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President's Newsletter October 2015

by | July 8, 2016
President's Newsletter October 2015

Presidents Message

I’m waiting for the time I can say that it has been a quiet month! Operational activity, storms, community events and the SES Conference; it has all been happening!

October was also Mental Health Month, with a focus on ‘Value Your Mind’. The idea was to identify ways that you incorporate mental health into your daily life and also how you can make mental health a priority for you. But we don’t want this to just be a theme for a month and then get forgotten. We need to recognise how important it is in our everyday life and try and live it year-around.

As I alluded to earlier, the Controller’s Conference was held by the SES at the end of October, with our contribution being the Youth Forum. I had the pleasure of speaking at the dinner on the Saturday night and for those of you who were not present, I shared my beliefs on leadership and that I believe it has to come in part from the next generation of SES volunteers.

That while knowledge and experience is always going to be valuable, it is the new vision, ambition and ideas from our young members that are going to shape to future of organisation.

I also had the pleasure of showing a new video at the conference that will be used by the Volunteers Association for corporate functions. The video was drawn from the State Disaster Rescue Challenge and a dedicated filming day in Ku-Ring-Gai.

An exciting early Christmas present from the VA is coming out to all of our members too! We have all been working on a brand new Member Benefits Program and are expecting delivery from late November. The program is a member card that entitles you to special offers, discounts and/or promotions from selected providers.

Keep your eye on your mailbox and make sure your contact details are up-to-date!!

Finally, this month I trialled the concept of a Presidents Workshop. I like the idea that a manager surrounds themselves with experts in particular fields and then draws on that expertise to thrash out ideas. We have run the first of a series of workshops in October to start the process of building a pathway for some of the big ticket items on out strategic plan.

I am happy with the ideas that came out of the first workshop and look forward to be able to share the progress of these ideas after we have implemented them.

Don’t forget to start your Christmas shopping, dig out decorations and get ready for the festive season!

Volunteer memorial Service

A great day was had by all who attended the Annual Emergency Services Volunteers Memorial Service. Members were able to catch up with colleagues and pay their respects to those Emergency Services Volunteers who have lost their lives whilst serving the community.

60th Anniversary Conference

Congratulations to the State Emergency Service for a great Conference to celebrate 60 years of service. Positive reports were heard from all the members that attended with highlights including the high caliber speakers, informative break outs sessions, governor’s reception and formal dinner - a job well done.

A specific highlight was the Young Leaders who were sponsored by the Association and presented their vision for the future and challenged all in attendance on what they were doing about it.

Learning About Us

A group of Sydney University students presented their results on Valuing our Volunteers. This work built on research undertaken by Professor John Handmer a number of years ago and can now be used by the Association to demonstrate the economic contribution made by our members in doing what they do to support communities before, during and after emergencies.


Our elections are now finished. We would like to welcome Trish Orchard who will be taking up a position as Functional Reporting Director Reputation. Trish will commence in her new role at the completion of the Annual General Meeting in November.

2016 Conference

We are currently planning for the 2016 Volunteers Association conference which will be held on 8 October 2016. Members that have ideas for topics, speakers, workshops or displays should send these through to the office by the end of November 2015.

Don't Forget