SES Port Fairy Controller takes on new role at region

SES Port Fairy Controller takes on new role at region

07/09/2023, 9:00 AM

VICSES Operations Manager, Unit Support, and former Port Fairy Unit Controller, Stephen McDowell, is the successful candidate for the role of Operations Manager, Unit Support, for the Barwon South West Region, based in Warrnambool.

As Unit Controller, and an emergency management volunteer of good standing for decades, Stephen brings to his new role extensive experience in planning for flood emergencies, fire management, and local disasters over many active years.

Having been Unit Controller of the Port Fairy Unit since 2012, Stephen has been integral in seeking funding for the new VICSES Port Fairy Unit facility, and progressing the build. The new facility will be officially opened in October 2023.

With over 40 years of experience as a Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteer, he is currently a Lieutenant with Kirkstall Fire Brigade and a Deputy Group Officer of the Belfast Group.

Stephen comes to the role with a wealth of experience and credentials, including qualifications as an Incident Agency Commander, Sector and Division Commander, and Strike Team Leader, as well as a Certificate III in Public Safety.

VICSES retains and nurtures the experience of our staff and volunteers, to best serve communities across Barwon South West, and beyond.

The Unit will be co-located with the new Country Fire Authority (CFA) Port Fairy station, currently being constructed at the former site of Ambulance Victoria.

Stephen will start his new role later this month.

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. Interested in volunteering with VICSES? Join Us.


The VICSES Port Fairy Unit will be relocated from 81 Sackville Street, to 116 Princes Highway, in Port Fairy. The new fit-for-purpose facility reflects VICSES' commitment and dedication to the local community,

A larger, modern facility will allow VICSES Port Fairy Unit to expand its offering to the community during storm and flood events, and will better accommodate the retention and recruitment of new volunteers.

Funding for the new VICSES Port Fairy facility is part of the Government's High Priority Infrastructure Program and will be delivered by the Emergency Services Infrastructure Authority, part of the Community Safety Building Authority.