SES Volunteer's Association of Western Australia Incorporated

One Association - Many Values

17/05/2024 – Vale – Major General Brian (Hori) Howard – Former NSW SES Director General

Greg Cook SESVA President advises the passing of former NSW SES Director General – Major General Brian (Hori) Howard AO MC ESM (Rtd), who passed away on Thursday and express the SESVA condolences to his family, friends and the Emergency Services community.

Hori led NSW SES from 1989 to 2001 and during this time oversaw significant improvements, steering the agency towards a more professional approach in relation to its combat roles. This included modernising equipment, communications systems and vehicles, as well as improving the training standards of our members, and developing plans that guided the agency’s response to flood and storm threats.

During his time as Director General, Hori led a number of emergency operations in response to major flooding and severe storms in NSW and was and was awarded the Emergency Services Medal for his efforts.

By the time he retired from the NSW SES, Hori had significantly improved the SES profile in the community, setting a solid foundation for the developments that were to follow for the future SES.

He also held numerous Board roles, such as Chair of the NSW State Emergency Management Committee, Chair of the Australian Council of State Emergency Services and the Australian Emergency Management Volunteer Forum.

NSW SES Acting Commissioner Damien Johnston offered his condolences on behalf of the SES to Hori’s family. “Hori was one of our longest-serving Director Generals, who left a lasting legacy on the NSW SES, and he will be sorely missed,” he said.





former NSW SES Director General - Major General Brian (Hori) Howard AO MC ESM (Rtd).

07/05/2014 – DFES Volunteer Training Forum

SESVA Management Committee member Lower South West, Les Hayter ESM, attended the DFES Volunteer Training Forum in Belmont on Saturday 20th April 2024, along with SESVA Executive members, volunteers from SES units and the other services, as well DFES staff.

“I came away from this forum with renewed vision and faith in some DFES actions and a re- turn to higher level recognition of the value of SES Volunteers in the Natural Hazards response area,” reveals Les.

For those who don’t know, Les is the former and last SES State Training Manager FESA/DFES and Les also served as the Secretary to National Education and Training Committee (NETC) of the Australian Council of State/Territory Emergency Services (ACSES), and is the current National SESVA (NSESVA) representative to the Public Skills Australia – Public Safety Training Package Review (SES Qualifications & Competency Standards).

Les provides his observations here with more to follow in the June edition of the Newsletter:

“It was my first official outing with the SES Volunteers Association of WA and, in fact, my very first meeting of the Volunteer Training Advisory Group (VTAG) as a rep for the WA SESVA. The forum was for members of all the VTAGs and the Associations TAG (ATAG) with key Learning and Development staff attending from the DFES Academy, Cockburn Central, the Bushfire Centre of Excellence and more. The aspects covered were extensive and very relevant now. It will not be wasted effort if even half the items are addressed in the following months and year ahead.

At this point I am going to give a bit of background because I was there and was a big part of it!

In the earlier years of WA SES we trained to a national standard developed nationally by the Commonwealth Government using all emergency agencies to develop overarching theory and technique booklets – Australian Emergency Manuals (AEM’s). These were accompanied by training resources developed at the National SES Level into what were termed Training Resource Packages (TRPs). These are not the same as the National Training Packages we see today which are a collection of skills and qualifications for multiple sectors of the Emergency Services (including Fire and SES). Each jurisdiction (State or Territory) would add any regional differences using a supplementary set of notes (i.e. WASES Supplements) about those differences to the TRP. These were gradually replaced by Training Resource Kits (TRKs) which we continue to see today, though some of the AEMs and TRPs can still be found in some Unit training offices.

In summary, our initial training for as long as I can go back was to a national standard (AEMs with TRPs). Importantly they were also ‘recognised and transferable’ between states and territories.

Then we went onto the Public Safety Training Package and most SES skills and knowledge were systematically transformed from

TRPs into the TRKs we see today since 2001. Note that not all skills had alignment to a national competency.

But something changed – DFES decided to make sure they addressed the operational roles of members performing tasks under the DFES umbrella, but any reference and equity (alignment) with the national training standards (Units of Competency) within the Public Safety Training Package was removed from the TRKs. Hence, we don’t get a straight-forward process known as Recog- nition of Current Competency (RCC) with other SES States and Territories.

This is one of our major issues right now and it was covered at the forum in some detail.”

06/05/2024 – Summary of the SESVA Management Committee Meeting April 2014


Legislation Working Group

The draft SESVA Legislation Position Paper is being formatted for printing. It is proposed to release the document soon and provide briefings to key stakeholders. It is uncertain whether the Green Paper will be released this year.

Media and PR Strategy sub-committee

The inaugural meeting of this sub-committee on 21 March was extremely positive with the next meeting scheduled for June. The Media & PR Strategy sub-committee has oversight of various sub-committees, including the Heritage group.

ICT Working Group

Action items include issues relating to the cyber security and spamming and implementing solutions, as well as establishing Multi Factor Authentication for the SESVA website, email system and data storage. Discussion also included Password Management and SESVA Facebook page administration.

SESVA Constitution – review

While the VA Constitution is being reviewed and while it meets the model rules of the Associations Act in WA, it needs to be more contemporary in some areas. Management Committee members are providing comment.

Training Matters

Management Committee members are meeting with Chief Superintendent Peter Curran to raise learning and development related issues. President, Secretary, Les Hayter, Alan Hawke are also attending 20th April Training Forum (refer to Training Forum article elsewhere in this edition of the Newsletter).


