National Emergency Medals presented to Loddon Mallee volunteers

National Emergency Medals presented to Loddon Mallee volunteers

01/05/2023, 9:00 AM

Photo credit: Blair Dellemijn

On Sunday, 30th April, Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) volunteers and staff were honoured for their work during the 2019-2020 bushfires, continuing the presentation of National Emergency Medals (NEM), underway since earlier this year.

NEM recipients from across the Loddon Mallee Region of Victoria attended a ceremony in Bendigo where nominees received medals and clasps to signify their achievement. Nominees for the medal received a clasp, if they had previously received the medal.

The 2019 - 2020 bushfires was declared a nationally significant emergency on Wednesday, 2 December 2020, which allowed the VICSES staff and volunteers to be put forward for nomination for a medal or clasp.

During the 2019 - 2020 bushfires, VICSES staff and volunteers were deployed to various affected areas and were responsible for a range of roles within Incident Control Centres and on the ground. They worked closely as part of a multi-agency team, alongside emergency management colleagues from all agencies at all incident levels.

The event is also an opportunity to thank and acknowledge family and loved ones, who enable our volunteers and staff to consistently respond to community need during times of emergency, selflessly deploying across the state, often for many days on end.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO) Gavin Thompson from the Country Fire Authority (CFA) co-presented the awards with VICSES Chief Officer Tim Wiebusch.

Regional Manager and Senior Assistant Chief Officer, Sharon Unthank acted as Master of Ceremonies to an audience which included Maree Edwards MP (Bendigo West), Jade Benham MP (Mildura), and Gaelle Broad MP (Murray Plains).

Recipients included: Jason Hague, Elisabeth Ryan, and Natalie Stanway of VICSES Bendigo Unit; Robert Deavin of VICSES Castlemaine Unit; Lewis Gordon of VICSES Dunolly Unit; Kyle Taylor, and Shane Taylor of VICSES Fawkner Unit; Mike Bagnall, Tobin Connell, Ross Evans, Andrew Free, Jamie Leighton, Steven Middlemast, Mark Reschke, Neville Spiers, and Grant Veness of VICSES Gisborne Unit; Peter Duncan of VICSES Heathcote Unit; Chris Tooley of VICSES Kyabram Unit; Keith Blackman, and Paul Miles of the Loddon Mallee Support Unit; Will Boyd, and Ian Shelton of VICSES Marong Unit; Michael Britton of VICSES Melton Unit; Stephanie McCarten, and Matthew Sowden of VICSES Mildura Unit; Sandra Koole of VICSES North West Office; Ian Ralston of North West Region Headquarters Unit; Donald Hughan of VICSES Rochester Unit; William Perry of VICSES Rushworth Unit; Lynne Mason of VICSES Sunbury Unit; Carrina Knight, and Rodney Knight of VICSES Swan Hill Unit, and Robert Bennett of VICSES Woodend Unit.

Congratulations to all of our NEM recipients, your dedication and commitment to the communities you serve can be felt across our state, in Victoria’s shires and its great cities.

From townships on the Murray to the north, throughout the Mallee, over and between the ranges to the east and around the central plains; from the Bellarine to Port Phillip Bay: our volunteers are ready.