Volunteer SES Groups in Queensland find their voice

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Volunteer SES Groups in Queensland find their voice

Over the ANZAC Day long weekend, volunteer members of the State Emergency Service (SES) Association steering committee met with the Senior Executive Management of the Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland (RFBAQ) to progress the formation of an association to represent all SES Groups in Queensland.

Currently SES volunteer Groups across the state do not have an elected association to be the voice for one of the most highly respected volunteer organisations in Queensland.

The RFBAQ President and General Manager were approached in May 2013 to attend the SES Local Controllers Conference by Peter Jeffrey, Director, SES Management and Support Services Unit. At this conference a SES volunteer steering committee was formed to progress the concept of giving all SES Groups and volunteers a democratically elected voice.

The RFBAQ and SES Association steering committee recognises that the handing down and implementation of the Malone Review into the Rural Fire Service has a number of important opportunities for the SES. With the release of the Keelty Report and its recommendation that both Rural Fire and SES will be supported and operationally managed by a combined Deputy Commissioner the need for SES representation is essential.

Two of many examples of the need for an SES association as outlined in the Malone Review are as follows '

  • Malone Recommendation 3 ' That a ministerial advisory council be established to inform the Minister of matters relating to Rural Fire and SES volunteers.
  • Malone Recommendation 24 ' This will see a member of the SES association sit on selection/recruitment panels for paid SES frontline staff.

During the meeting last weekend the SES Association steering committee finalised plans for the formation of the State Emergency Service Association Queensland (SESAQ), and all SES Groups across the state will start receiving information relating to the proposed constitution, funding model, aims and goals, electoral boundaries and election cycle.

The RFBAQ will continue to provide support to enable the steering committee to achieve association status and lobby key stakeholders for support of the new association.

The RFBAQ recognises the SESAQ steering committee as the representative voice for all SES Groups in Queensland.

SESAQ steering committee members '

Chairman
Mark Connors
Proserpine
Secretary/Treasurer
Edward Cowie
Rockhampton
Member
Andrew Sanders
Airlie Beach
Member
Justin Englert
Mackay
Member
Paul Kelly
Brisbane
Member
Peter Healey
Brisbane
Member
Scott Catterall
Brisbane
Member
Alan Permberton
Murweh
Member
Sarah Lethirdge
Mackay
Member
Zac Murphy
Mount Isa


Picture from back L to R: Justin Choveaux, RFBAQ General Manager; Tracy Flint, RFBAQ Operation Manager; Eddie Cowie, SES; Mark Connors, SES; Peter Healey, SES; Andrew Sanders, SES. Front L to R: Jon Bundy, RFBAQ Representative; Justin Englert, SES; Brian Needham, RFBAQ Representative; Marilyn King, RFBAQ Representative; Scott Catterall, SES; Mike Garrahy, RFBAQ President; John Thomson, RFBAQ Representative.

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