13/06/2021 11:00 PM

Three NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) members have been awarded the Emergency Services Medal (ESM) in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List today (14 June).

Acknowledged in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List were:

  • Mr Peter Kaye AM
  • Ms Heather Stuart
  • Mr Christopher Warren

Both Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, and NSW SES Commissioner, Carlene York, congratulated the recipients of the prestigious award.

“It is one of the highest honours for an Australian to be acknowledged on the national stage,” Mr Elliott said.

“The Emergency Services Medal, in particular, is an honour that reflects our gratitude for the professionalism and selflessness of our emergency services personnel in helping keep communities safe,” he said.

Commissioner York said each member has made a significant contribution to not just the service, but also their local communities over many years.

“All of them are incredibly deserving,” Commissioner York said.

“From helping respond to major events, providing training in specialist fields, and even leading and advocating for research that benefits our service, they should all be incredibly proud of their achievements.

“I would also like to extend my congratulations to everyone who has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List today,” she said.

Please refer below for more information about each award recipient. 


Mr Peter Kaye AM of Ashfield – Emergency Services Medal

Peter Kaye, Commander of NSW SES Ashfield-Leichardt Unit, is a highly valued member of the service.

Mr Kaye has been a volunteer of NSW SES for more than 45 years. Over that time, he has served as a Local Controller and, more recently, as a Unit Commander. Mr KAye has also been actively involved in several major events in both NSW and Queensland, such as storms, floods and bushfires. Among these significant events, include:

  • 1989 Newcastle earthquake
  • 1997 Thredbo landslide
  • 1999 Eastern Suburbs hailstorm
  • 2007 Western Sydney Hailstorm
  • 2011 Cyclone Yasi
  • 2013 Blue Mountains fires
  • 2016 storm and flood events in Central NSW, Sydney, and Central Coast
  • 2017 Cyclone Debbie
  • 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires

2021 flood event in the Hawkesbury, Hunter and Mid-North Coast.


Ms Heather Stuart of Unanderra – Emergency Services Medal

Heather Stuart is a passionate advocate for research that benefits NSW SES activities.

Originally joining NSW SES as a volunteer in 2003, Ms Stuart served as a front-line volunteer for close to nine years. In her role as a volunteer, she responded to requests for assistance during floods and storms and even contributed to the training of other volunteers. In 2011, she became a staff member of the service, taking on the role of Manager, Lessons Learned. Ms Stuart is widely acknowledged by Australia’s emergency management community as a leader in lessons management and continual improvement. She has assisted in the development of the Lessons Management Framework for the NSW Emergency Management sector and even influenced the State Level Process for implementation of the Framework.

Ms Stuart was also a foundational member of the Lessons Management Advisory Group of the State Emergency Management Committee, on which she represents NSW SES. She has also been a lead end-user on several of the Bushfire Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre projects, as well as a member of the Research Utilisation Committee.


Mr Christopher Warren of Kiama – Emergency Services Medal

Christopher Warren, Commander of NSW SES Kiama Unit, is a leading and passionate rescue operator.

A member of NSW SES since 1982, Mr Warren is one of the original rescue operators of the Kiama Unit when it became accredited for General Land and Vertical Rescue following the implementation of the State Emergency and Rescue Management Act in 1989. More than 30 years later and Mr Warren continues to be active as both a General Land and Vertical Rescue operator. He is also a member of the General Land Rescue Capability Development Group, and an active trainer and assessor in areas such as Road Crash Rescue, Industrial and Domestic Rescue, and Urban Search and Rescue.

His passion and dedication to honing his skills in rescue can be seen through his participation in competitions such as the National Disaster Rescue Competition (NDRC) and Australasian Road Rescue Organisation (ARRO) Competition. In fact, Mr Warren was part of the team that won the National Disaster Rescue Competition in 2015.

For any media enquiries, including interviews with recipients, please contact NSW State Emergency Service on 1800 067 234.

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