The University of Western Australia has been awarded a bronze award from the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (FESA) for supporting employees who volunteer for emergencies services work.
The Hon Rob Johnson, Minister for Emergency Services, presented the inaugural awards yesterday at Government House in Perth. The awards acknowledge the contribution that employers and self-employed volunteers make in times of community need.
UWA was nominated by volunteer firefighter and UWA web designer Dan Petty.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said emergency services volunteers play a vital role in the community and the times at which they are called upon for help are unpredictable.
"We are proud to support our volunteers, who give their own time and expertise, sometimes at considerable personal risk, to assist in times of need. Of course the University also benefits from the skills our staff acquire as a member of the emergency services such as working as part of a team, communication skills and first aid."
Mr Petty, a volunteer Crew leader with the Wanneroo Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade, is a web designer in the University Web Office. He has attended many major West Australian bushfires in the past five years.
"Bushfires have no respect for the fact that most of us have full time jobs," he said. "In times of bushfire emergency, it is essential that volunteers are able to take time out from their regular jobs to fight the fire.
"It would be considerably more difficult for the emergency services to bring these major incidents under control without the support of employers like the UWA who offer this kind of flexibility to their employees."
FESA's Employer Recognition Program encourages emergency service volunteers to nominate either their employer or a self-employed volunteer for an award. Awards are given in three categories - gold, silver or bronze.
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716