You can also read all previous news items in our News Archive

23/10/2014 - Commissioner presents medal to Craig Chadwick

Chaddy collects his National Medal
SES Volunteer, Craig Chadwick, (Chaddy to his friends) was presented with National Medal by DFES Commissioner Wayne Gregson APM last night at the Rockingham SES Unit.  The Australian National Medal recognises long and diligent service by members of recognised government and voluntary organisations that risk their lives or safety to protect or assist the community in enforcement of the law or in times of emergency or natural disaster.  Craig joined the State Emergency Service (SES) in 1999 with the Morawa SES Unit where his value was very quickly realized. After qualifying in General Rescue and Storm Damage he very quickly became involved in road crash rescue, a prime role for the rural Morawa SES Unit.

Craig has attended many Road Crash Rescues and soon became competent as team leader and trainer in this skill.  His enthusiasm for Road Crash Rescue has led Craig into Road Crash Rescue Challenges as part of a composite SES team in Australia and New Zealand. He then shared his learning’s from these challenges into his Road Crash Rescue training so that SES Volunteers were trained to international standards.

Craig was the Morawa SES Local Manager for many years and was regularly involved in Midwest regional training. He was also a regional representative for the SES Consultative Committee and the SES Volunteer Association.  Three years ago Craig moved to Perth and joined Rockingham SES Unit where he was able to provide his expertise as a General Rescue and Storm Damage trainer.  Craig soon became the Rescue Officer and in the past eighteen months he has been the Deputy Manager for Rescue and active part of the Rockingham SES Unit’s management team.

Craig had been the principal for the Western Australia Agricultural College at Morawa and now is an associate principal at the Warnbro Community High School.
In his spare time, Chaddy has a passion for hot rods. He is a judge in a Hotrod Association and is building a car in his garage. More about that on his Facebook page.
Well done Chaddy!  Thanks to DFES Commissioner Wayne Gregson for personally presenting the medal.
Phillip Petersen ESM
SES Volunteer


Commissioner Wayne Gregson APM presents medal to Craig Chadwick

21/10/2014 - Service of Thanksgiving

Each year in October there is a Service of Thanksgiving in recognition of the crucial role emergency services Volunteers and Staff play in Western Australia.  This year it will be held on 26 October, 5pm – 6pm at St Georges Cathedral, Perth.  The SESVA supports this function and encourages SES Volunteers to attend this service in uniform with medals or smart casual.

Gordon Hall
SESVA President

15/10/2014 - Calendar Pictures

The SESVA is seeking pictures for the 2015 calendar.  Next year might seem along way in the future but it’s closer than you think.   Why not submit a picture from your unit and you can even request a particular month of the year.  Your pictures are better than mine.

Guidelines for pictures:

  • Tasteful in the spirt of Volunteering
  • Lots of orange (if possible)
  • Volunteers are correctly dressed with the appropriate PPE
  • Engaged in SES Activities using correct techniques
  • Projecting a professional image of SES Volunteers
  • Protect people’s privacy when necessary
  • Large format pictures (the more mega pixels the better) in portrait orientation is possible
How to send your pictures:

Email to:

John Capes
SESVA Editor and Webmaster

13/10/2014 - SES Advisory Committee 2014

State Emergency Service Volunteer Advisory Committee (2014)

The first mention of a consultative committee for the SES, known as the Volunteers’ Advisory Committee (VAC), was in a ministerial statement dated the 15 August 1985. The first VAC was then established and met in May 1987, with the first Chair being John Capes OAM.

In those days the VAC had one delegate for each region.

When the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) was established on 1 January 1999, the Volunteer Consultative Committee ceased to exist and under the FESA Act (1998) the State Emergency Service Consultative Committee was formed. All other services also established Consultative Committees.  In September 2012 when the FESA act (1998) was amended and became the FES act (1998) the FESA Board and Consultative Committees were abolished. The new Fire and Emergency Services act of 1998 now defined “Prescribed Associations” for each service and allowed for an Advisory Committee for each service to be set up.
An Instrument of Establishment was designed and submitted to the WA Government Cabinet for approval. This Instrument of Establishment included the names of all nominees for members and deputies.  The new SES VAC had its induction on 3 October 2014 and elected the Chair (Gordon Hall) and deputy Chair (Phillip Petersen).

Current Situation

The SES VAC is a strategic committee advising the FES Commissioner on matters related to anything that may impact SES Volunteers operationally, administratively and associated areas. As an advisory committee, different to a Consultative Committee, all matters to be considered come from the Office of the Commissioner and are returned with appropriate comments or advice.

The SESVA’s Executive is fully supportive of the VAC having a strong strategic focus that aims to keep the profile of the service at the forefront of emergency services, with the most informed advice and recommendations being made to the Commissioner.

The SES Volunteer Advisory Committee will;

  • be responsible for advising the FES Commissioner upon, and making recommendations in relation to, anything that may impact SES Volunteers, operationally, administratively or otherwise;
  • evaluate all reports and recommendations, from all DFES Committees, whose actions may affect SES Volunteers and escalating matters, where applicable, to the FES Commissioner;
  • provide quarterly reports to SES Unit members on all matters, recommendations and advice reported to the FES Commissioner or his staff.

The Committee is to consist of not more than 13 persons who have such knowledge, experience or competence that the Minister considers appropriate to the matters on which the Committee is to advise. The majority of the members are to be appointed from people nominated by the SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia (Inc.).

