The SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia Incorporated (SESVA)
(A prescribed Association for SES Volunteers in WA)
"one Association many issues"
Welcome to the website of the State Emergency Service Volunteers Association of Western Australia Incorporated (SESVA). The SESVA was formed in the late 1980’s with the objective of providing a focus for representing the views of SES Volunteers on issues which affect them. The SESVA has developed the ability to strongly voice the opinion of the volunteers where, when necessary, to the benefit of all the Volunteers of the SES, where the action of a single Volunteer or small group would not be as effective. The SESVA represents SES volunteers on a number of committees and working groups and has regular meetings with DFES.
SESVA role is to represent the views of SES Volunteers to all levels of Government, DFES and other agencies on all matters affecting SES volunteers and the way in which we serve our communities.
SESVA Committee of Management
There is a Committee of Management to control the Association. The Management Committee consists of the following members:
Powers of the Management Committee
The Management Committee is the deliberative body in the Association with powers to make and direct policy, make, amend, or rescind the Constitution, and generally to take such actions as it considers necessary for the furtherance of the Association and its objects. The general management of the affairs of the Association is vested in the Management Committee.
An executive council, consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary and any two committee members shall take care of the day to day affairs of the Association. The executive council may authorise payments on behalf of the Association.
Objects of the Association
- Be an independent and representative body of the volunteers of the State Emergency Service of Western Australia and the Volunteer Emergency Service
- Promote and communicate knowledge and information to and amongst the volunteers of the State Emergency Service of Western Australia
- Provide an effective voice for the volunteers of the State Emergency Service of Western Australia
- Operate a fund or trust for the benefit of volunteers of the State Emergency Service of Western Australia
Current SESVA Activities:
- Regular contact with DFES Executive to discuss strategic, policy and high level issues
- Monthly meeting with DFES and stakeholders managers to discuss operational issues
- Membership of subject matter groups, PPE, equipment, training, communications and vehicles.
- Co-partnering with DFES to organise the annual SES conference and awards night
- Attending AFAC conference
- Attending Local managers meetings
- SESVA website,twitter and facebook management
- Publishing SESVA Journal, calendar and diary
- Attending to local issues when requested
- SES Licence Plate Project
- SESVA is currently in discussion with SES Volunteer Associations throughout Australia to form at setting up a National SES Volunteer Association to give all SES Volunteers a national voice. Currently involved and agreed to set up is SA,VIC,ACT,NSW and WA with talks to be held with Tasmania,NT and QLD who at this point do not have a Volunteer Association.
- Providing input to the National representative on the Australian Emergency Management Volunteers Forum (AEMVF) on matters that could affect SES Volunteers at a National level
- Development of a strategic plan for the SES Volunteers Association
- A member of the new Emergency Services Volunteers welfare and support fund implementation team
- Member of the Inter-Agency Working Group (IWG) on the review of the Emergency Services Acts
- Regular communication from SESVA Regional Representatives to SES Units and Volunteers
- Production of a new SES Flag
You can also read all previous news items in our News Archive
Christmas comes but once a year….
Perth CBD - 1930hrs, Saturday 7th December 2013. More than a quarter of a million mums, dads and excited kids all jammed onto St Georges Terrace to see the big event. For 1 ½ kilometres, all you can see is people and street performers, with a flash of orange here or there. Welcome to the 2013 Channel 7 The West Australian Christmas Pageant. The Northshore SES unit has had a long affiliation with the Christmas Pageant, spanning dozens of years. Whilst the basics of the parade itself have remained pretty static, the roles and requirements of the SES have changed significantly over time:
In the early days, the SES carried out what could only be described as a ‘behind the scenes’ role, manning road blocks and carrying out other mundane tasks away from the main event and the public eye. Jump to 2013 and the SES volunteers are on the street looking clean, smart & professional. The oranges are everywhere – in the throng & interacting with the crowd, at the start line & again at the finish line, and we now have shiny new SES vehicles escorting floats and ultimately leading the parade down St Georges Terrace.
Local Manager Northshore SES Nick Elliott said “The benefits to the organisation, from a public awareness perspective, are simply unquantifiable. In the space of about 4 hours every single person at the event will see an SES volunteer in their oranges - that’s more than a quarter of a million people over a four hour slot seeing the iconic uniform with their own eyes - the SES could not pay (nor wish) for a better opportunity to promote the organisation”.
From the President’s Desk
In my newsletter this month I have given a roundup of the new committee and included a number of topics. Amongst these I have also listed a number of the current issues for the SES, a brief on a new initiative for SES issues by the Commissioner, some information on the progress of the development of the SES Training Pathways, and the next SESVA Journal. I hope this monthly newsletter will keep the SES Volunteers across some of the current and future topics that will assist or affect them.
