SES volunteers attend Emerging Leaders Summit

NSW SES Emerging Leaders Summit

Three members of Broken Hill’s State Emergency Service (SES) team travelled to Blaxland – 65km west of Sydney – last weekend to attend the NSW SES Emerging Leaders Summit.

Inspector Kevern Hobman – Unit Commander, Inspector Cody Johnston – Western Zone, and Abigail Hobman joined the brightest 16-to-25-year-olds from across the state for the Emerging Leaders Summit which focused on growth, development, and building a strong foundation for the future.

The next generation of SES volunteers found themselves working on leadership development, goal setting, career planning, and creating important networks and connections. Attendees also got the chance to test their skills in flood rescues at the Nepean River and engage in first aid and rescue scenarios including flood boat rescues, roof rescues, and land searches.

Speaking to the Barrier Truth, Inspector Johnston – who helped organise the Emerging Leaders Summit – said it was a worthy experience that will benefit Broken Hill and the Far West a lot.

“Just meeting everyone from around different [areas of the] state, it was good for the young people to get involved. It promotes the service on their potential pathways moving forward,” Inspector Johnston said.

“The youth getting together and sharing their own skills and experiences with each other, I think was really good. At the end of the day, they’re the new faces of SES moving forward. They will eventually take over and it would be their service.

“The Broken Hill people that attended have formed connections with the rest of the state. I think they’ll bounce off each other a lot in terms of training and sharing their skillsets and experiences.”

Inspector Hobson – who was a facilitator at the Emerging Leaders Summit – told us that he hopes attending an event like this can encourage more young people to take up a volunteer role with the SES in Broken Hill.

“I found it quite rewarding. Not just giving the young adults guidance and trying to get their confidence up, but I also got a lot out of it from the participants [and the] different leadership aspects, what else we can do to lead these people in to get them up into taking over,” he said.

“Because we’re a small unit in a very large area, we pretty much do everything there is to do within the SES. We’ve got a lot to offer in training aspects. Hopefully we can get some younger members in. We’re always looking for members. We’ve got another seven just joined up. Hopefully they will be able to bring more in and show them how good it can be.”

That hope was echoed up by Inspector Johnston who said more young people was what the service needs to be able to participate in some of the roles the SES does, and to keep the service running.

“It’d be good to see some more young people into the service. We heavily rely on volunteers. The community, from what I can see, is very generous and they appreciate our efforts when they need them. It’d be good if they could participate.”

To apply to become a volunteer with the NSW SES or to learn more about volunteering with NSW SES, visit Volunteers can join the NSW SES from the age of 16, but those under 18 years of age must complete a Parent and Guardian Consent Form.

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