Christopher McHughes


2023 NSW Young Australian of the Year Nominee

Christopher McHughes knows the local children look up to him, but he doesn’t see himself as a role model. He says it’s more that he’ll always try a challenge and has a good work ethic.

Christopher is a proud Murriwarri Ngemba Yuwaalaraay man and in 2020 was a founding member of the first Indigenous State Mitigation crew in the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) in Brewarrina and Bourke. These crews care for kin and country affected by bushfire.

For Christopher, it’s not just a job, it’s a bridge to build trust between cultures. He hopes to show young people in different communities that they can be Aboriginal and in the mainstream, setting up programs to help them succeed. For example, the Girls on Fire camp showed local girls aspects of working with the RFS.

Christopher also helped deliver food during COVID-19 and assisted the Wilcannia community during lockdown.