About Us


John Pap­pas -
Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Services

John Pap­pas is cur­rent­ly the Zone Com­man­der for Mackay/​Whitsundays, Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices (QFES). He is respon­si­ble for the over­all man­age­ment and per­for­mance of Fire and Res­cue Sta­tions from Air­lie Beach in the north out to Lon­greach in the west. 

His inter­est in fire­fight­ing start­ed in March 1994 when he joined the (then) NSW Bush Fire Ser­vice as a junior mem­ber in north­ern Syd­ney. This proved to be the cat­a­lyst of a career, and com­menced with the ACT Fire Brigade in 2002. In 2011 John was pro­mot­ed to the rank of Sta­tion Offi­cer and, in 2014, tran­si­tioned north accept­ing a posi­tion with QFES

John is known for his strong busi­ness acu­men and strate­gic fore­sight and holds exten­sive qual­i­fi­ca­tions in Gov­ern­ment, Emer­gency and Fire­fight­ing Man­age­ment includ­ing a Bach­e­lor of Emer­gency Ser­vice, a Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Busi­ness (Pub­lic Sec­tor Man­age­ment) and a Grad­u­ate Diplo­ma in Strate­gic Lead­er­ship. He is cur­rent­ly com­plet­ing an MBA.

He is a strong sup­port­er of equal­i­ty and inclu­sive­ness believ­ing that every­one is unique and val­ued; and that every­one brings some­thing to the table. He has been a mem­ber of WAFA since 2017, is a QFES Ally of Inclu­sion embrac­ing and pro­moting the fair­ness, equi­ty and inclu­sion pro­grams of QFES as well as ini­tia­tives to devel­op staff includ­ing the Step Up! and QFES Trans­forms through Lead­er­ship programs. 

John is also a mem­ber of the Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Women in Fire & Emer­gency Ser­vices; the Diver­si­ty Coun­cil of Aus­tralia; the Aus­tralian Insti­tute of Emer­gency Ser­vices and is a Fel­low of the Insti­tute of Man­agers and Leaders. 

Away from fire­fight­ing John has an inter­est in the mov­ing cam­era hav­ing had a con­cur­rent career in tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion between 1998 and 2014. He was heav­i­ly involved with the Olympics broad­cast move­ment for the 2000 Syd­ney, 2004 Athens, 2006 Tori­no Win­ter and 2008 Bei­jing Olympics. 

To escape real­i­ty, John fre­quents his ances­tral roots in the Mediter­ranean and tours the world by motorbike.