SES Volunteer's Association of Western Australia Incorporated

One Association - Many Values

03/08/2021 – National Emergency Medal Cyclones Seroja & Yasi

National Emergency Medal

The SESVA asked DFES about the SES and other service Volunteers being eligible for the National Emergency Medal for their service during Cyclone Seroja and Cyclone Yasi in 2010 – 2011.

Below is the reply we have received from DFES after they have researched the matter.

” 32 SES volunteers and 4 DFES staff were deployed to Queensland to assist efforts between February 12 – 16, 2011”.  Each incident declared for the NEM sets out associated criteria to determine medal eligibility.

Below is an extract from the NEM website.

Queensland Floods 201011 and Cyclone Yasi

 The Queensland Floods 2010-11 and Cyclone Yasi was declared a nationally significant emergency for the purpose of the National Emergency Medal on 23 October 2011 with the establishment of the National Emergency Medal, per the National Emergency Medal Regulations 2011. 

Sustained service eligibility criteria

Queensland Floods 2010-11 and Cyclone Yasi Service performed during the Queensland Floods and Cyclone Yasi will be recognised though the clasp, ‘QLD 2010-11’.

The National Emergency Medal Committee determined the following criteria:

  • Service must be in the protection of lives and property, or in the service of interests, that are not their own, in direct response to the emergency, including support that enables or facilitates the emergency response:
  • the geographical State of Queensland;
  • the qualifying period begins on 21 December 2010 and ends on 14 February 2011; and
  • the minimum duration of service that a person is required to have completed to qualify for sustained service is: paid service on 28 days; or unpaid service on 14 days

The reason an application has not been made for the 32 volunteers and 4 staff is due to not being eligible – per this incident’s eligibility criteria. The group did not perform 14 days of unpaid sustained service and the period of deployment aligns to only 2 days of the said qualifying period.

Australian National Emergency Medal

This is unfortunate, however, there is some positives. On 29 June 2012 – Emergency Management Queensland advised the Department the WA contingent would be recognised by issuing the Queensland Flood and Cyclone Citation – a clasp that includes the officer’s name, and the instruction to be worn on the right side of a dress uniform.

Former Deputy Commissioner, Lloyd Bailey issued these individually (some by letter and some in person).  It appears the length of service criteria was questioned after Yasi, as since then, emergency incident eligibility service criteria have amended to 5 days service.”

At this stage, there has not been a declaration that Cyclone Seroja a nationally significant Emergency for the purpose of the National Emergency Medal. The SESVA has requested DFES apply to the NEM Committee to have Cyclone Seroja declared a nationally significant emergency.

At our last advice on the matter from DFES they have contacted Canberra but are yet to receive a reply.  Everyone expects this to be an involved and lengthy process.