Redland City SES Unit volunteers win state awards


Redland City State Emergency Service (SES) Unit volunteers have been recognised with two awards at the SES Week State Awards ceremony on Saturday 8 October.

Group Leader Mitch Brushe was named SES State Member of the Year, and Redland City SES Unit was joint winner with Brisbane City SES Unit and Moreton Bay Regional SES Unit for Operational Response of the Year for service to the Brisbane Region community during the February 2022 severe weather and flood event.

Redland City Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group Chair Karen Williams said this was the second consecutive year Redland City SES Unit had won both Regional and State Member of the Year awards.

“These results reflect the outstanding efforts of all 154 volunteers in keeping residents safe during times of disaster,” she said.

“We are very fortunate here on Redlands Coast to have such a dedicated, hardworking group of people who are willing to volunteer their time to help others.

Redland City SES Unit acting Local Controller Diane Vandermeer and Cleveland Group Leader Mitch Brushe.

“Mitch Brushe, this year’s SES State Member of the Year, is the perfect example and is always ready to activate when required.

“He has been volunteering with the SES for five years and has taken on the role of Group Leader for Cleveland.

“He has shown an outstanding commitment to the group – improving member retention and operational capacity, developing new training programs, undertaking a depot makeover and engaging a new leadership team.

“I’d also like to acknowledge acting Local Controller Diane Vandermeer and previous Local Controller Clare Barker for their leadership in overseeing the Unit and its strategic direction and ensuring its members have the necessary capability to respond in an emergency.”

Cr Williams said the commitment of the SES volunteers to community safety was greatly appreciated.

“Over the past 12 months, Redland City SES volunteers have responded to 633 calls for assistance,” she said.

“More than two-thirds of those calls (430) were received over nine days during the severe weather event in February and March, and the Unit also deployed to assist Moreton Bay unit in its storm and flood response.

“Tasks completed over the past 12 months include responding to storm damage, helping with land searches for missing persons and forensic evidence, agency assistance with public safety management and police support with COVID-19 border security at the airport and on the bay islands.

“Our SES units are always ready for extreme weather events and disasters and Get Ready Queensland Week, from 10-16 October, is the perfect opportunity for residents to ensure they are also prepared.

“It is important that everyone on Redlands Coast starts to get ready now so, together, we are well placed to handle anything this year’s storm and bushfire season throws at us.”

In addition to the State SES Awards, a number of other Redland City SES Unit members were recognised at the 2022 Brisbane Region SES Awards held in September.

This included:

  1. Meritorious Service Medals (MSM) – Peter Brown, Scott Chambers, Luke Forster, Laurence Holt and Robert Hurren.
  2. MSM 20 years clasp: Raymond Melbourne.
  3. SES Week Awards: Michael Ryan, Steven Hayes, Ricky Cook and Justin Kirkby.

For information on becoming an SES volunteer, visit qfes.qld.gov.au

Information on how to prepare yourself, your home and your business for a disaster is available in the Redland City Disaster Management Plan on Council’s Redlands Coast Disaster Dashboard.