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Wondai SES Wins Regional Award

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South Burnett North Local Controller and chaplain Alan Sage received the SES Member of the Year award at an SES Week awards ceremony in Gympie on Saturday

October 9, 2017

The Wondai SES Group – which was on its last legs just a year ago – has been named the North Coast Region’s 2017 Regional Group of the Year.

And South Burnett North Local Controller and chaplain Alan Sage has received the prestigious SES Member of the Year award.

SES personnel from the Sunshine Coast, Gympie, Tin Can Bay, the South and North Burnett, Fraser Coast and Bundaberg all received recognition in an awards ceremony in Gympie on Saturday for their efforts as part of North Coast Region SES Week celebrations.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the SES Week (October 7-15) awards provided an opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution of staff and volunteers.

“In times of crisis, the State turns to its more than 6000 SES members,” Ms Carroll said.

“These volunteers selflessly donate their time and energy to assist their communities and SES Week is our chance to thank them for their wonderful service and dedication.”

The Wondai SES Group took home the Regional Group of the Year Award for breathing life back into the group that dwindled to no members only a year ago.

The group now has 14 members ready to respond to incidents and support their local community when called upon.

“It is through the passion and commitment of these outstanding individuals that the Wondai SES Group exists today stronger than ever,” SES North Coast Regional Manager Merrick Ilett said.

“The fact these members have been able to restore Wondai SES Group is a credit to their enthusiasm and motivation to serve their community.

“Their hard work exemplifies and upholds the ideals of SES and I am pleased to see their efforts rewarded with the Regional Group of the Year Award.”

One of the individuals heavily involved in the revival of Wondai SES Group, South Burnett North Local Controller and chaplain Alan Sage, received the SES Member of the Year award.

“Known affectionately as the ‘Cheerful Chaplain’, Alan’s energy, enthusiasm and caring attitude is an inspiration to all those who work with him,” Mr Ilett said.

“Along with his efforts with the Wondai SES Group, Alan has been a crucial support for many of our SES members at the scene of incidents in his role as a chaplain.

“The respect Alan’s colleagues have for him is testament to his leadership skills and hard work, and this award is most deserved.”

In 2015, Mr Sage was awarded the Olga Wilson Peer Support Officer Award for Queensland – an award voted by his peers – for his work.

Mr Sage received his award alongside the North Burnett SES Group, which was recognised for Regional Operational Response of the Year.

“The North Burnett SES Group has been involved in a number of confronting situations over the past year, including searches for missing persons, road traffic crashes and assisting the Queensland Police Service on scene at incidents,” Mr Ilett said.

“This group has answered the challenge each and every time with professionalism, skill and dedication, and there is none more deserving of the Operational Response of the Year Award.”

SES Week certificates were also presented to volunteers from North Coast Region for displaying exceptional dedication to their SES units or groups and communities:

  • Pamela Reis (Goomeri)
  • Stephanie Baker and Teresa Jordan (Hervey Bay)
  • Peter Carlsen (Woodgate)
  • Jenifer Scott and Hans Vulker (Burrum Heads)
  • Wayne Kerle (Tin Can Bay)
  • Aram Ross (Nambour)
  • Mark Kipp (Moore Park)
  • Brendan Casement (Caloundra)

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