The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is celebrating all its female members and the valuable contributions they make to the volunteer organisation on International Womens Day.
Women in the NSW SES are represented across all levels of the Service and play an essential role in the organisation’s inclusive culture. There are more than 3,360 female SES volunteers across the state. Last year was the busiest on record for the NSW SES, responding to more than 80,000 requests for assistance and conducting over 960 flood rescues.
Female volunteers were at the forefront of both managing and responding to these incidents. NSW SES has 70 female Unit Commanders across NSW, including Vivianne Fouracre of Moree. Over the past 12 years, she has responded to multiple major floods and other incidents in her community.
“Being a Unit Commander for the NSW SES is very challenging yet rewarding. It’s about being community minded and wanting to give back and helping others in their time of need,” she said.
Western Zone Commander Brigid Rice said being a leader with the NSW SES was a great privilege.
“I meet incredible people on a daily basis and the role has enabled me to witness the amazing contribution from our volunteers. To be a part of a command structure that assists our volunteers to do the job they do so incredibly well is truly an honour,” she said.
North Western Zone Commander Tammy Shepley said her role was to support the volunteers and communities build their resilience to flood events.
“Many areas in my Zone were impacted by the devastating flooding last year, and the recovery is only just beginning. I’m here to help communities to get back on their feet and prepare for future natural disasters,” she said.
Carlene York has been the SES Commissioner for the past four years and is the first female Commissioner of an emergency service in the history of NSW.