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SES volunteer honoured at National Volunteer Awards

Published 18/12/2012

SES volunteer Irene Cracknell has been honoured at the National Volunteer Awards held earlier this month.

Irene, who is Deputy Controller at the Rutherglen Unit, received the Emergency Management Award.

Member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella MP, presented the awards at the ceremony, which celebrated the work of local volIrene Cracknellunteers in the North East region.

“Australian has a great culture of volunteerism, but it is in regional and rural Australia that the volunteer spirit is most pronounced," Sophie said. "The National Volunteer Awards are a small token of appreciation for the fantastic work that volunteers do in our community each and every day.”

Irene has been an SES volunteer for 31 years at the Rutherglen Unit. When she joined she was the only active female member of the unit.

"It was something different to do," she said.

For Irene, SES is a family affair. Her husband was a member for 30 years, her daughter has been a member for 15 years and now her granddaughter has been a member for about 8 months.

I think SES is fantastic," she said. "It’s a great learning facility. The friendships you make are pretty good over the years. I think it has a lot to offer people."

In addition to SES, Irene is on the board of Indigo North Health, and just stepped down from being chairman for the past nine years. She also gives her time in East Timor on various volunteer projects.

"I can't help myself."

Irene has received two other honours: an Order of Australia in 2003 and Citizen of the Year in Rutherglen that same year. Of this latest award, Irene laughed and said, "I think it's somebody else's turn now."