Raelene’s fine service honoured

Deserved recognition: Morwell VICSES Unit Commander Raelene Billingsley has been awarded an Emergency Services Medal. photograph supplied

Alyssa Fritzlaff

MORWELL VICSES Unit Commander Raelene Billingsley has been awarded an Emergency Service Medal.

Ms Billingsley has volunteered for the SES for more than 30 years and was happy about
receiving the award.

She is currently the Commander of the Morwell Unit, the person responsible for
making sure the team is ready to respond 24/7.

“I have no idea who nominated me,” she said.

“Definitely some information has come from someone within this unit – because there were comments made that only a few people would have known.

“I got an email from the Office of the Governor-General in the middle of October, asking
whether I would accept the nomination… I read the criteria of it all, and I thought ‘wow,
this is a big deal’ – I was pretty chuffed.”

Ms Billingsley is passionate about her role in the SES, and is grateful for all the skills she has learnt along the way.

She said it is nice to be recognised, but explained that that’s not why she volunteers.

“There’s a lot of worthy people in the SES around the state and to be singled out it’s a pretty big deal,” she said.

“It’s my passion, it’s what I love.

“I joined to get the skills to be able to help people, to help the community and found that I
really enjoyed the challenge.”

Last year was a challenging year for the unit. They recorded more than 1000 call outs.

“Last year was just crazy, for our unit it was our highest number of jobs recorded ever,” Ms Billingsley said.

In her time at the SES, Ms Billingsley has been involved significant accident, flood and fire

Notably she played a role in the Cyclone Yasi response, was sent up to Omeo two years ago during the fires to provide Road Crash Rescue support and has been involved in every Traralgon flood incident in the last 30 years.

Outside of her role in the SES, Ms Billingsley works for Australia Post, a role that she

“Currently, I am a parcel post contractor for Australia Post in Traralgon – I deliver people’s
parcels and get to feel like Santa every day, it’s awesome,” she explained.

“I did do emergency services at the power stations for about 20 years, and that’s because my work at the SES gave me the skills to be able to do it as a job.”

Ms Billingsley thoroughly enjoys her position, and has loved training other SES volunteers in her various leadership positions.

“I still enjoy what I do, and I enjoy passing on my knowledge,” she said.

“I’ve seen people who come into this unit, they might’ve started 10 years after me, and they’ve progressed through the unit and they’re now taking leadership positions.”

Ms Billingsley would like to thank those responsible for her nomination and all the people who support herself and her team.

“We are a family in orange, but we’ve also got their families that support them so that they
can run out the door… I need to thank whoever nominated me,” she said.

“The response that I’ve had from people that are happy for me as just been really nice, it’s