SES volunteers Leon Burt and Gary Olive during the December-January floods.
SES volunteers Leon Burt and Gary Olive during the December-January floods. Allan Reinikka

Volunteer's flood efforts honoured

IF YOU asked Leon Burt why he joined the SES, he’d probably tell you it was to help the community.

But after being only kilometres away from where the London bombings took place on that fateful July day in 2005, he said it could quite possibly be his subconscious having something to do with it.

Living and working in London for six years, that tragic day saw him trapped in lockdown at his place of work until it was safe to leave.

Either way, it has led Leon to do some extraordinary things for the Central Queensland region in its time of need.

Leon joined the local SES only six months after moving to Rockhampton and said it had taught him many things.

“I hadn’t done any previous community volunteering before and I thought it’d be a good way to get to know the community I was living in,” he said.

Even though he’s another upstanding citizen deserving a big thankyou as part of National Volunteer Week, the humble man said it wasn’t about that.

“We certainly don’t go looking for the attention, but it’s good to be recognised for your efforts,” Leon said.

One of a few who were SES flood boat operators during the floods, Leon was a vital member of the team.

“If there’s only a few of you with a special skill, you become close because you’re the only people who can do that job – you build a tight-knit group and those friendships are very special.”

 

How to join your local SES

  • For information on becoming a volunteer, contact 1300 369 003, visit the SES website at www.emergency.qld.gov.au/ses or contact your nearest Emergency Management Office
  • Rockhampton Office 4938 4988


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