Amanda Johnson (Nanango), Christine White (Nanango) and Peter Sailes (Kingaroy) at the Gympie awards ceremony on Saturday afternoon (Photo: Peter Verbakel)

October 20, 2014

South Burnett SES volunteers came home with the major honour at the North Coast Region awards held in Gympie on Saturday.

The South Burnett Regional Unit – which consists of the Blackbutt, Kingaroy and Nanango SES groups – was presented with the Regional Unit of the Year award by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Assistant Commissioner for North Coast Region, John Bolger.

North Coast Regional Manager for Queensland SES, Merrick Ilett, also congratulated the volunteers.

“Since Blackbutt, Kingaroy and Nanango SES Groups amalgamated, this new unit has been able to effectively and efficiently respond to call outs from vulnerable people in the local communities,” Mr Ilett said.

“The unit has demonstrated new direction and increased in their SES functions and capabilities.”

More than 200 SES volunteers were present at the ceremony, which was held to coincide with SES Week.

A certificate of appreciation was also presented to the Nanango SES for their support for a major land search conducted earlier this year.

Between April 21-18, an extensive land search was conducted of the Toolara Forestry in relation to a homicide investigation.  The search encompassed a significant parcel of both new growth and mature plantation pine during challenging conditions of heat, land orientation, heavy natural foliage and presence of insect pests.  A total of just under 250,000 sq m of forestry was searched and an intensive forensic hands and knees search of over 10,000 sq ms was conducted resulting in numerous evidentiary items and further human remains being located.

Two local SES  members were also presented with personal awards.

Amanda Johnson (Nanango group) and Peter Sailes (Kingaroy group) both received SES Week Certificates for their dedication to their SES groups.

Peter has been an SES volunteer for 27 years.

The Regional Operational Response of the Year award was presented to Childers SES group who assisted police for 72 hours to find a three-year-old girl who went missing near Childers in April.

Regional Member of the Year … Carol Watkins (Photo: QFES)

The Regional Member of the Year award was awarded to Carol Watkins, who is the Deputy Local Controller for the Noosa Shire SES Unit.

“Carol was appointed as Group Leader for the Cooroy SES Group after only 12 months and four years later she was appointed Deputy Local Controller for the SES Group,” Mr Ilett said.

“Over the years Carol has been involved in major disaster activations and assisted with maintaining request for assistance during these high pressure situations.

“She is a passionate, hardworking and driven volunteer who is ready to help out her community in times of need.”

SES Week awards were also presented to volunteers who displayed exceptional dedication to their SES Units/Groups and communities.

Volunteers who received the SES Week Certificates were: John Lamb (Gayndah), George Ablett (Gin Gin), Des Lewis (Biggenden), Peter Sailes (Kingaroy), Pamella Reis (Goomeri), James O’Driscoll (Howard), Ray Morsch (Goomeri), Donna Douglas (Tin Can Bay), David Wilson (North Burnett) and Amanda Johnson (Nanango).

Outstanding Service Certificates were issued to Jennifer Loats (Coolum) and David Wilson (North Burnett) to recognise their exceptional service as SES members.

South Burnett SES members are called out to everything from storm-damaged houses to sinking boats (Photos: QFES)

* * *

National Medals and Clasps and Meritorious Service Medals and Clasps (for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years) were presented to a number of SES volunteers for their numerous years of service:

15 years National Medal

  • William Gretton (Caloundra)
  • Daniel Knight (Caloundra)
  • June Fuller (Goomeri)
  • Leone Wilson (Burnett Heads)
  • Alan Ing (Childers)

25 years National Medal 1st Clasp

  • Cecil Peacock (Caloundra)
  • Janet Scott (Caloundra)
  • June Fuller (Goomeri)
  • Marshall Krueger (Maryborough)
  • Jeannine Moye (Hervey Bay)
  • Anthony Rogers (Hervey Bay)

10 years Meritorious Service Medal

  • Gregory Fleming (Kenilworth)
  • Phyllis Hopf (Goomeri)
  • Jeff Kitchen (Tewantin)
  • Bill Perdikis (Southside)
  • Simon Slattery (Kenilworth)

 15 years Meritorious Service Clasp

  • Gordon Albrecht (Bundaberg)
  • Daniel Knight (Caloundra)
  • William Gretton (Caloundra)
  • June Fuller (Goomeri)

20 years Meritorious Service clasp

  • George Ablett (Bundaberg)
  • Margaret Healy (Hervey Bay)
  • Phillipe Le Du (Murgon)
  • Elvwryn Russell (Perry)

25 years Meritorious Service clasp

  • Jennifer Loats (Maroochydore)
  • Jeannine Moye (Hervey Bay)
  • Cecil Peacock (Caloundra)
  • Anthony Rogers (Hervey Bay)
  • Janet Scott (Caloundra)
  • Bernard Terry (Nambour)

30 years Meritorious Service Clasp

  • Marshall Krueger (Maryborough)
  • Graeme Russell (Perry)
  • Helen Scott (Maryborough)

35 years Meritorious Service Clasp

  • Denis Buckingham (Bargara)
  • Mark Wilson (Glastonbury)
  • Ken Litzow (Bundaberg)

UPDATE October 21: Yarraman SES members Alan Hay (SES Week certificate) and Graeme Gardner (10 year service) will receive their awards at the South West Region ceremony in Toowoomba on Wednesday (October 22).

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