Read the Presidents full report =====>2013 December SESVA President Newsletter.pdf
The 11th to the 13th October 2013 saw the Lower South West SES units come together for the inaugural LSW Regional Exercise. This has been an initiative driven by the LSW volunteers, which was first highlighted at a leadership forum held in 2011 as something that the volunteers felt was an important part of their ongoing training and skills development.
SESVA MEETS WITH THE DFES COMMISSIONER – 2 DECEMBER 2013
As the number of issues being reported by SES Volunteers to the SESVA was mounting up and any action to resolve seemed to be very slow, the SESVA requested an urgent meeting with the DFES Commissioner. Commissioner Gregson granted a meeting and SESVA representatives, Lin Booth, Bernie McNamara and myself, met with him on Monday afternoon.
The meeting with the Commissioner was very positive and a very fair hearing was given on a number of internal issues within DFES. There was much discussion as each issue was explained. Over 40 pages of supporting information was tabled by the SESVA. As a result of this meeting DFES will be compiling an action table of all the issues raised by the SESVA and will be tracking progress of these issues.
DFES will be reporting to the SESVA from time to time on the progress of issues listed on the action table. The SESVA will report to Volunteers this progress from time to time. In closing I would like it noted that Commissioner Gregson was very positive towards the SES Volunteers and their issues and sounded quite sincere in wanting to assist us in overcoming issues within DFES that affect service delivery by the SES Volunteers.
Mac Holt Deputy Manager Kalbarri SES reports reparing for the possible need is what training is all about. Pre-bush fire season training in water bomber refill at the local airport, continuation training in cliff rescue situations and a night time river search and rescue scenario, in the last month have worked towards maintaining our readiness.
View the full report ===>Kalbarri-SES-Report-2013-12.pdf
Crash, Car v House, Maddington
At 10.56pm Saturday night Police were called to Attfield Street, Maddington where a Nissan Skyline coupe had collided with a house causing extensive damage to the house. There were no injuries to the occupants of the house. The driver of the vehicle had left the scene.
SES TRAINING INFORMATION SESSION – 28 November 2013
During the DFES conference in September, it was made obvious to the SES Volunteers Association (SESVA) that Training was a big issue for the SES Volunteers, followed by vehicles, leadership and communication. The SESVA then commenced data gathering and found some blockers within DFES who will not support the traditional way in which the SES Volunteers had trained and networked for decades.
As a result of this the SESVA met with DFES in October to discuss the best way to address the issues and assist the Volunteers in the training area. The development of an SES Pathways commenced as a result of these meetings. The DFES Academy then developed a training information session and invited SES Training Managers and others from around the state to attend this special session on 28 November.
Over 40 Volunteers and 12 staff, including 7 SESVA committee members, attended this session. Wade Isard started the evening by giving an overview of the Academy and included the main players who are involved in any of the SES training preparation.
Following are some dot points from the Information Session;
- DFES advise that all curriculum writing will include consultation with subject matter experts
- There is a backlog in the curriculum writing
- E-Learning is a coming method for training
- TRKs will be digital in future – after questions on this, including input from the SW region, DFES stated that all regional offices will be advised to print out the TRK for the Volunteers who require a hard copy
- Peter McCarthy described the draft SES Volunteer Pathways that are a result of meetings with the SES Volunteers Association. What is being considered, is having a Departmental Standard for courses as the base. Extra recorded activity (nominal hours and a log book) will be necessary for those Volunteers who want to achieve a national competency. Currently there is consultation with the staff on this and then it will go to key SES Volunteers for further input. This is the current concept and it is hoped that it will be the basis of the future training guide for the SES Volunteers
- Nominal hours were discussed at great length and included information that could make it very difficult for many Volunteers to achieve a number of these and in particular being a trainer/assessor in many skills
- Chrissy Caughey then went through some of the possible changes to the SES Qualifications including how the PUA12 was recently changed, some of the gap management and some methods that could be used to address nominal hours
- It was explained that it is hoped the TAE will be conducted by DFES with the Cert IV probably being outsourced.
- There was discussion by Volunteers about the drop in training caused by confusion in a number of areas including driver training. DFES promised to provide a chart for the Volunteers on Driver Training and the different components, what they mean and what you can and cannot do
- A number of decisions made at the District Office level about training are being blocked or changed at Chief Superintendent level. The SESVA will take this up at the appropriate forum as it has the potential to affect service delivery in Operations Command
The evening was an ideal venue for SES Volunteers to provide input and feedback on training matters – and they certainly did with DFES now having a good understanding of their issues and requirements for training.
Unfortunately NO SES Volunteers were sent by the DFES country regions to this very important and informative information session. The SESVA offered DFES the opportunity to print the SES Pathways and any other training matters in the SESVA Journal due out late March 2014. This has a large following amongst SES Volunteers and is one of the best forms of communication.