One Association - Many Values

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 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.


NDRC 2017 TeamWA
The SES Volunteers Association (SESVA) coordinated a team from Western Australia to participate in the SES National Disaster Rescue Challenge, conducted at Fort Direction, South Arm, Hobart.  The composite team was made up of SES Volunteers from five Perth metropolitan SES units:

  • Lawrence Bilson    Bayswater SES Unit    Team Leader
  • Cary Wintle          Bayswater SES Unit
  • Joanne Brown       Bayswater SES Unit
  • Douglas Head       Swan SES Unit
  • Ian Milne              Kalamunda SES Unit
  • Cathy Inman        Kalamunda SES Unit
  • Matt Pestell          Gosnells SES Unit
  • Anthony Rees      Stirling SES Unit
  • Mark Geary        Gosnells SES Unit     Team Coach
  • Phillip Petersen   Gosnells SES Unit    Team Manager

Initially the team and a squad of reserves trained under the guidance of James Hines from Northshore and then later by Mark Geary of Gosnells.  The team performed well in the preparation training and during the challenge. All SES teams were exposed to eight rescue scenarios which tested leadership, teamwork, tenacity and the national core skills of SES first responders.

The team successfully achieved the activities, often using equipment they had little exposure or training in, due to the different policies in our state, compared to the other states and territories. One example was the provision of high pressure air bags, which have been removed from general rescue use in SES (WA).

The team accepted feedback at the different stands and were praised by the judges for the manner in which they successfully tackled the challenges.  DFES Assistant Commissioner, Lloyd Bailey AFSM, and SESVA President, Gordon Hall, keenly followed the team through each activity, where they witnessed some great team work and a high level of skills, which did the team proud.
It was observed that what the team experienced and learnt, will make them better SES Volunteers to advance training in Western Australia into the future, delivering a great service to the community of Western Australia.
The SESVA plans to take learning’s from the challenge to the DFES training system planners.
The SESVA appreciates the support of a number of DFES staff including the immediate past FES Commissioner, Wayne Gregson APM, the recently appointed DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm and the Ops Command Chiefs for their personal support and assistance to the SESVA for the preparation and entry of the NDRC TeamWA.
SESVA President Gordon Hall said “what the WA team did over the two days was phenomenal. I observed all eight stands and the leadership and team dynamics was of the highest standard. Even during the grueling stands in the heat, no body balked or slackened off. In the last stand, sand bags were being filled, carted and laid for 50 of the 60 minutes. Everyone performed at a very high level and they have done us all proud. The leadership by Lawrence and the support he received from all team members was superb. All I can say is that they were brilliant. Well done TeamWA”
The SESVA believes it has been worth the three years of negotiation with DFES to enter an SES team into the National Challenge after some years of departure. The SESVA acknowledges the support of the chairman of the Australian Council of State Emergency Services (ACSES), Mark Smethurst DSC, AM, Commissioner of the NSW State Emergency Service for allowing Western Australia to enter, even though Western Australia is not a member of ACSES.
Final results were:

  • New South Wales
  • South Australia
  • Northern Territory
  • Australia Capital Territory
  • Queensland
  • Western Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria

The team appreciated the welcome and comradery from the host, Tasmania SES, and other state and territory SES teams. I was proud to be the manager of the team and wish the team members the very best in their SES Volunteering future. I thank the team, the trainers and the reserves for their contribution above normal levels of duty.

Phillip Petersen ESM
TeamWA Team Manager




Women currently working in the emergency services sector have a final opportunity to register their interest in a scholarship worth up to $8,000 to support participation in an accredited leadership development program. 

The fee support opportunity provides women with funding of between $3,000 and $8,000 to undertake a range of leadership development programs.

Funding must be apportioned by the end of 2017 and it is unsure when these grants will be available again. Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form here prior to December 15, 2017:

Bella Scharfenstein
Administration Officer
SES Volunteers Association (inc.)
Mob:   0499 619 287