South Coast NSW RFS members join music royalty on Fire Fight concert stage

'Unreal experience': RFS volunteers were invited to the Fire Fight Australia concert, went on stage and got photos with music royalty. Picture: Brett Thomas
'Unreal experience': RFS volunteers were invited to the Fire Fight Australia concert, went on stage and got photos with music royalty. Picture: Brett Thomas

Shoalhaven Rural Fire Service member Brett Thomas is more used to putting out fires than singing Australian ballad You're the Voice surrounded by music royalty on stage in front of 75,000 people.

But on Sunday, he did just that.

The Callala Bay deputy captain was one of 10 RFS volunteers invited to attend the Fire Fight Australia concert for national bushfire relief at ANZ Stadium.

The concert, hosted by comedian Celeste Barber who already raised more than $52 million, saw powerhouses Queen and Adam Lambert, John Farnham, Olivia Newtown John, Alice Cooper, Hilltop Hoods, 5 Seconds of Summer and many more perform to a sold out crowd.

An additional $9.5 million was raised on the day.

More than 75,000 people attended the sold out concert to raise money for bushfire relief. Picture: Brett Thomas

More than 75,000 people attended the sold out concert to raise money for bushfire relief. Picture: Brett Thomas

Mr Thomas was invited to attend the concert with Shoalhaven RFS' Leeroy Lidbetter from Cudmirrah brigade, Tomerong brigade's Casey Addison and Cambewarra brigade's Amanda Saxton. The volunteers fought the now-extinguished Currowan and Comberton fires.

"We watched the concert for most of the day before we went backstage, got dressed in our RFS uniform, were briefed on what we should do then it was showtime," Mr Thomas said.

"We went on stage for the finale as Brian May, Olivia Newton-John and John Farnham sang You're the Voice. We were also joined by representatives of the Canadian, US and New Zealand firefighting services.

RFS members and international firefighters where cheered on stage. Picture: NSW RFS Twitter

RFS members and international firefighters where cheered on stage. Picture: NSW RFS Twitter

"We stood in a line, waved at the crowd and 75,000 people cheered really loudly for us. Then a confetti cannon went off. It was an amazing experience."

Mr Thomas said he could only see a large blur of people.

"To be out there for the iconic song, at such a big event was a very humbling experience," he said.

Delta Goodrem sung 'We are Australian'. Picture: Brett Thomas

Delta Goodrem sung 'We are Australian'. Picture: Brett Thomas

The RFS members spoke to and got photos with Brian May, Olivia Newton-John, John Farnham and Celeste Barber who thanked them for their efforts over the fire season.

"They were very generous with their time and thanked us and all volunteers. We were representing our band of 70,000 RFS members," he said.

Mr Thomas said the line-up of performers was "spectacular" with artists spanning generations so everyone could enjoy the songs.

"Everyone was singing along to all the acts. When Daryl Braithwaite sung Horses, the place went off," he said.

He said the concert was a chance to relax and enjoy himself after long and hard months battling fires across the state.

More than 1000 RFS volunteers and their families were invited to attend the concert for a much needed day off with family and friends.

Other performers included Amy Shark, Baker Boy, Conrad Sewell, Delta Goodrem, Grinspoon, Guy Sebastian, Icehouse, Illy, Jessica Mauboy, k.d lang, Lee Kernaghan, Michael Buble, Peking Duk, Pete Murray, Ronan Keating, Tina Arena and William Barton.

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