Commissioner's Uniform (NSWFire Brigades) - Ian Mac Dougall | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Commissioner's Uniform (NSWFire Brigades) - Ian Mac Dougall

Item details

Name of item: Commissioner's Uniform (NSWFire Brigades) - Ian Mac Dougall
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Utilities - Fire Control
Category: Other - Utilities - Fire control
Primary address: 1 Museum Drive, Penrith, NSW 2750
Parish: Castlereagh
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Penrith
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
1 Museum DrivePenrithPenrithCastlereaghCumberlandPrimary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Fire and Rescue NSWState Government 

Statement of significance:

Commissioner Mac Dougall’s Uniform is associated with a person, and Office, of great significance in the historical process of the improvement and restructure of NSW Fire Brigades administration. Commissioner Mac Dougall’s appointment was an important event in that process of restructure.

Administrative restructure began with the inauguration of the Fire Brigades Board in 1884 which, with the formation of the Metropolitan Fire Brigades, provided official control over the hitherto disorganised brigades of the Insurance and Volunteer Companies. This board was subsequently dissolved and replaced by the Board of Fire Commissioners in 1910, providing for statewide control over the brigades in NSW. In 1990, following the passing of the Fire Brigades Act 1989, the Board of Fire Commissioners was in turn dissolved, and was replaced by an Advisory Council, which included both the former "Board President" (appointed Director-General), and the Chief Officer. The NSW Fire Brigades thus became a State Government department. With the passing of the Fire Brigades (Amendment) Act in 1994, the office of Commissioner replaced the former offices of Director-General and Chief Officer.

With his appointment on 10th June 1994, Mr Mac Dougall became the first Commissioner of the NSW Fire Brigades.

Mr Mac Dougall is a person of significance not only due to his appointment as the first Fire Brigades Commissioner. Prior to his appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Fire Brigades, Mr Mac Dougall had a distinguished career with the Royal Australian Navy, and was appointed to Chief of the Naval Staff (Chief Executive Officer) in March 1991. He was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for distinguished service and exceptional performance of duty to the RAN.
Date significance updated: 09 Feb 05
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Designer/Maker: New South Wales Fire Brigades - Persons not known
Builder/Maker: Galatea - Otele Manufacturing Pty Ltd - 12 William Street, Granville; Cap - ????
Construction years: 1994-
Physical description: One Galatea - complete with rank insignia; chrome buttons and name badge. Constructed by Otele Manufacturing of Granville. It incorporates four chrome buttons, centrally located down the front, with smaller chrome buttons located on the pocket flaps and rank insignia epaulettes. A red name badge with the inscription "Ian MacDougal - Commissioner" is located above the right upper pocket flap. Commissioner’s rank insignia is located on each shoulder epaulette, as well as each lapel.

One Peak Cap - complete with rank insignia.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Good
Date condition updated:08 Feb 05
Modifications and dates: N/A
Further information: N/A
Current use: Preservation
Former use: Uniform of Commissioner

History

Historical notes: During 1989, the NSW State Government announced its decision to dissolve the Board of Fire Commissioners of NSW. Under the Fire Brigades Act of 1909, the Board took over control of the Fire Brigades on the 1st January 1910. Prior to this, there was no statewide control of the Fire Brigades in NSW. The previous Fire Brigades Board, which was inaugurated on 1st January 1884, had only controlled the Metropolitan Fire Brigades. During this time, shire or municipal councils in the country areas would often organise their own volunteer fire brigade. The establishment of the Board of Fire Commissioners of NSW had been a great step forward in the administration of the State’s fire protection. With its dissolution, came a "new era" of Fire Brigade management.

Briefly, the key issues involved the Board being dissolved and replaced by NSW Fire Brigades Advisory Council, which was chaired by the Director-General Mr Peter Rath. Formerly the President of the Board, Mr Rath was placed in this office for the remainder of his term of office as President. This Council was to be responsible for advising the Minister on matters relating to the Brigade. One of the perceived advantages in this new administration was that the Chief Officer’s position was elevated to a full member of the Advisory Council. Previously, under the old system, the Chief Officer was not a member of the Board.

The NSW Fire Brigades was now a Government Department. The justification for this change rested in the fact that the Government concluded that the contributions made towards the operation of the Brigade were a tax, and thus should be dealt with in the same way as any other tax and allocated to the brigade through he State Budget. Therefore, the brigade should be subject to the same ministerial controls as were imposed on other government departments, which were funded from the public purse. The exception would be that taxes received from the contributors would be pledged to the Fire Brigade, and not made available to other government departments.

