YouthCARE Recognised for Emergency Service Volunteer Support

    Over the weekend YouthCARE received a Volunteer Employer Recognition Award (VERA) Distinction.

    Three nominees received Distinctions for Outstanding Support at the ceremony, which acknowledges the long-standing support of businesses and organisations receiving their fourth VERA.

    YouthCARE was recognised for protecting the welfare of employees through our post-incident welfare checks (Pastoral Critical Incidence Response) and providing pastoral support.

    Two Pilbra-based Rio Tinto sites also received Distinction Awards with a ceremony to be held in Bunbury for the South West recipients.

    In total, more than 26,000 emergency service volunteers assist the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) in the preparation, response, and recovery of emergency situations.

    Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby highlighted the ongoing support and generosity of volunteer employers and self-employed volunteers at the ceremony.

    “We rely on volunteers to help protect communities right across the State, and that would not be possible without the support of their employers,” said Minister Reece Whitby.

    Award nominations were 20 percent higher this year, which reflected employer support of volunteers during a challenging year.

    WA was struck by bushfires in Wooroloo and Red Gully, Tropical Cyclone Seroja and severe flooding throughout the State this year.

    “It has been a difficult twelve months, but it is heartening to see such a significant rise in the number of employers supporting emergency services in Western Australia and I thank them for their efforts,” said Minister Reece Whitby.

    Employers recognised through the VERA program provide flexible work arrangements allowing volunteers time off work to train for and respond to incidents, which is often at short notice and for extended periods of time.

    Since the inception of VERA almost 1000 businesses, organisations, and self-employed volunteers have been recognised.