SES Advisory Committee Members - SES Advisory Committee - Members.pdf

10/10/2014 - Peer Support Applications Requested

DFES seeking applications for Volunteer Peer Support Officers

The SESVA has been working closely over the past months with DFES to ensure an effective Peer Support Program for SES Volunteers is put into place. DFES are now seeking applications from those interested in being Peer Support Officers.

  • Peer Support is a program aimed at enhancing and supporting the psychological and emotional resilience of the fire and emergency services community. This is achieved through a State-wide network of Peer Support Officers who will:
  • Act as a point of contact for all fire and emergency services employees, Volunteers and their partners/families who are identified as needing, or have requested, assistance.
  • Provide practical and confidential support.
  • Offer information on how to engage with appropriate health and well-being services.

Before the Program is officially open, DFES is inviting interested employees and Volunteers from all services and areas to apply to be a Peer Support Officer.

Further information on the Peer Support Program can be found at:

For clarification or further information please call  -  Charlotte Hunter, DFES Wellness Project Officer on 93959874

Gordon Hall
SESVA President

09/10/2014 - Kathmandu Offer to SES Volunteers

To all SES Volunteers,

It is my pleasure to once again welcome SES volunteers, associates and their families to Kathmandu during our Community Partners event that kicked off this week.  The offer allows access to corporate pricing across the entire range in store plus a further 10% off clearance items from Thursday the 9th October to Monday the 27th October. 

SES volunteers and associates can choose to shop at any of our stores across the state or country and just need to show proof of involvement with Velocity.   I have attached a personalised flyer with the information and a few pricing examples for you to share and/or forward as you wish.   We hope this exclusive offer will be enjoyed by all as the prices really are amazing.

If you need any further information or we can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to call myself or Sean Tonkin at the Innaloo store on 9445 1144.
Kind regards,
Megan Kennedy
Regional Manager - Western Region     

View leaflet ===>SES - Kathmandu Offer.pdf

08/10/2014 - Augusta Margaret River SES farewells Bob Lewis

Augusta Margaret River SES says goodbye

On 22 September, Augusta Margaret River SES gathered to farewell former Deputy Local Manager Robert (Bob) Lewis who passed away in Queensland in May. The unit chose to plant an ash tree in Bob’s memory and gathered family, friends and colleagues together for a short ceremony to unveil this and to honour his memory.
Bob began his volunteer service with the Augusta-Margaret River State Emergency Service Unit in 2007. He quickly became an integral part of the close knit team of volunteers as he participated in weekly training events, accredited courses including Land Search Team Member, Operate communications systems and equipment leading to the completion of Certificate 11 Public Safety SES Rescue in 2010.

Using his life experiences together with his SES training Bob assisted in a variety of emergency situations which included an extended coastal search for missing fishermen, support roles as water-bomber refiller during fire seasons, storm and water damage operations during the stormy times, ambulance assists whenever required and many other operations that the SES volunteers are asked to respond to. 

In 2008 he was elected by his fellow volunteers to the position of Deputy Manager, a position he held until his retirement from the unit in 2013. Bob was acknowledged by FESA SES for 5 years of service in 2012. In 2013 Bob was selected to receive the Colin Lord Perpetual Trophy for his efforts in going over and beyond his duty in search and rescue. He was very humbled by this acknowledgement of his contribution to the emergency services.

As Deputy Manager Bob was often involved in the administrative tasks required to maintain an effective and efficient response to emergencies and community activities. These tasks included financial, Local Emergency Management Advisory Committee meetings and meeting with community representatives when the unit was required to participate in events such as ANZAC Day, Leeuwin Concerts and Augusta Margaret River Agriculture Show.

Robert was the driving force behind Margaret River Monster Charity Auction drawing emergency agencies and community together to help those affected by the Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria.   Additionally Bob was the driving force behind the new Augusta Margaret River SES building which officially opened in November 2012, being both the project manager appointed by the AMR Shire as well as a dedicated volunteer representative ensuring that the AMR SES building is one of the most well equipped and fit for task buildings in the state.

Although Bob’s wife Patricia wasn’t able to attend, she sent her thoughts and best wishes along and Bob's son Mark and daughter Kerry were there with their families as well as many friends, SES team mates and colleagues from the Augusta Margaret River Shire. It was a fitting send of to a man who made such a big impact on the community of Margaret River.

Lisa Hoskin
Local Manager
Augusta Margaret River SES
0406 511839

Some pictures taken of the ceremony

Celebrant Jen Burrows

Crowd gathers to farewell Bob Lewis

Family friend Jenny Montgomery reading a message from Bob's wife Patricia

08/10/2014 - DFES Thanks Giving Service

A Reminder for the Thanksgiving Service
Here is a reminder that the annual Thanksgiving Service is not far away. It’s time for quick action by units for planning participation.  The SES Volunteers are too often thinking more about others. The Thanksgiving Service is an opportunity for DFES Volunteers and staff to reflect upon the good work we do for our community and the reason why we do it.

The mingling with our emergency service colleagues, with the DFES hosted supper is only surpassed by watching the glorious sunset over Perth from the grounds of St Georges Cathedral. I find it great way to start a new week in my busy life.
Do yourself a favour, make the effort if you can, just like the two SES Volunteers who travelled all the way from Bunbury last year to participate.
Phillip Petersen ESM
SES Volunteer & SESVA Committee Member

Some pictures from last years service

Group pictures - Volunteers and staff

Some well known SES Volunteers enjoying a drink after the service

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