50 years helping our community

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Mayor Peter M Cavanagh presenting Colin with the Award for Outstanding Community Service.

Mayor Peter M Cavanagh presenting Colin with the Award for Outstanding Community Service.

Published 22 August 2019

For the past 50 years Colin McQueen has braved floods, bushfires, storms and busy public events to lend a hand to others as an SES volunteer. His service to our community was celebrated at a special event at the Waverley Woollahra SES headquarters recently.

Colin first joined the SES in 1969. In the 50 years since, Colin has helped countless people in our local area during some tough times.

Colin recalls the severe floods around Anzac Parade in November 1984 and the Waverley Woollahra SES being called in to help.

“The park at the western end of Doncaster Avenue was 1.8 metres under water. I carried an elderly resident through the flood waters and helped them get to safety on a SES flood boat,” Colin says.

Colin has also assisted during emergencies in other parts of Sydney, including a bushfire in the Royal National Park on Boxing Day 1998, where Colin led a boat crew to evacuate a family (including a pet bird in a cage) from Bundeena.

Colin at work
Colin at work

Despite the long days and harsh weather conditions, a “thank you” makes it all worthwhile for Colin.

“It’s always a great feeling when you can successfully complete a job and the resident is thankful and appreciative. A simple “thank you” is all that’s required,” he said.

Colin’s wealth of experience has made him a valuable trainer at the SES. He now dedicates most of his time on training new recruits, ensuring a lasting legacy for the SES for years to come. His outstanding skills as a maritime trainer were recognised recently when he was awarded the NSW Government’s 2019 Maritime Medal.

Colin says above all else it’s the people who’ve kept him going with the SES for 50 years.

“I have met some absolutely wonderful people over the years”

Mayor of Woollahra Peter M Cavanagh presented Colin with an Award for Outstanding Community Service and thanked Colin for his dedication to our community.

“On behalf of our local community, I convey our thanks and gratitude to Colin for all his help over the last 50 years,” the Mayor said.

To learn more about the important work the SES do and how you can get involved visit: www.ses.nsw.gov.au.

Cake celebrating Colin's 50 years of service as an SES volunteer

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