Nathan Barnden

Rural Fire Service NSW volunteer

ACTNomineeYoung Australian of the Year2021

Nathan Barnden provides outstanding community support through his role with the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Despite living over two and half hours away in Canberra, Nathan is an active member of the Jellat NSW brigade. During the 2020 summer bushfires, he sacrificed work shifts to protect the Bega Valley community from the blaze.

Nathan risked his own life to enter a burning house and save an entire family, providing comfort as he saw them to safety and checking in on them a few days later. His incredible act of bravery was reported in various newspaper articles, where the family openly stated that Nathan had saved their lives.

Nathan has taken on many leadership roles in the Young Members of RFS, presenting at events and seminars. He is passionate about improving training and resources to enhance the experience for young volunteers. He also drove an initiative to implement warning signs on major roads, increasing awareness and fire safety across the ACT.