26/01/2023 03:43 PM

Two NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) volunteers have been awarded an Emergency Service Medal (ESM) in the Australia Day Honours list. 

Receiving the prestigious award were: 

  • Local Commander for Clarence Valley Cluster, Chief Inspector, Susan Chapple 
  • Unit Commander, Blacktown Unit Barry Wademan 

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York APM congratulated the recipients of the ESM. 

“This prestigious award is an opportunity to recognise the dedication and tenacity our emergency services personnel uphold through volunteering and helping keep their communities safe,” Commissioner York said. 

“These awards highlight outstanding Australians who have gone above and beyond for their community and nation,”  

“NSW SES volunteers have had relentless year of floods, putting their communities first to respond to record-breaking heights and impacts. 

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York APM said for these two volunteers to receive the award is a testament to their outstanding contributions to NSW SES and their communities. 

“Both Susan and Barry are incredibly deserving of these awards,”  

Susan has provided support and mentorship to members of the NSW SES and is a strong role model for women in leadership,” 

They have both assisted in life-critical incidences, supporting communities through severe storms and floods, to building preparedness and capability in their Units  they truly embody our service’s mission of saving lives and protecting communities. 

“I would like to extend my congratulations to everyone recognised in the Australia Day Honours List today,” she said. 

Susan Chapple

Sue Chapple Local Commander for Clarence Valley Cluster

Local Commander for Clarence Valley Cluster, Chief Inspector, Susan Chapple 

Susan Chapple has been a member of the NSW SES for over 24 years.  Susan is the Local Commander for the Clarence Valley Cluster in the Northern Zone, but has held many roles during her time at NSW SES - such as Emergency Officer, Incident Controller, Liaison Officer, Course Instructor, Course Administrator and Administration Officer.

Susan has managed many critical incidents during this time, including major floods in the Clarence/Nambucca Region.  Susan has built up an expert knowledge of the flood hazard and risk across the entire Clarence Valley including the city of Grafton.  She has collaboratively developed systems to manage this risk to deliver timely and informed responses.

Susan has built networks of individuals to build preparedness, planning and capability and led numerous community engagement and preparedness exercises.  Susan is also known to provide support and mentorship to members of the NSW SES and is a strong role model for women in leadership.   In April 2015 Susan was part of a deployment into Dungog to support the community as part of the Hunter Storms Operation.  This was a particularly challenging time after some members of the Dungog community died as a result of flooding in the area.

Susan approached her duties in this confronting time with great professionalism, building rapport and gaining the trust of the community and its leaders.  Susan put service above self and carried out her assignments with great professionalism for the benefit of the community.

Susan also worked tirelessly during the 2019-2020 Bushfires. Susan's commitment, dedication and sustained professionalism as not only a member but also as a leader within the NSW SES cannot be understated. She is a strong advocate for her people, her community, and the NSW SES, often under difficult circumstances and in times of adversity.

Barry Wademan

Barry Wademan Blacktown Unit Commander

Unit Commander, Blacktown Unit Barry Wademan 

Barry Wademan joined the NSW SES as a cadet in 1977 and has been an active volunteer in the Blacktown Unit for over 44 years. Barry has held the many roles during this time including Unit Commander, Duty Officer and Course Administrator. 

Barry has also contributed to the community in his current role as a Superintendent for the NSW Sherriff Office.  Barry helped to pioneer 'Swift Water Rescue' for the NSW SES in the mid 1990's and has continued to be a leader in this field. 

Barry has also been at the forefront of developing Standard Operating Procedures for the Blacktown Unit, helping them to operate more effectively and efficiently, meet the needs of the community and retain members.  Barry shares his knowledge with other emergency service and volunteer organisations where he assists with the training and delivery of programs.  

Barry has been deployed to numerous high profile critical incidents over his career with the NSW SES, such as the 1989 Newcastle Earthquake, the 1997 Thredbo Landslide and the 1999 Sydney Hailstorms where he provided assistance in roles such as Operations Officer, Media Officer, Logistics Officer, Emergency Officer and Duty Officer.   

Barry has also provided assistance to bushfire ravaged communities by managing the recovery centre in Ulladulla and Narooma during the horrific 2019-2020 Bushfire season.  Barry has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to assist disaster victims in times of need.


Enquiries: NSW SES Media 1800 067 234 or email media@ses.nsw.gov.au

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