Welcome to:

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. 

Executive Council

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

14/04/2014 - Perth ANZAC Day March Info

ANZAC Day March 2014

For all those that are interest in doing a little Marching Practise in preparation for ANZAC Day this is for you!!!

I have been able to secure a very Nice Ex-Army Drill Sargent that will assist with Left – Right – Left – Right and Wheeling.

Contact Ash Smith From Bayswater unit for more information or if you would like to come along.

Time: TBA depending on numbers
Place: CSU Belmont
Date: Sat 19th April – If unable to do this day suggest another day and we will see what we can do.
Contact: ash Smith, ashleysmith@iinet.net.au    or 0438134274

Come along and have some fun

Ash Smith
0438 134 274

09/04/2014 - SES Volunteers Involvement is Air Search Operation for MH 370

SES Air Search Observer Report

Since the search began around 22nd march for the Malaysia Airlines MH370 missing aircraft the air search missions have involved 164 highly trained SES air search observers (ASO) from Metro and country areas of WA. There have also been SES Volunteer air search observers from the NT, SA, NSW, Vic,ACT and Tas.  further ASO ‘s from QLD will arrive on the weekend.

Futher updates will be provided when available.

Gordon Hall

SESVA President

View DFES Circular ===>Operational Circular 25 - 2014 SES Assistance to MH370 Search.pdf

07/04/2014 - The History of the Bunker

A Brief History of the State Emergency Service Bunker
At 91 Leake St Belmont there is the Fire and Emergency Services Complex.   This complex was the headquarters of the Civil Defence and the State Emergency Service for many years.  At this location there is a large underground building known as the bunker.  The Bunker was built in 1944 and was to have been part of the operational war effort of the Second World War.

The 6 Fighter Sector Headquarters of the Royal Australian Air Force was setup in the Masonic Hall in Alma Street Mt. Lawley on 11 April 1942.  The 6 Fighter Sector Headquarters was connected to American Radar Units using SCR radars, north and east of Perth.  A typical RAAF Fighter Sector Headquarters was located in a secure location where squadron movements were controlled and checked by radio-telephony and every move was recorded, usually by WAAAFS with symbols on a large grid map.

The Fighter Sector Headquarters would receive coordinated reports of aircraft and ship sightings from the local regional Voluntary Air Observer headquarters. These reports were then coordinated with other intelligence from the various Radar Units in their allotted area, and plotted before the information was sent on to area combined headquarters.  In March 1944 the 6 Fighter Sector Headquarters was renamed the 106 Fighter Control Unit.  In January 1945 the 106 Fighter Control Unit moved into the new underground bunker in Belmont.  The bunker was used by the Civil Defence as a headquarters until the change to State Emergency Service (SES) in 1959.

As the headquarters for the SES, many operations were coordinated from this location.   The Bunker was the operational centre for controlling the response to all natural disasters that occurred in Western Australia from the mid-1970s, until the formation of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) in 1999.  Operationally it was manned by staff and volunteers of the SES who provided Planning and Logistical support to the Operational Controller.  In March 1999 the Bunker, as it is affectionately known, was manned continuously for several days whilst Cyclone Vance devastated Exmouth and Cyclone Elaine flooded Moora.

At that time Cyclone Vance was the most severe Cyclone to impact the Australian mainland and Cyclone Elaine caused the evacuation of about 1000 people from the town of Moora.  All this was controlled from a facility that was state of the art at the time.  During many major natural disasters the Bunker was visited by many leading politicians including the Premier and Minister for Emergency Services.   Offices were there for their use, and even a room was set aside for a Cabinet Meeting if so desired.

After the formation of FESA and amalgamation of a number of functions the Fire Services and Volunteer Marine Services also based staff at this complex in the 2000s.  During this period all the State Emergency Service support roles such as payroll, human services and communications were merged into FESA and relocated to 480 Hay Street, Perth.  Soon after the new Perth Fire Station was opened in 2010 the Metropolitan State Emergency Service Managers and support staff were relocated from the Belmont complex to FESA headquarters at 480 Hay St, Perth.  Today it has been converted to an Exercise Centre called the SIMCEN.

The above is an excerpt from the WA SES History
Gordon Hall - SESVA President

07/04/2014 - ANZAC Day Parade

SES Volunteers and ANZAC Day Parade

Ses Volunteers are invited to part of the ANZAC day parade in Perth.  The SESVA have Ash Smith and Phillip Petersen organising the SES side of the march.  DFES have issued their official operational circular that sets out the standards such as No Personal Protective Clothing to be worn.  The Dress for the SES Volunteers is, dress trousers, short sleeve shirt with medals (no tie), and akubra style hat if issued.

Please watch this website for further information from Ash Smith.

DFES Circular ======> 140404 2014 ANZAC Day Parade circular 2014 (1) (1).pdf

Gordon hall
SESVA President

03/03/2014 - SES Awards its time to Nominate

Nominations for State Emergency Service Awards now open

The nominations for annual awards recognising the outstanding achievement and excellence by SES Volunteers is now open.  The SES Volunteers Association encourages as many nominations as possible in recognition of the excellent work done by SES Volunteers.

There are three categories;

  • Peter Keillor Award – demonstrating a high level of dedication and commitment to the SES
  • Team Achievement Award – outstanding results in a particular area
  • Youth Achievement Award – a Volunteer (16/25) years who has made a valuable contribution to their Unit.

The nominations close on 30 May 2014 and the form and more information can be found at this link

Please consider nominations from your unit

Gordon Hall
SESVA President

31/03/2014 - SESVA Shin-Dig

State Emergency Service Social Shin-dig

The first social Shin-dig for Perth metro SES Volunteers and partners was held in Friday evening, 28 March 2014. Whilst it was a modest crowd (compared to metro Volunteer membership), those who attended agreed the principles of low cost opportunity  for networking, music and dancing was achieved.  It was a warm night with the band “Vinyl Recalls” playing a number of old favourite tunes. Phillip Petersen did the old heads and tails with five prizes being given away. Somehow Gordon threw four sets of tails in a row with the one pair of 50 cent coins.

Many stories were told as much of the talking juice was consumed.

The President of the SESVA, Gordon Hall, expressed how well the event was received by the Volunteers especially as many of them had had a busy week as Air Observers looking for any signs of the missing plane, MH370.  Gordon also presented the first ever of the SESVA Presidents’ Award for distinguished Service to the SES. This was presented to Andrae Moore for her high standard of excellence during 17 years of dedicated service to the community at the Tom Price and Bayswater SES Units.

Thanks sincerely go to the Bayswater SES Unit and a number of volunteers who made great hosts for the activity. There were two Volunteers (Brett and Ash) who were so emotional about the event, they even cried whilst peeling the onions for the sausage sizzle.  The SESVA has been encouraged by a number of Volunteers to hold another like event in the future and that they would personally encourage more SES Volunteers to attend.

Phillip Petersen
SESVA Committee Member

Some pictures taken on the night:

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