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President's Newsletter May 2016

by | July 8, 2016
President's Newsletter May 2016

President's Message

We are fast approaching our 2016 Volunteers Association Conference. The conference will be held at the Sofitel Hotel in Sydney, on October 8. We are running with the theme of ‘Volunteers Supporting Volunteers’ and our presenters will be made up of your peers for all of the breakout sessions. We also have Robyn Moore- the voice of Blinky Bill as our keynote speaker. Robyn presented at this year’s National Volunteering Conference and has some really valuable messages for volunteers.

This month we have seen well above average temperatures around the state, and below average rainfalls, but training and development has not stopped. Sydney Southern Region hosted their VA-funded Flood Rescue Competition to keep members skills high, and maintain the team spirit within the flood rescue operators.

This event was the result of a 2015 Unit Grant, and we will be announcing the successful 2016 Funding Scheme applicants in the coming months. Here’s hoping there has been another application like the Flood Rescue Challenge that encourages participation from many members, with varying skill sets and role descriptions to ensure we are a highly capable Service in our core roles!

We also had the first meeting of our Emerging Leaders Program. We are looking forward to sharing with you the progress and projects of this group! Watch this space!


There has been a fair bit of work going on in this space recently.

A big thank you to the 552 people that participated in the quick online survey we did concerning uniforms.

The Volunteers Association representative on the Uniform Committee will table this information so that it can be taken into consideration for any decisions that are made to changing the Uniform.

You can access the survey results on the member’s section of our website.

We have also received two Volunteer Impact Statements seeking feedback on the Operations Management Project and PPE and PPC Guideline. You can provide feedback via your Area Representative.

Unit Grants and Scholarships

Thank you to everyone that applied for a grant or scholarship.

This year we have received lots of applications so we will need to make some tough decisions on the great ideas that we will support.

We are currently in the process of finalising all the paperwork for the grants—including chasing up missing documents or asking questions about the application.

Please rest assured that we will be in contact once we have reviewed all the applications and made a decision.  We will let you know the outcome of your application.

If you are successful we will be presenting the Grants and Scholarships at our Conference on 8 October 2016 so put that date aside now!

National Volunteeing Work

During National Volunteering week we participated in a number of events to recognise the contribution that SES Volunteers make to their communities before during and after emergencies.

At the start of the week we were invited to Parliament house to attend the launch of the NSW Volunteering Strategy. During 2015 we attended a number of workshops hosted by the NSW Government which enabled us to contribute to the Strategy. The strategy provides a number of best practice principles to support and encourage volunteering. The strategy is available at: http://www.volunteering.nsw.gov.au

On Wear Orange Wednesday we celebrated the great work done by our members by sharing a meal and wearing some great fashion.

We also had the opportunity to attend Parliament House to see the NSW SES Cadet of the Year—Rebekah Moussa—be recognised by the Minister for Emergency Services and the Acting Commissioner for her achievement.

At the end of the week we launched our Emerging Leaders Program with nine people from around the State coming together to meet with the Board of Directors to discuss leadership, mentoring, presentations and the projects that will be done through the program.

Flood Rescue Challenge

Sydney Southern Region hosted their Flood Rescue Challenge in late May for all levels of flood rescue operators. This was a result of a 2015 Volunteers Association Unit Grant and by all accounts, the day was a huge success.

Not only did participants have the opportunity to work with other operators from across the region, but the region itself, and the dedicated flood rescue team (primarily made up of volunteers) were able to gauge where the Region’s flood rescue capability was and what areas volunteers would like further development.

A big thank you to all of the participants for their enthusiasm and attendance and a special mention to Carl Manning for applying for such an innovative Unit Grant!


The NSW SES Volunteers Association is now calling for nominations for the following positions on the Board of Directors;

  • Functional Reporting Director – Member Recognition
  • Functional Reporting Director – Organisational Performance

In accordance with our constitution, after holding a Position on the Board of Directors for three years, the Director is required to stand for re-election.

For these elections, the position of Functional Reporting Director – Member Recognition was previously held by Mr Peter Lalor ESM and the position of Functional Reporting Director - Organisational Performance is a newly created position.

A nomination form has been distributed to all members along with position descriptions.

If you wish to nominate for a position please complete the form and return to our office with a resume and short biography by 9am Monday 27th June 2016.

If returning by post, please ensure you allow sufficient time in order for your nomination to be received in the office by this time.