House debates

Monday, 14 October 2019

Statements by Members

Lester, Ms Evelyn, ESM

1:34 pm

Photo of Julian LeeserJulian Leeser (Berowra, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I rise to speak about a remarkable, generous and hardworking woman in my constituency, Evelyn Lester, the Hills SES unit commander. Recently, Evelyn announced that she was stepping down from her role after having served the SES since 2002. She has held numerous roles in her 16-year service, and, despite her retirement, she's going to continue on as a volunteer.

In Evelyn's first week with the SES, she was thrown straight into seven days of assisting with the severe 2002 bushfires which devastated large parts of my electorate. Since then, Evelyn has attended or commanded at thousands of events right across the country, from, in 2011, the Brisbane floods, to last December's storms that were centred on West Pennant Hills in the electorate. Since October 2014, records indicate that the Hills SES has received call-outs to 5,879 jobs, and Evelyn has been involved in almost all of these. Anytime there's a natural disaster in my part of the Hills Shire, Evelyn is my first port of call.

In 2018, Evelyn was awarded the New South Wales adult Volunteer of the Year for the region. She received an Emergency Service Medal for distinguished service throughout her years in the SES in 2018. Known for her hard work and dedication, Evelyn has always gone above and beyond, showing strong leadership in times of crisis. Evelyn's work has extended to counselling those who've lost everything and reassuring people through tough times. She's exceedingly kind, generous to a fault, and is always up to her challenge. On behalf of the Berowra electorate, I simply say to Evelyn: thank you for your service.