Mandurah SES deputy manager named Peel Volunteer of the Year


Winners Ra Wheeler and Phil Rance and (front) Darcy Elms and Annette Mason.
Winners Ra Wheeler and Phil Rance and (front) Darcy Elms and Annette Mason.

MANDURAH State Emergency Service deputy manager Phil Rance is the 2016 Alcoa Peel Volunteer of the Year.

His award, along with those of Peel Youth Volunteer of the Year and Peel Sport and Recreation Volunteer of the Year, was announced at a breakfast at Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club on Monday.

Mr Rance has given more than 30 years of voluntary services to the SES and been on call 24/7 to respond to emergency situations.

He is also senior instructor in map and navigation and 4×4 off road training, looks after 83 SES volunteers and provides courses to other SES units throughout the state.

Described as an outstanding role model, Mr Rance has worked tirelessly for SES units in Mandurah and Pinjarra and was heavily involved in the design and construction of Mandurah’s new SES facility.

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Peel Youth Volunteer of the Year is Darcy Elms. First venturing into volunteering when he was a young Scout, Mr Elms was involved in fundraising, setting up and cleaning up afterwards.

When he was old enough, he volunteered with the local volunteer fire brigade and underwent all fire fighting and lifesaving training.

Mr Elms spent significant time helping the clean-up after the Yarloop fires and is raising funds for National Red Balloon Day.

Annette Mason, who took out the Peel Sport and Recreation Volunteer Award, has been a stalwart of Waroona Amateur Basketball Association for almost 40 years.

She has held many roles including president, secretary, treasurer, country championships co-ordinator, uniform co-ordinator, team manager and scorer.

For the first time, a special award was created after voting for the Volunteer of the Year was close.

It went to “unsung hero” Ra Wheeler.

Mr Wheeler is a quiet achiever who has committed countless volunteer hours over many years, maintaining Wheeler Field, near Coolup and helping keep safe the communities of Murray, Waroona, Mandurah and Harvey.

Through the development of Wheeler Field, Mr Wheeler has saved infrastructure, livestock and lives over 20 years and helped entire communities survive the impact of bushfires.

Jill Burgess