Saturday, July 13, 2024

ACT ESA Commissioner steps down

Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA), Georgeina Whelan, has concluded her four-year tenure, marking her last day in the job on Friday.

Minister of Police and Emergency Services, Mick Gentleman said that under Commissioner Whelan’s leadership, the ACT ESA had shown exemplary resilience and efficiency in responding to various emergencies, including bushfires, floods, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Gentleman said Commissioner Whelan’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of residents in the ACT had set a high standard for emergency services management in an all-hazards environment.

“Georgeina joined the ESA as the Chief Officer of the State Emergency Service in late October 2017 having completed 32 years of military service. In August 2019, shortly before one of our worst-ever bushfire seasons, Georgeina was appointed as the first female Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency,” the Minister said.

“Through the hazardous 2019-20 bushfire season, Commissioner Whelan was a calming voice for our community who’s transparent and regular updates reassured our community that they were in safe hands.

“Shortly after the bushfires and storms, Commissioner Whelan led our emergency services through the COVID-19 pandemic, working with our Chief Officers to quickly innovate how emergency services were sustained whilst ensuring the safety of emergency service staff and the community.

“During the pandemic, Commissioner Whelan supported the community through the Agency’s adopted of non-traditional emergency service roles such as food and supply deliveries to students and vulnerable Canberrans, COVID-19 testing, sourcing and supplying sanitiser and masks to our community, and helping to entertain our younger Canberrans with her story book reading online.

“I would like to thank Commissioner for being there for our community during our toughest times,” said Mr Gentleman.

Of the departing Commissioner’s tenure, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said, “Every Canberran will remember Commissioner Whelan for the role that she played in our lives during the 2019-20 bushfires. We were all grateful to have her as a reassuring voice throughout a difficult time for the city.”

Effective 24 July, Assistant Commissioner Jason Jones was appointed Acting Commissioner, while a nation-wide recruitment process takes place to select a new Commissioner.

Latest Articles