Fundraising – NSESA Raffle

Raffle No. 2 has been launched in WA.

Fitness for Role Meeting

A report of the meeting has been provided to the Executive. The report to be sent to Management Committee members along with a copy of the PowerPoint presentation provided by Mitch Sewell. These to be circulated to all member units, with feedback being encouraged. Those units who have not yet indicated their preference to be reminded to do so before an update is provided to the FES Commissioner on the SESVA position relating to the adoption and implementation of the FFR Program and Framework.

Marking the 65th Anniversary of SES

The 65th anniversary of the SES in WA aligns with the 125th anniversary of Fire Services in WA. Celebrating the SES 65th anniversary would provide an opportunity for SES to celebrate with other SES members. Some SES unit members of have indicated their interest in assisting with a SES 65th Anniversary event in October or November. If organising the event proved practicable and successful this could set a precedent for future anniversaries being celebrated in this manner. The Management Committee are prepared to support the proposal.

SESVA PR Photo Frames – planned distribution and use

The SES photo panel, which is SES WOW Day specific on one side and SES generic on the other has been designed for use by SES Units in their public relations/community engagement activities, notably WOW Day. Twelve frames have been produced at this point and, as the frames are quite large, it is envisaged one frame would be provided to each Management Committee member as custodians where they become a ‘pick up and drop off point’ for their region’s units to borrow.


03/05/2024 – SESVA Committee Members new and retiring

Welcome to Hugh Bryan, Moora SES Local Manager

Hugh joined the Moora SES in 1983 and was appointed Local Coordinator of the unit in 1995. He was thrown in the deep end when Moora was flooded in March, March, May and again in August 1999.

Hugh has subsequently attended many incidents, training and exercises throughout the region over his 40 plus years of service.

Hugh received a FESA Recognition Award following the Moora following the Moora floods and was awarded the second Clasp to the Australian National Medal presented to him in 2022.

Hugh’s passion is giving back to the community by volunteering and supporting others who want to give back to community in the same, worthwhile way.

Farewell and thankyou to long-serving member Steve Cable, Local Manager, Kalbarri SES

Steve has been an inspiring source of experience and wisdom for the Committee, representing the Midwest- Gascoyne region for almost 10 years. Although he steps down from the role, we know his support will be there when needed.

Steve joined the SES in Karratha 1985 where he served as the Rescue Officer and then Local Manager for 20 years and also served as a member of the SES Volunteer Advisory Committee (VAC) during this time.

Steve has experienced and organised the response to hundreds of vehicle crashes, cliff rescues, searches, storm damage, floods and major cyclone events (Tropical Cyclone Bobby and Vance).

When Steve moved to Kalbarri in 2006 he joined the local SES unit, where he assisted to build the unit into a professional emergency response group. He was appointed Rescue Officer and has been Local Manager since 2010.

Tropical Cyclones followed Steve from the Pilbara and led the local response to TC Seroja in 2021. In addition, Steve is an instructor in nearly all SES disciplines and travels throughout the region running courses.

Steve’s passion and dedication will be missed by the Management Committee.

Thank you for your service Steve!

Farewell and thankyou to retiring member Kerry Watts (Keys), Pingelly SES

Kerry is a motivational leader who has built a reputation for staging some excellent multi-service and multi-unit region- al exercises in the Upper Great Southern region where she has represented the Committee for the past two years.

Kerry joined the SES as a member of the Swan unit in 1997, and held the position of Deputy Manager (Logistics) under the leadership of Paul Shakes OAM.

She spent 3 years there before moving to Jurien Bay and helped at Moora when they needed. On returning back to Perth in 2009, after moving a couple more times, she joined the Gosnells Unit until moving again where she trans- ferred to the Pingelly SES in 2015.

Kerry is moving back to the metropolitan area and has been a strong advocate for the SES volunteers in the Upper Great Southern region where she been the SESVA Management Committee since February 2022.  Kerry leaves big shoes to fill.

Thank you for your service Kerry!

02/05/2024 – From the SESVA President May 2024

From the SESVA President

Hello once again

It is a privilege to share the busy life of many SES volunteers throughout Western Australia. The SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia draws its committee members from serving and active SES Unit members. Each of the 12 DFES regions has an elected representative to voice the region’s pride in its achievements, to enable your voice to be heard by the DFES Executive and Members of Parliament. Such discussions continue on important topics such as:

  • SES Resources—vehicles, watercraft, unit
  • The Fitness for Role
  • The Consolidated Emergency Services
  • Wear Orange Wednesday or WOW
  • WAFES Conference at
  • Various committee representations which include but are not limited to:
    • SEMC Policy Sub-
    • SES Volunteers Advisory Committee for the Minister and
    • Reforming the Training Consultation Groups—VTAG and
    • Importantly, the discussions and assistance to SES on numerous subjects and assisting in promoting

Shortly, the Association will be calling for nominations for its committee vacancies. This is an opportunity for the SES Regions, SES Units, and their members to enjoy being the formal conduit in making a difference in our service. It will mean working on behalf of your colleagues and in their collective best interests.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the WAFES Conference and our Association’s AGM on Sunday morning, September 8th at 09:00 am.

Because of the generous support by West Australians of SESVA raffle, we have been able to cover the cost of the air- fares for a young SES volunteer, Lauren Bailey, to attend the Canberra Memorial Service on 2 May where she will also join the National SESVA Young Emerging Leaders Program.

Thank you again to all our volunteers for your continued service to and with your local communities. We need to stand up and celebrate being SES. An Orange WOW factor

Kind Regards

Greg Cook, President