From the President
Admiration – what does it mean in the context of volunteering and in our case, the State and Nation’s SES Volunteers? “Respect and warm approval. Something regarded as impressive or worthy of respect.”
The dictionary provides a definition, but I do see and hear the true meaning through many people’s eyes, their language, and the affection towards our volunteer actions. One of the many wonderful things in carrying out the role as the SES Association President is hearing the value placed on the impact that SES Volunteers have within and around their communities.
It is understood that most SES Volunteers do not seek recognition, but it is important not to lose opportunities to celebrate the fine examples of those that work amongst us. In WA we have the SES Awards, while nationally we can nominate colleagues for higher awards such as the Australian Honours – Emergency Services Medal.
Recognition should also extend to the SES Service as well as the individual. The SES is a Volunteer driven service in Western Australia. We have no career SES personnel anymore to truly support the community front line. Importantly, we as volunteers can and should be heard on behalf of our communities. The opportunity is coming with the combination of three Legislative Acts into the Combined Emergency Services Act.
Your Association has been working hard behind the scenes gathering volunteer opinion, academic advice and legal position that will soon be workshopped again with SES Unit Leaders. This allows your Association to present to the government a position and options that allow for a better service from a stronger SES. Our focus is on Natural Hazards and that includes the effects of changing climate impacts our broader communities.
Volunteers, remember that your voice has and is an example of the strength required to look beyond simple emergency response actions. I truly look forward to hearing from as many of you as possible in the coming months.
You make the difference! – Greg Cook, President