Employers who support staff who volunteer for Western Australia’s emergency services have been recognised for their commitment to helping protect local communities.
More than 80 businesses, organisations and self-employed volunteers from across the State were celebrated today at the 2021 Volunteer Employer Recognition Awards (VERA) ceremony.
Nominations for the awards increased by more than 20 per cent on last year, reflecting the commitment of many employers during a challenging year in which WA was struck by bushfires in Wooroloo and Red Gully, Tropical Cyclone Seroja and severe flooding throughout the State.
Three nominees received Distinctions for Outstanding Support, which acknowledges the long-standing support of businesses and organisations receiving their fourth VERA.
Not-for-profit YouthCARE was recognised for its work in protecting the welfare of its employees, which included post-incident welfare checks and providing pastoral support.
Two Pilbara-based Rio Tinto sites also received distinctions – the Robe Valley Operations for supplying volunteer firefighters with specialist equipment and the Cape Lambert Operations for fostering a strong culture of volunteering.
A second ceremony will be held in Bunbury next week for South West-based VERA recipients.
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Reece Whitby:
“We rely on volunteers to help protect communities right across the State, and that would not be possible without the support of their employers.
“It’s especially important to recognise small businesses and self-employed volunteers, who often close their doors during emergencies as they work to keep the community safe.
“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.”