Page from the Bushfire Bulletin

The National Library of Australia has joined forces with the world's largest volunteer fire service to digitise 60 years of the NSW Rural Fire Service's Bush Fire Bulletin. The Bulletin was first published on September 1, 1952 and its stories celebrate the remarkable tales of our volunteer firefighters.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) funded the digitisation project, and now the contributions made by volunteer firefighters throughout Australia are available in Trove.

The digitised journal features stories about its volunteers’ achievements - from remarkable heroism in life-threatening situations to how small regional and remote communities band together to support their volunteers.

NSW RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has praised the opportunity for the Bush Fire Bulletin to be so accessible.

‘The skill and dedication of our volunteer service has been recorded in the pages of the Bush Fire Bulletin, informing and bringing to life the important work our members undertake,’ Commissioner Fitzsimmons said. ‘I am very proud that this history of the NSW RFS will be available for all of Australia and the world to see.’

The National Library of Australia spokeswoman, Dr Hilary Berthon said: ‘Digitising  journals like the popular Bush Fire Bulletin makes them accessible to anyone via Trove. Trove already provides free online access to about 21 million pages from about 1,200 Australian regional and metropolitan newspapers from every state and territory.’

Published quarterly, the journal is read by NSW RFS volunteers  and staff across Australia and the general public.

Dr Berthon invited community groups, libraries, universities, schools, businesses and other organisations to work with the National Library to digitise selected journals and newspapers and make them text-searchable and available through Trove.

Organisations keen to contribute to digitising a journal or newspaper can contact the National Library of Australia at

High-res images:

Spokespeople for the National Library of Australia and the NSW Rural Fire Service’s Bush Fire Bulletin are available for interview.

Contact details

Sally Hopman

0401 226 697