All in a yr’s work for SES chief


She stated the success of the summer time will likely be measured by no lack of life, restricted property injury and responding to those that name for assist.

Commissioner York is just not solely the primary feminine head of the SES in its 65-year historical past; she’s additionally the primary feminine head of any NSW emergency company.

“Attending to be the primary feminine Commissioner… I’m so happy with that,” she stated. “[I’m] unhappy that there hasn’t been one earlier than me wherever, however it’s nice that we have damaged by means of.”

Smashing the glass ceiling has been a continuing theme since she first joined the NSW Police power in 1980.

Again then, girls officers have been unable to hold the identical weapons as the lads, have been required to put on a skirt, and needed to depart the power in the event that they bought married or had kids.

“[They] knocked out a number of good girls rising by means of to the highest as a result of they’d to decide on between household and work,” Commissioner York stated.

However by means of her efforts and her colleagues, the restrictions have been eased.

“I by no means went out to be a trailblazer or battle, I simply put in for issues and tried to vary them the place I noticed it was unfair,” she stated. “I would not have gotten to the place I bought if it wasn’t for the forward-thinking males that modified the system, as a result of we did not have the ability to vary it.”

After virtually 40 years on the police power, she’s had many highlights, together with director of the Forensic Companies Group, Commander of the Prison Identification Specialist Department and main the strike power that captured convicted murderer and fugitive Malcolm Naden in 2012.

Nonetheless, when the highest job on the SES turned obtainable, she determined it was time for a change.

Commissioner York will focus on bolstering volunteer numbers and how to improve mental health services.

Commissioner York will deal with bolstering volunteer numbers and the right way to enhance psychological well being providers.Credit score:James Brickwood

Trying past the primary yr: ‘Everybody is aware of these orange overalls’

As she appears to be like past the primary yr within the job, Commissioner York says she’s hoping to bolster the SES’ volunteers and enhance psychological well being sources.

“Everybody locally is aware of when these orange overalls are coming down the road, they’re coming to assist,” she stated.

However she stated volunteers do not need to be these standing on roofs or those that can wield a chainsaw. Volunteers can work in logistics, public data, catering or tools upkeep.

A SES crew make their way through the flood waters in Shoalhaven Heads in August this year.

A SES crew make their approach by means of the flood waters in Shoalhaven Heads in August this yr. Credit score:Kate Geraghty

Commissioner York additionally needs to enhance psychological well being providers for volunteers, together with selling higher consciousness, constructing resilience and staying wholesome.

It is one thing she picked up throughout her policing profession, studying that irrespective of how thrilling or worthwhile work is, individuals have to take break day to make sure they’re at their finest after they clock on.

For Commissioner York, that features spending time together with her household or out on a ship the place she’ll swim or fish.

“If we get to the Hawkesbury that is good as a result of there is no telephone protection up there,” she stated.

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