SES Commissioner to chair Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Council
One of state’s most experienced first-response leaders has been appointed as the new President of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services National Council (AFAC), the National Council for fire and emergency services in Australia and New Zealand.
SES Commissioner Carlene York APM is the ninth AFAC President and is both the first SES Commissioner and the first woman to hold the position.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet congratulated Commissioner York on her appointment and welcomed stronger collaboration between the emergency services to keep communities resilient and safe.
“Commissioner York has led the NSW SES for two years after a distinguished career of almost 40 years with the NSW Police Force,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Her experience as NSWPF’s Northern Region Commander – where she coordinated the emergency response to storms, tornadoes, bushfires and floods – demonstrates she is the outstanding choice to lead AFAC.”
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said as SES commander, Commissioner York now leads both 9,000 dedicated SES volunteers and 33 members representing fire, emergency and land management agencies across Australia and New Zealand.
“This year alone, the SES has responded to the Hawkesbury-Nepean flood emergency in March and, only a few weeks ago, members responded to freak storms and tornadoes in Central NSW and southern Sydney,” Mr Elliott said.
“It’s a tribute to the experience and skills of Commissioner York, that she been chosen for this position and understands the pressures staff and volunteers face during a crisis.”
Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women Bronnie Taylor welcomed the appointment of Commissioner York as the first female AFAC President, and Chair of the AFAC Council.
“Woman have made incredible contributions to combat agencies for a long time, so I am really pleased to see this reflected in the well-deserved appointment of Commissioner York,” Mrs Taylor said.
Commissioner York replaces FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter, who has served the council with distinction and leadership, sharing his skills and insights during his five-year term as AFAC President.