Craigieburn SES helps fire victims

Media Release

Victoria State Emergency Service’s (SES) Craigieburn Unit will be coordinating a tree cleanup weekend to assist victims of the Mickleham fires earlier this year.

Together with Broadmeadows SES and Craigieburn Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), volunteers will be clearing fallen trees blocking roads and affecting community access on the weekend of 31st May and 1st June.

SES is Victoria’s response agency for flood, storm, earthquake and tsunami emergency. SES volunteers are always ready to keep people and property safe when disaster strikes, but they also work tirelessly to provide just as much support to affected communities.

Craigieburn SES Unit Controller Martin Ledwich said that it was important to continue to support fire victims through the entire recovery phase.

“It’s of no surprise to me that we have an overwhelming response from our volunteers who are willing to dedicate a weekend away from their families in support for fire victims,” he said.

“Over the weekend we’ll be working tirelessly to clear trees that have blocked roads and access to buildings.

“We live, work and play alongside many who were affected, and this is another chance for us to help. We assisted during the fires, and we’ll be here until our community has fully recovered.”

Passing of Geoff Perkins

The Craigieburn VICSES is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Geoff Perkins, controller of the Sale VICSES unit, president of the Victoria Emergency Service Association (VESA) and editor of Pheonix magazine.

Geoff was an admired, passionate member of the service and our condolences go to his family and the Sale VICSES unit.

Passing of a dear friend

It is with great sadness that the officers and members of the Craigieburn Unit, Victoria State Emergency Service hear about the passing of Chris Beattie. He was a very dear friend to the unit and his presence at our functions, particularly our annual dinner dance, will be sorely missed.

Chris was such a friendly, down-to-earth bloke, that he would have been friends with anyone he met. His sense of humour was infectious and his passion for flying obvious for all. But most importantly was his tremendous support for Liz’s chosen vocation as a member of State Parliament. You could always rely on Chris being where ever Liz was showing his support for her and the Party she represents.

Our deepest condolences to Liz and all of Chris’s family and friends during this sad time.

Martin Ledwich, Controller, Craigieburn SES

Kevin O’Callaghan – Hume Resident of the Month

Kevin O’Callaghan is a name that many in the community recognise as loyal, generous, ambitious and indelible. And for us at Craigieburn VICSES, it’s been a name that has founded and supported the direction of our Unit for the past 30 years.

Thanks to a nomination by Cr Drew Jessop, Kevin O’Callaghan was awarded ‘Hume Resident of the Month’ at a Hume Council meeting last month together with the following citation read by the Mayor:

“This certificate is presented in recognition of your community dedication and your commitment to the safety of Hume residents through your involvement with the Craigieburn SES. Council recognises your roles as a founding member of the Craigieburn SES in 1981, and Unit Controller from 1991 to 2001. Your 32 year involvement with the Craigieburn Unit has significantly contributed to the provision of critical services, resulting in many successful rescues, and ultimately the saving of lives. Council also acknowledges your role as the facilitator of the Craigieburn ANZAC Day Organising Committee and applauds your contribution to the delivery of the widely respected Anzac Day Service. You are a valued member of the Hume community, and Council congratulates you for your dedication.”

We congratulate Kevin on his well-deserved achievement and hope the recognition for his tireless work continues.

Controller’s comment:

The members of the Craigieburn SES are extremely proud and fortunate to have Kevin O’Callaghan as part of the team. Kevin is a founding member of the unit and has held officer positions as well as being controller during his 30 years of service. Kevin continues to be an active member of the unit providing valuable guidance on processes and procedures as well as being a team leader during large scale emergency events. Kevin also provides a vital mentoring role to me, as controller, and to the officers of the unit as we meet the challenges of running a volunteer emergency service.

We all congratulate Kevin for this well-deserved award and we thank him for his continued dedicated service.

Photo: Local Knowledge – 29 May 2012, Hume Leader Newspapers, viewed 14 July 2012, <>.

