Welcome to:

The SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia Incorporated (SESVA)

(The prescribed Association for SES Volunteers in WA)

"Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless"

by Sherry Anderson

 

 

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

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. 

Executive Council

"There shall be an Executive Council (Executive), consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The Executive shall take care of the day to day affairs of the Association, and may authorise payments on behalf of the Association only in accordance with the Business Rules of the Association."

SESVA Objectives & Current Activities

Current News

You can also view Archived News Items going back to 2010 and Archived Newsletters going back to 2017.

 

Woolworths Group says thank you to volunteer firefighters and emergency services with 10% discount.

Woolworths Group is saying thank you to Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Services teams by providing them with a 10% in-store discount* across Woolworths Supermarkets, Woolworths Metro, BIG W, Dan Murphy’s and BWS stores from today until Friday, 31 January 2020.

The discount is a gesture of Woolworths Group’s appreciation for the role Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Services personnel have played during the bushfires, but also for their ongoing support of communities throughout the year.

Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci said; “We are humbled and grateful to the volunteer firefighters and emergency service teams who have been risking their lives, in the thick of the bushfires, standing by communities to help them during this challenging period.

“This discount offer is a gesture of our thank you to them for their tireless service all year round to the community. We hope they’ll be able to take full advantage of it across our entire Group of stores from now until the end of the month.”

The discount applies to in-store purchases only when Emergency Services identification is shown. For a full list of eligible volunteer firefighting and emergency services organisations, visit woolworths.com.au/community.

 



Meeting with Premier and Minister

The State Emergency Service Volunteers Association appreciates the WA government approach to consultation to the Federal volunteer compensation scheme. The Association President, Mr Greg Cook and the other four Association Presidents were invited to meet with the Premier, the Minister, the Commissioner and the Chief of Staff, Commissioners Office.

It was not what we expected. A few basic questions from the Premier to gain our collective thoughts which stimulated a great conversation between all attendees. I think we all may have learned some new sea faring terminology.

Simply put, the Association is seeking a position with the State that will see that volunteers are not out of pocket when attending emergency incidents. No we don’t what to get paid and destroy the ethos of volunteering. This is critical important to maintain our community’s resilience and encourage broad participation for all the right reasons.

A growing issue was also raised at the meeting that there is an increasing number of non-genuine charity collections based on the eastern states fires. If you or your unit are made aware of any of these practices, please notify the Association or DFES.

While we were on the subject of hardship, it was also discussed that many of the donations that are being received possibly could be channelled into the volunteer hardship scheme. As a way of consultation, the attending Associations warmly received and endorsed this position and the benefits that it will bring to SES Volunteers.

Stop Press Newsletter January 2020 - 



The SESVA is pleased to be able to advise Grill'd Healthy Burgers-Local Matters Program for month of February will be donating to our program to support Eastern States SES Units who need assistance.  

HOW IT TYPICALLY WORKS: Each month every Grill’d restaurant donates to 3 different local community groups, which are represented by a jar. With every purchase we offer our customers a token, which they then place in a jar. The group with the most amount of tokens in their jar at the end of the month will receive a donation of $300, while the other two receive $100. To learn more about the program, check out our website here: www.grilld.com.au/about/localmatters. 

Given the current bushfire crisis they are going to be doing a Local Matters takeover whereby all WA restaurants will be supporting the same three organisations with a focus on our emergency services, wildlife rescue and post-disaster recovery – and the SES Volunteers Association of WA will be one of the groups. 

What this means is that for the month of February we will have a Local Matters jar in all 21 of our WA restaurants, with the chance to receive a donation of at least $2,100 and up to $10,500.

This support from Grill'd Healthy Burgers is really appreciated by the SESVA, and will definitely help our Eastern States SES Units.

Thank you Grilled Healthy Burgers.

 



AGL are supporting SES Volunteers in this stateIf you are a customer of AGL, and have been active in supporting our firefighters in WA or the Eastern States, then you are eligible for the credit mentioned in the AGL statement below.  Just claim the credit.

Support for volunteer firefighters and SES volunteers

AGL will support active volunteer firefighters and SES volunteers by providing them with a $150 credit per customer on their electricity or gas bills. The support is available to small business and residential customers. 

Registered and active volunteer firefighters and SES volunteers should provide their volunteer ID number to AGL customer service staff and the credit will be applied to their next bill. 

We know that at a time like this, energy bills are probably the last thing on the minds of volunteers. 

But when they have time to think about their own position, they can contact AGL at their convenience on 131 245 at any time before 7 July 2020 to claim the credit. Our customer service centres are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


 



A number of SES Units  have advised they  will be running fund raising events with all profits going to support  Eastern States SES Units that has had damage or is going through tough times due to the fires.

If any SES Units wish to also assist our Eastern Sates Cousins in some way, please let the Secretary know.

We will collate any funds Units wish to donate and forward them to the relevant SES Volunteer Associations in the Eastern States for distribution to needy SES Units.

 

SESVA contact – sesva.secretary@ses-wa.asn.au



Volunteer Compensation for SES Volunteers

The WA SES VA Executive through the National SES Volunteers Association has been working with the Directors of each of the State and Territory Volunteer Associations for the past 7 days on compensation or reimbursement for out of pocket expenses for SES Volunteers.  The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) have now completed their assessment of the situation and the link below shows what they are doing. 

https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/volunteering-jobs/volunteer/support-for-qfes-volunteers

To read the national position please see attachment

Greg Cook - President SESVA (WA) and Director, National SES Volunteers Association.


Statement from the Chairman of the National SES Volunteers Association Gordon Hall ESM follows: 

Volunteer Compensation should be extended to SES Volunteers

The recently announced Federal Government scheme to compensate volunteer firefighters in some states should be extended nationally and should include volunteer members of the State Emergency Service (SES).

“The National SES Volunteers Association (NSESVA), representing more than 30,000 SES Volunteers across Australia, believe that SES Volunteers should be reimbursed where they lose income, or for out of pocket expenses, in extended response to emergency events, whether it be for fire support, flood, storm, tsunami or earthquake” said NSESVA President Gordon Hall.

This fire season SES volunteers have been working for extended periods around the country supporting firefighting operations, taking members away from work, family and other commitments. Like Fire volunteers, SES members in the workforce forgo income to serve and protect the community. When this happens for extended periods, it becomes a burden on them, their families and employers.

Mr Hall continued “There needs to be equity for all emergency response personnel, including the SES Volunteers across the country”

Mr Hall added “Whilst SES volunteers generally do not want payment for their services, they also believe that being a volunteer should not be a financial burden to themselves or their families.”

There are rigorous processes to screen new SES Volunteers with obligations for members to attend training and operations which protects against abuse of this scheme.

The NSESVA believes there should be no payment to volunteers for their service in volunteering to their community, however reimbursement for lost income and out of pocket expenses, within a set criterion is to be supported.

“The NSESVA is severely disappointed about this scheme being formulated without wider consultation and we call upon the Federal Government to urgently meet with the emergency responder peak volunteer bodies, to discuss and provide their knowledge and experience as input to the Federal Government scheme.” said Mr Hall

“The new normal of extended, environment-related incidents around the country requires more volunteers over longer periods of time.   A uniform national scheme is necessary to compensate Fire and SES Volunteers for loss of income is fair when the community is relying on volunteer efforts, particularly for survival.  The alternative of more full-time or paid standby emergency personnel would be significantly more in cost.”  Mr Hall concluded.  

 

Gordon Hall ESM

Chairman - Board of Directors

National SES Volunteers Association