Secret lives of staff: Western Sydney home to state’s strongest man

Aboriginal health education officer Andrew Fraser has a secret life as a Strongman athlete, lifting items like the 160kg ball he’s standing on. Picture: Megan Dunn

Meet Andrew Fraser: Western Sydney Local Health District employee and the strongest man in the whole of New South Wales.

Despite his young age, the 28-year-old Aboriginal health education officer has many achievements. Andrew started weight training at 23 and won his first big title a year later.

Canberra’s strongest man (2015), NSW’s strongest man (2019), certified strength and conditioning coach – Andrew can definitely carry all his groceries home in one go!

“I used to be a little guy, so I started weight training at the gym. Turned out I really liked lifting heavy weights,” Andrew said.

“I have always enjoyed watching Strongman competitions, and I gave it a shot. Now having two state-level titles behind my back, I am planning to conquer 2021 Arnold Strongman Australian Championship.”

Andrew’s other talents include flipping cars — literally.

Strongman competition is a weightlifting-based sport where the athletes compete lifting and moving heavy objects within a given time limit.

To win the NSW title, Andrew had to perform various strength-related challenges that included carrying a 300kg metal frame and lifting a 90kg dumbbell with one hand.

Alongside that, Andrew is studying at University to be nutritionist and is a full-time team member of WSLHD Aboriginal Health department.

“I feel privileged to be able to share my knowledge. It is a great feeling when I go out to meet communities, and I am looking forward to doing it more when the pandemic winds down,” Andrew said.

Andrew pulls a truck in his early days of competing in Canberra. Picture: Rohan Thomson

On November 4 Andrew launched a new program called for Aboriginal young people of Western Sydney that involved his expertise in health and fitness.

“The Burudi Bada Food and Art Project is focused on cultivation and bushfoods, using the nutrition knowledge and cooking up a storm,” he said.

Burudi Bada means ‘better eating’ in Darug language.

The program was developed in collaboration with Fay Jelley, WSLHD Youth Health programs and partnerships acting manager.