One of the major innovations, which were brought about under this new management system, was the "regionalisation" of the Fire Brigades, whereby the state was divided into four administrative and operational areas. The aim was to transfer responsibility and functions from Central Administration to the Regional Office, which was headed by a Regional Commander.

Following the retirement of the Director-General, Peter Rath, on 29th April 1994, Chief Officer Stan Hearn became Acting Director-General. On 6th May, the Minister announced that the position of Director-General would henceforth be known as "Commissioner". Thus, on the 13th May, Mr Hearn became Acting Commissioner, (pending the taking up of the position by Vice-Admiral, Ian MacDougall. Mr Hearn remained as Acting Commissioner until his retirement on 10th June 1994.

The passing of the Fire Brigades (Amendment) Act of 1994 saw the office of Commissioner encompass both of the former offices of Director-General and Chief Officer. With the retirement of Mr Hearn approaching, there were no applications received from operational personnel from within the NSW Fire Brigades for the Chief Executive’s position. Thus, came the appointment of a person from outside the Brigade. Vice Admiral, Ian Mac Dougall, aged 56 was the former head of he Royal Australian Navy (RAN). On May 17th, the Governor, His Excellency Rear-Admiral Peter Sinclair approved the appointment following Cabinet’s support. Mr Mac Dougall had an outstanding record of achievement as a senior manager and had demonstrated leadership and the ability to manage a large workforce.

At the age of 15, he joined the Royal Australian Naval College as a Cadet Midshipman in January 1954. During his thirty-year service he commanded submarines, a guided missile destroyer and a fleet tanker. He was directory of Submarine Policy between 1982-84 and Director General of Joint Operations and Plans for the Australian Defence Force in 1986-87, ensuring the successful integration of the three armed forces into a joint, mutually supportive operational capability. From January 1989 to July 1990, he served as Maritime Commander Australia.

Following his appointment to Chief of the Naval Staff (Chief Executive Officer) in March 1991, Admiral Mac Dougall oversaw some 15,000 uniformed personnel and 5,000 departmental civilians.

In 1993 he received the Companion of the Order of Australia for distinguished service and exceptional performance of duty to the RAN.

On 10th June 1994, Ian Mac Dougall took up the position of Commissioner (Chief Executive Officer) of the NSW Fire Brigades.

On 4th July 2003, Commissioner Mac Dougall retired. The Assistant Commissioner Greg Mullins was appointed to the position of Commissioner.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Commissioner MacDougall’s appointment was an important stage in the historical process of the restructure of Fire Brigade administration. This process began with the formation of the Fire Brigades Board in 1884, which with the formation of the Metropolitan Fire Brigades provided official control over the disorganised brigades of the Insurance and Volunteer Companies. This board was dissolved and replaced by the Board of Fire Commissioners in 1910, providing for statewide control over the state’s fire brigades. In 1990, following the passing of the Fire Brigades Act 1989, the Board of Fire Commissioners were dissolved and replaced by an Advisory Council, which included the former Board President as Director-General and the Chief Officer. The NSW Fire Brigades thus became a State Government department. With the passing of the Fire Brigades (Amendment) Act in 1994, the office of Commissioner replaced the former offices of Director-General and Chief Officer.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Commissioner MacDougall’s Galatea and Cap has a strong association with a person, and Office, of great significance in the historical process of the improvement of NSW Fire Brigades administration.

Mr MacDougall’s significance lies in his appointment as the first Commissioner of the NSW Fire Brigades in 1994.

Mr MacDougall’s significance is further enhanced by the fact that, prior to his appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Fire Brigades, Mr MacDougall had a distinguished career with the Royal Australian Navy, and was appointed to Chief of the Naval Staff (Chief Executive Officer) in March 1991.

He was also awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for distinguished service and exceptional performance of duty to the RAN.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
N/A
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
N/A
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
N/A
SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
N/A
SHR Criteria g)
[Representativeness]
N/A
Integrity/Intactness: The fabric of both the Galatea and Cap is in good condition. The fabric is 100% original.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

The Commissioner's Uniform is under the custodianship of the Museum of Fire, Penrith, with the permission of the NSW Fire Brigade.

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage registerCommissioner's Uniform - Ian MacDougal469017408 Feb 05   

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
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Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4690174


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