13/06/2022 03:12 PM

New South Wales State Emergency Services (NSW SES) is pleased to see a number of extraordinary members celebrated in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List this year, including recipients of the Emergency Services Medal and Order of Australia.

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York APM is proud of the members who are being celebrated for outstanding selflessness and dedication.

“Each of the Honours List recipients are commended for their courage, professionalism and service. Through their efforts, they have safeguarded lives and homes, ensuring that their communities are resilient,” Commissioner York said.

This year, three NSW SES members are receiving the Emergency Services Medal, which recognises distinguished service by members of emergency services across Australia, as well as people who are involved in emergency management, training or education.

Among the Emergency Services Medal recipients are Assistant Commissioner Nicole Hogan, who has been recognised for her service to the community in a wide range of areas including her work in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley, Assistant Commissioner Sean Kearns, who led the NSW SES strategy and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Superintendent Paul McQueen, who is being celebrated for leading hundreds of volunteer trainers and assessors with the training of volunteers.

Superintendent McQueen joined the NSW SES as a volunteer nearly three decades ago and rose through the ranks to become a unit commander. He led the NSW SES training program throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that frontline members maintained their essential skills to respond to communities in their times of need. Superintendent McQueen also routinely deploys to major operational events across the State.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours list also acknowledges Order of Australia medal (OAM) recipients from the NSW SES, including volunteers Harry Cramer and Deidre Anderson. Order of Australia medals recognise Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement.

With nearly six decades (59 years) of service with the NSW SES under his belt, Mr Cramer receives his OAM for service to emergency response organisations. He was one of the initial first responders to the 1977 Granville rail disaster and as team leader, was responsible for extricating casualties from the accident. Mr Cramer credits the longevity of his service to the ongoing opportunities for learning and skills-building and the diverse backgrounds of individuals in the organisation. He is a life member of the NSW SES and served at the Ku-ring-gai unit for 51 years and is a current member of Tweed Heads.

Joining the NSW SES in 2020, Ms Anderson is a Deputy Cluster Commander for training and Acting Unit Commander in Coffs Harbour and received her OAM for significant service to tertiary education. She joined the local unit after recent floods sparked the desire to contribute something meaningful to the community. Ms Anderson says that the NSW SES provides an environment with a real sense of purpose that helps people in desperate situations and the opportunity to work in a team of people who share the same values.

“It is through the service of our volunteers and individuals like Assistant Commissioners Hogan and Kearns and Superintendent McQueen who embody our mission of ‘saving lives and protecting communities’ that the NSW SES can continue to make such a positive impact for Australians,” Commissioner York said.

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