Country dude trying to make it in the city

Brandon Melton arrived at Macquarie Uni over a year ago from Cowra with little more than $14 in the bank and a couple weeks’ worth of rent, having never flown on a plane or even caught a public bus before. “My first time catching the 545 – the bus driver yelled at me to get out because I didn’t know the bus was terminating at Eastwood station.” He said.

Brandon quickly landed a job in student services and a uni scholarship. He grew to love life in multicultural Eastwood/Epping and has been exploring different parts of Sydney. He now studies commerce and law.

Brandon’s mum was a firefighter and 10 months ago he also started volunteering in the 70,000 strong NSW Rural Fire Service. He now takes time off from his work & study when called to serve, usually at short notice.

“You meet lots of great people in the RFS who come from all over NSW. We make a great team and rest in the makeshift tents together.”

“Much of the country is so dry right now and so the slightest thing can set it on fire. It’s hard to see the animals so thin and also precious drinking water wasted to put out fires.”

“One of the most surreal images was watching a cow give birth and behind it was a mountain that’s on fire. Happily, that cow was unharmed.”

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