Four Burdekin SES members have been recognised for their long serving contributions to the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) at the SES Week Awards Presentation in Townsville on Saturday.
John George, Mario Vardanega, Barbara Beckett, and Robert Sutcliffe each received a Meritorious Medal clasp for their periods of service (15, 25, 20, and 40 years respectively) to the Queensland SES. Mr Sutcliffe, Local Controller for the Burdekin region, also received a National Medal clasp for 35 years of ongoing diligent service.
In addition to the long service awards, Ayr Group member Bradley Hutchinson received an SES Week Award for his special contribution to the SES through his outstanding work, dedication and strong moral character.
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin congratulated each of the members for their awards, which were presented on the first day of national SES Week (20 – 28 October 2018).
“SES Week is an opportunity for the community to recognise and thank the Queensland SES for the invaluable service they perform,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“Queensland is the most disaster prone state in the country and consequently, the role played by SES members is critical to the recovery of our region in times of emergency and disasters.
“We are incredibly lucky in the Burdekin to have more than 40 SES members who are ready and willing to provide assistance.
“On behalf of Burdekin Shire Council and the community, I would like to congratulate Mario, Barbara, John, Robert and Brad on their remarkable achievements.
“I would also like to thank each and every SES volunteer for their contribution to keeping Queenslanders safe.
“To help raise awareness of the invaluable role the State Emergency Service plays in our community, Council has turned the Ayr CBD fountain orange for SES week.”
With approximately 6,200 active and unpaid members, the Queensland SES performs a diverse range of functions to respond to local, state and national disasters and emergencies.
Members are trained and equipped to help their communities across a range of functions, and their primary purpose is to assist the most vulnerable members of the community.
Burdekin SES Deputy Controller John Winn said more members were being sought leading up to the wet season.
“We’re trying to encourage more people to join,” Mr Winn said.
“Anyone from the ages of 16 through to 70, its no real issue as long as they’re reasonably fit and able to get out into the community and help out.”
Mr Winn said members received nationally recognised accredited training to equip them to deal with the challenges of the role.
“We encourage people to come along and join. The more members we can get, it’s greatly appreciated.”
For more information about the State Emergency Service, including how to join, visit www.ses.qld.gov.au.