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‘Rebuild, recover, heal’: Shane Fitzsimmons takes on a challenging new role

Former RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has transitioned from battling bushfires to combatting the impacts of COVID-19.

As commissioner of the state’s newly formed disaster recovery organisation Resilience NSW, his remit now includes not only natural disasters, but human disasters like cyberspace disruptions.

He told Jim Wilson physical recovery from drought, fire and coronavirus needs to be equally met with emotional and economic recovery.

“There’s no doubt while we’ve seen unprecedented times, we’re also seeing unprecedented investment, resources, funding [and] programs to help people rebuild, recover [and] heal.”

Mr Fitzsimmons admitted leaving his old colleagues behind and settling into a completely new role has been “an enormous challenge”.

“I’ve worn a uniform to work for decades now.

“Getting up in the morning, working out what to wear, what tie goes with what shirt, all that sort of thing, I’m struggling in that regard.

“But … it’s a meaningful role that will make a difference to the people of NSW, and that attracted me enormously.”

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