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Vale Mark Linfoot, Tasmania's Local Hero 2014
The National Australia Day Council and everyone associated with the Australian of the Year Awards are saddened by the passing of 60 year old Mark Linfoot, who was awarded Tasmania's Local Hero 2014.
Mark was a selfless and generous man - a quiet achiever who worked hard to help his community and friends.
Mark was named Tasmania's Local Hero 2014 for his exceptional efforts to help others. On Boxing Day 2012, Mark lost his wife of 35 years, Charmaine, after she suffered a heart attack. Dealing with the loss, Mark stood down from his position as Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief at Eaglehawk Neck. However, just nine days later, as catastrophic bushfires tore through parts of south-eastern Tasmania, he put aside his grief and fought to save his community and help others.
The Eaglehawk Neck brigade received its first call for assistance at Charmaine’s wake on 3 January and went immediately to attend a blaze at Stormlea. The next day, the Forcett fire exploded only a few kilometres from Eaglehawk Neck. The crew of 11, led by Mark, continued to fight fires 18 hours a day for the next 10 days. Mark said he believed his wife would have wanted him to battle the blaze.
Awarded Tasmania's Local Hero 2014 in November this year, Mark had recently been fighting another battle- this time against cancer.
Mark will be remembered as a kind and giving man who put others before himself and who went about doing what needed to be done without fuss.