Emergency services celebrated at Australia Day awards

GOLD COAST State Emergency Service (SES) member Leanne Woolard has been recognised for displaying “exceptional leadership” during the severe hailstorm which hit city suburbs in November.

She was among the 21 Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) officers who were honoured at an Australia Day Achievement Awards ceremony in Beenleigh today.

South Eastern Region Assistant Commissioner Peter Beauchamp said Ms Woolard was being recognised for her dedication to the SES.


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“In addition to her regular SES duties, Ms Woolard provided exceptional leadership under testing circumstances when a severe storm hit the Gold Coast area last November,” Mr Beauchamp said.

“The SES received 329 calls for assistance and under Ms Woolard’s leadership these jobs were all completed within 48 hours.

“This effective and efficient leadership really helped the community recover quickly from a serious weather event that had disrupted the lives of many residents.”

Mr Beauchamp said all of the award recipients had demonstrated outstanding dedication to the emergency services.

“Today’s winners strive for achievements well beyond what’s expected of them, dedicating hours of their time to ensure the community is well prepared and well informed, so when disaster hits, south east Queensland is ready,” Mr Beauchamp said.

“This commitment has a huge benefit to the community. Being an emergency worker is challenging but rewarding task and I thank everyone recognised today for their work.”

Australia Day Achievement Award winners from south east Queensland include SES volunteers Richard Bale, Daniel Barling, Rodney Hillberg, Sandra Newcombe, Simon Trace, Jacqueline Wearmouth and Leanne Woolard.

Rural fire winners include Clinton Neumann, Jessica and Caroline Rasmussen, Jamie Reside, Jennifer Sutton and Thomas Tait.

Urban firefighters presented with awards include Bradley Commens, Neil Dover, David Hermann, Trevor Meier, Christopher Nealon, Ian Richter, Andrew Rose and Thomas Murray.

Danielle York from the Public Service Business Agency was also presented with an award.

Mr Beauchamp also presented Australia Day certificates, several National Medals and clasps, Diligent and Ethical Service medals and clasps and SES Meritorious Service Medals as well as a National Emergency Medal.

QSuper was again the major sponsor of the awards and CEO Rosemary Vilgan congratulated the nominees and award winners.

“It is an honour for QSuper to be involved once again with these awards, which recognise some of Queensland’s best front-line workers and the tireless efforts they put in day-in and day-out,” Ms Vilgan said.

“From everyone at QSuper, I congratulate the nominees and winners on being leaders in their field and in their communities and thank them for their hard work and sacrifice.”