensuring our region is kept safe from fire, and for that, we thank him.”
THANK YOU: Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Tony Driscoll congratulates Keith Davidson with a letter under seal in recognition of his service to Stawell’s aviation community.