Volunteers clean up at SES awards

Judy McDonald from the Emerald SES took out the highest individual honour at the Central Region awards night.
Judy McDonald from the Emerald SES took out the highest individual honour at the Central Region awards night.

CENTRAL Highlands State Emergency Service crews and personnel cleaned up at the 2011 SES Week Awards in Frenchville at the weekend.

CHRC SES Local Controller Gary Sands said it was a fantastic result for the region with Emerald group leader Nichole Philips and Rolleston group leader Lionel Jackson picking up awards, Rolleston ESU receiving the area group of the year award and Emerald's Judy McDonald picking up the highest individual honour in the Regional Member of the Year award.

After 13 years in Emerald SES and a volunteer career involving stints as Emerald group leader and acting regional controller, Mrs McDonald said the award was a great honour.

"It's something I didn't expect at all, everyone in the region deserves an award after the work they put in last summer," Mrs McDonald said.

Today is Wear Orange to Work Day, an initiative of SES Week to raise awareness and thank volunteers in the region.

"I suppose it's all about helping people in need and the sense of achievement that comes from that, it's very rewarding. You get some fantastic training, it's fun and you get to meet some great people and make life-long friends," Mrs McDonald said for anyone thinking of getting involved in one of the Highland's six SES crews.

Both she and the Rolleston ESU are in contention for a state award to be announced at EMQ headquarters in Kedron this weekend.

"(Judy's) is a seriously tough award to win because you're competing with everyone in the Central region, which is a very widespread area of Queensland," Mr Sands said.

"And it's a huge result for Rolleston. They're not just an SES crew, they're an Emergency Services Unit, so they deal with fire and whatever else needs doing. They did a hell of a good job at looking after their community during the floods.

"We wish them all the best."

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