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SES volunteer's royal treatment

Published 19/02/2013

Victoria State Emergency Service volunteer Sandy Faoro has been crowned as a Queen of the Moomba Festival.

Moomba Queen Sandy Faoro

This year the festival is honouring the true heroes of Melbourne by crowning community and emergency services organisations as Moomba Kings and Queens – a fitting tribute to their service to the city.

Ms Faoro will stand next to representatives from seven other organisations – Ambulance Victoria, St John Ambulance, Country Fire Authority, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Salvation Army, Victoria Police and the Land and Fire Management division of the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

The Kings and Queens joined Lord Mayor Robert Doyle at Town Hall yesterday to officially unveil the 2013 Moomba program.

The Moomba royalty will take pride of place in this year’s Moomba Parade on Monday 11 March at 11am, running along St Kilda Road from the Shrine of Remembrance to the festival site at Birrarung Marr and Alexandra Gardens.

Sandy Faoro has been a volunteer with Victoria SES for almost 31 years and is currently the Controller of the Essendon Unit. Ms Faoro helps to educate the public on the work of SES, regularly giving talks to community groups and schools and distributing information on how to be prepared.

Ms Faoro is a secondary teacher at St Albans Secondary College in the City of Brimbank and a resident of Maribyrnong. She has been married to her husband Remo for 30 years and has two children aged 22 and 26.

Ms Faoro said she was “absolutely stoked” to have been crowned as Queen.

“I’m totally honoured to be representing Victoria SES and all of the volunteers,” she said. “I don’t think we often get the recognition we well and truly deserve and this is a great way of representing the service and the Moomba Festival, which is a celebration of the Melbourne community.

“I’d like to thank SES and the City of Melbourne for the opportunity – it only comes once.”

Ms Faoro said she’d have to start practising her royal wave ahead of the parade and was looking forward to enjoying the festival.

She is expecting a bit of ribbing when she gets back to work on Monday.

“I wasn’t going to say anything about being a Queen but my principal insists on telling everyone,” she said. ”I’m very lucky, though, my principal is a firm believer in SES and I have full support whenever I need time for SES duties.”