Volunteers step into awards spotlight

Volunteer excellence award winner Narida 'Ned' Shepherd from Two Rocks Volunteer Marine Rescue Group.
Volunteer excellence award winner Narida 'Ned' Shepherd from Two Rocks Volunteer Marine Rescue Group.

Two Rocks Volunteer Marine Rescue Group’s Narida ‘Ned’ Shepherd, Wanneroo-Joondalup SES’ Anthony Jones and Yanchep Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service’s Stephen Castle received volunteer excellence awards at the June 20 function.

Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts thanked about 100 volunteers at the event, including other members of marine rescue, fire and rescue and SES groups, as well as Driver Reviver volunteers and representatives from Quinns Mindarie and Yanchep surf lifesaving clubs.

Ms Shepherd said she hadn’t had anything to do with boats before joining the marine rescue group eight years ago, but she had enjoyed learning new skills.

Her peers nominated the Two Rocks resident because she had given time, knowledge and skills to support work behind the scenes, as well as doing regular maintenance work on the rescue vessels. ‘As one of the three female skippers in the group, Ned attends call-outs at all times of the day and night to respond to flare sightings, distress calls and direction from the Water Police,’ the nomination said.

‘Many mariners have been brought safely back to port under her watch.’

According to his nomination, Mr Jones proved his potential soon after joining the SES unit in 2011 and rose to the rank of team leader within a year.

The Kingsley resident attended several major incidents, where he has impressed his peers with his professional attitude and dedication to training.

‘Now also holding the training officer’s position, he has managed to excel in both roles, providing interesting training each week while maintaining his team-leader duties,’ the nomination said.

‘Anthony’s involvement has led to selection by DFES to attend a leadership training course at the Australian Emergency Management Academy in Victoria, along with a fellow unit member.’

Mr Castle’s nomination said the Yanchep resident had shown ‘exceptional initiative and dedication’ since joining the brigade.

‘Although he has heavy work commitments, he has taken time out of his weekends to complete many training courses to provide himself with the competencies required for responding to fire and emergency rescues,’ it said.

‘Stephen has also volunteered his personal skills to assist the brigade in many facets of administration, and was unanimously voted in to the demanding position of apparatus officer.’