by Ken McManus
Three volunteers from Marine Rescue NSW have been recognised for their contribution to safety on the water and the NSW boating community in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours. James Glissan QC, Patricia Fayers and Joan Noble have today been awarded the Emergency Service Medal. Mr Glissan is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Marine Rescue NSW and an active member of Marine Rescue Botany Bay. Ms Fayers is the Unit Commander of Marine Rescue Central Coast and Mrs Noble is the Deputy Unit Commander of Marine Rescue Kioloa, in the Illawarra. MRNSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos congratulated the three members on the national recognition of their distinguished service. 'These awards are an opportunity for us as a country to thank these volunteers for their work and commitment to serving the boating community on NSW waters,' Commissioner Tannos said. 'Our volunteers deserve our gratitude for their contribution to saving lives on the water and improving boating safety. 'They are often called upon to put their own safety at risk, turning out in terrible weather and sea conditions, to help boaters in need. 'They also give up valuable time with their families and friends to attend training, support community events, fundraise and conduct education courses for local boaters. 'They make a valuable contribution to the safety and wellbeing of our community without any expectation of reward or recompense. 'Our members are a credit to our organisation and these awards today give us all a chance to say thank you to them all.' James Glissan ESM QC, Oyster Bay: As the foundation – and only – Chair of Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW, James Glissan QC has been pivotal to the establishment of this new emergency service. Mr Glissan joined the Botany Bay flotilla of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association (AVCGA) in May 2008. Marine Rescue NSW has since brought together members from the AVCGA, the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol and Volunteer Rescue Association marine fleet into one service. The State Government appointed Mr Glissan to the Facilitation Group to guide the transition process to a single rescue organisation. His professional expertise helped ensure MRNSW was established on secure legal, governance and financial foundations on July 1, 2009. He was subsequently appointed as one of the Foundation Board Members to direct MRNSW until its first Board election in 2010, at which he was elected as a General Board Director. Mr Glissan was elected by his fellow Directors as the Chairman of the Board and has since been re-elected twice to this position. Under his leadership, the Board has worked constructively to set the strategic direction of MRNSW and advance the interests of its volunteers. Patricia Fayers ESM, Wyoming: Mrs Fayers joined the Central Coast Division of the RVCP in 1998 and immediately began training in subjects including first aid, meteorology, watchkeeping, seamanship and navigation. Her first role was as Assistant Quartermaster. In 2001, Mrs Fayers attained the rank of Skipper One and was involved in many assists and rescues over the next five years. She has been integral to managing the delivery of four new rescue vessels to the Central Coast unit, was appointed an Australian Communications Authority (now ACMA) exam supervisor for marine radio training in 2002 and has conducted monthly Maritime Boat Safety Courses and NSW boat licence examinations. In 2006, Mrs Fayers was elected Divisional Commander. At the end of her successful three-year term in office, she was asked to remain in the role to allow a smooth transition from the RVCP to the new MRNSW, serving in the position until June 2010. She was elected as Unit Commander of the Marine Rescue Central Coast unit in July 2012. During her two terms in office she has ensured the unit has been ready for any task. As well as taking part in numerous fundraising events and securing grants for the unit’s benefit, Mrs Fayers has also provided comfort to those who have lost loved ones in boating tragedies. She also is a member of the Gosford Local Emergency Management Committee and supports other emergency services. Aileen (Joan) Noble ESM, Bawley Point: Mrs Noble joined her late husband Fred at the Kioloa Division of the RVCP in 2001. Since that time she has served in numerous roles, including as a Marine Radio Operator, Administration Officer, Stores Officer, Treasurer and Deputy Unit Commander. Mrs Noble has worked tirelessly in all these positions since joining the organisation, with her dedication and determination motivating her fellow members to make the Kioloa unit, one of Marine Rescue’s smallest, an outstanding operation. She has given countless hours of service as an after-hours standby radio operator and in her clerical and financial roles, ensuring the efficient administration of the unit, particularly in relation to Government and council requirements and grant applications. Mrs Noble has been a driving force in fundraising and obtaining grants and other assistance for the unit, particularly for the refurbishment and extension of the Kioloa base to accommodate the unit’s new rescue vessel in 2011. As well as taking part in all fundraising events, she has contributed a mass of craft items for these activities. Mrs Noble is recognised for her leadership and her tremendous capacity to support and advise other Kioloa members whenever needed.
Patricia Fayers (left) James Glisson and Joan Noble - Queens’ Birthday Honours (Joan Noble photo by Stuart Carless, Milton Ulladulla Times)