Australasian Police & Emergency Services Games 2012

Australasian Police & Emergency Games 2012 - Robert Reid

The 2012 Australasian Police & Emergency Services Games were held in Hutt City just north of Wellington in New Zealand. I competed in the swimming, which was held in an Olympic size pool & aquatics centre in Naenae a small suburb 35 minutes drive from Wellington. Representing VICSES, I entered in the 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 metre individual freestyle events for my age category, which was a 5 year bracket. I was fortunate enough to win gold in all these events.

When I arrived in New Zealand I was encourage to enter three relay teams with other Australian Services (Police) which were the 4 x 100 freestyle, the 4 x 50 medley relay, and the 4 x 50 free relay. We finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. I was over the moon with my success I had in the pool ending with 6 gold medals, 1 silver medal and 1 bronze.

I had trained hard for the event and it has paid off. I believe anybody can have success if they set goals and work hard at achieving them. If you like sport or fitness, you can enter the Victorian or Australasian Police and Emergency Games, and meeting and competing against other Emergency Services from in and around Australia. It is a lot of fun and you do make new friends while competing, it is not all serious.
You don’t have to be great, just willing to have a go, just remember you will be competing against other people around your own age. You might be surprised at what you could and can achieve.I’d love to hear from you if you are interested. I might be able to help or at least let you know what events are available. (Anyone interested in speaking with Robert are invited to contact him via the contact page)

Controller’s comment:

I would like to say on behalf of the Unit, just how proud we are of Robert and his achievements.  As he says, you don’t have to be great, just have a go.  It may not be the Olympics, but these games are more than a simple competitive event.  They are an opportunity to get something extra out of being a member of the SES by representing the service internationally and representing our country on a world stage.  I know how much training Rob put into his preparation and I think the results speak for themselves.  Congratulations Rob…!

SES Meseum Opening

The opening of the Victoria State Emergency Service museum on the 4th December 2011, located at the Craigieburn LHQ, was a fantastic milestone to a project that has taken numerous months of hard work by Craigieburn SES volunteers and friends – that went well beyond the call of duty – to produce an exhibition that reflects the story that is VICSES.

In front of the black plastic sheeting, that kept prying eyes away from the display, Controller Alan Ker spoke of his amazement at seeing his vision of a Craigieburn Museum come so spectacularly to life.  Alan took great pleasure in presenting a Controller’s Commendation to Volunteer Peter Gornalle for his many hours of dedication and commitment in constructing the display cabinets.  Next, Volunteer Shaun Tiernan, a driving force behind the establishment of the Museum, gave us an overview of how the museum started – from the original vision, various day trips to inspect items and continuous discussions throughout the project.

Of course, it would have been remiss of us to open the museum without the attendance of Brian Rickard, PSM, as he was foundation Regional Director of the Unit and the principal collector and custodian of the collection for many years.  Those at the opening listened attentively to Brian’s thoughts, reflections and experiences in attempting to establish a VICSES museum comprising a collection that had taken over forty years to accumulate.

The dramatic pulling of a cord, supported by Plan B (two members manually drawing the curtain from behind), the black sheeting parted to reveal the product of many months of hard work, sweat and tears. The Museum was now officially open!  However, there was one last unveiling to be completed before it was time for everyone to browse around – the name of the Museum.  With the flick of a hand Brian – to his great surprise – unveiled the plaque entitled ‘Brian Rickard, PSM, Museum’.

‘Ordinary People Extraordinary Service’

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Craigieburn State Emergency Service Unit, the Unit Historical Committee have released ‘Ordinary People Extraordinary Service’ – an exclusive look into past 3 decades of the Unit.

The 200-page colour book contains photos, stories and records all the way from the first notice to the public of the formation of the unit up until the successes of our current members.

The hardcover copy of the book is available for purchase from the Craigieburn SES Unit for $29.95. And as always, all profits go straight back into purchasing rescue equipment and maintaining our facilities.

To purchase a copy of the book or for any other enquires, contact Nicole Ashworth on 0410 426 371 or via e-mail at