24 August 2018
It is my second week since I started as Emergency Management Commissioner and I am excited about the future and what the role has to offer.
Many of you would know my previous role was as Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Regional Operations. Across almost 40 years’ policing experience my roles have focused on community safety across metropolitan and regional Victoria and overseas, including key emergency management leadership positions.
During this time, I have been involved in the response to a number of major incidents, such as the Ash Wednesday Bushfires, the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, Christchurch earthquake, Queensland floods and Bourke Street.
I have worked closely with fire agencies and other emergency management agencies and departments for a number of years, and have also been a member of the State Emergency Management Team and the State Coordination Team.
Victoria’s emergency management sector has a well and truly established foundation and there is no doubt across the sector there is a strong commitment to community. I am confident in what the future looks like and bring extensive leadership experience to ensure we keep driving change.
I have been warmly welcomed by people across the sector. I have attended a number of events and seen first-hand just how broad our sector is. It’s been great to connect with people from Lifesaving Victoria, CFA and local councils just to name a few.
I was able to personally welcome home some our personnel who have been deployed to Greece and looking forward to meeting those who are returning this weekend from the US. I also had the opportunity to visit our colleagues across the border in New South Wales who are already experiencing significant fires.
What has been clear to me is the pride and passion in our people. Together, we have an opportunity to make a huge impact across communities.
There was a fire at 8 Nicholson Street this week. This building houses the State Control Centre on Level 4. MFB did a great job in bringing the fire under control but there are impacts and we are working through what that means for staff who work from that location. The SCC continues to operate at its back up site without any disruptions.
As we head into what traditionally is our busy period we must be united and work together to get the best outcome for the Victorian community.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting the next three months to be drier than average for much of Victoria with warmer temperatures in spring and we are already preparing for the summer season. Annual multi-agency briefings will be held across Victoria so that our people understand the outlook, know the risks and are prepared to respond and work communities.
We are also focused on the health and safety of our emergency management personnel so that they are able to continue to protect and respond to the community in emergencies. Looking after people is so important to me. I’m really looking forward to listening to you, learning from you and working with you.