Dr Ron Edwards has
extensive board experience in the fisheries, the resources and
not-for-profit sectors, including previous appointments on the Pacific
Area Working Group for the Marine Stewardship Council, the
Not-for-Profit Sector Reform Council, the Australian Social Inclusion
Board and the Seafood Trade and Market Access Forum.
He is the co-founder
of the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation for indigenous youth and has
also served on the boards of the Perth Mint, as Chair of Anglican Youth
Ministries, the Anglican Schools Commission and as Chair of the Potato
Marketing Corporation and the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee.
He is currently on the boards of Youth Focus, the Young Lives Matter
Foundation, the National Landcare Advisory Committee and continues with
the Polly Farmer Foundation.
Dr Edwards' career
has also included strategic project work, academic, research and media
communications roles, and he served as the Federal Member for Stirling
in Western Australia between 1983 and 1993.
Dr Ron Edwards has
been the SEMC Chair since October 2017.
With a passion for community and fascination with government,
Ms Melissa Pexton has dedicated her career to working with communities
to build resilience within the complex environment of emergency
Pexton currently oversees the Emergency Management Policy portfolio for
Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA). WALGA is
an independent, membership-based group representing and supporting 140
local governments statewide. Ms Pexton's draws on her background in
community development, policy and advocacy to ensure that the interests
and views of local government are conveyed to other spheres of
Prior to joining WALGA in May 2015, Ms Pexton held positions with
Emergency Management Western Australia (EMWA) as Principal Policy and
Planning Officer, during the implementation of the Emergency
Management Act WA 2005 and later leading the Community Emergency
Management Services portfolio, overseeing the Western Australian Natural
Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (WANDRRA), Natural Disaster
Resilience Program, AWARE and State emergency management training.
During this time, Ms Pexton was appointed as an Executive Officer to
the State Emergency Management Committee and the State Emergency
Pexton has built extensive experience working in the community
engagement portfolio of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (now
Department of Fire and Emergency Services) working with emergency
service volunteers and staff, alongside local governments and key
stakeholders to build resilience and understanding of the impacts of
natural hazards in the community.
Pexton is regarded for her comprehensive understanding of the Emergency
Management Policy Framework and her ability to facilitate beneficial
outcomes involving diverse and varied stakeholders from all sectors of
Pexton was appointed as Deputy Chair of the SEMC in May 2018 and Chair
SEMC Recovery and Community Engagement Subcommittee.
Linda has a BA (Hons)
in Political Science from UWA and a Law Degree from the University of
working life she has had a strong focus on law reform, social justice
and the rights of women and children.
She is a previous Director of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and a
Legal Member of
the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She has also been a Member of the
Legislative Council of the West Australian State parliament. She was the
Inaugural Convener of the Valuing Children Initiative.
She has served on a
wide range of advisory committees and boards including the Women’s
Advisory Council to the Premier, the Reproductive Technology Council of
Western Australia, the Chief Justice’s Taskforce on Gender Bias,
Executive of Women Lawyers (WA), Convener of Management Committee of the
Women’s Legal Service of Western Australia, the Board of the Art Gallery
of Western Australia and the Taskforce to establish the State
Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia.
She is currently a
Director on the Board of The Black Swan State Theatre Company, Youth
Legal Service (Inc), the National Drug Research Institute.
She has twice been
recognized by her legal peers. In 1997 she was awarded the Law Society
of Western Australia’s annual award for Outstanding Service to the
Community. In 2010 she was named Woman Lawyer of the Year.
Ms Savage has been a
SEMC Independent Member since September 2018.
Mr Mal Cronstedt
commenced his career in the fire service as a volunteer in 1976 and then
joined full-time in 1982, progressing through the ranks across the state
in a variety of operational and support roles. Mr Cronstedt undertook a
secondment to Fire & Rescue NSW (then NSW Fire Brigades) in 2003–04 and
in 2005 joined the NSW Rural Fire Service as the Blue Mountains
Superintendent. He returned to Western Australia in 2008 as Fire and
Emergency Service Authority's Rural Operations Coordinator South and was
subsequently appointed as Chief Superintendent Country South in July
2012, upon the creation of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services
Mr Cronstedt was
appointed inaugural Director of the Office of Bushfire Risk Management
in August 2012. In August 2014 he became Executive Director of the State
Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) Secretariat (now OEM). Mr
Cronstedt is an ex-officio member of the SEMC, Chair of the SEMC Risk
subcommittee, member of the State Bushfire Coordinating Committee and
member of the DFES Audit and Risk Committee. In addition, he is Chair of
the Development Disability WA board, and sits on the Kensington
Secondary School board as an independent member.
Mr Cronstedt holds a
Master of Business Administration, a Graduate Diploma in Disaster
Management and a Bachelor of Arts. He is a graduate of the Australian
Institute of Company Directors, the Institution of Fire Engineers and
the Australia and New Zealand School of Government's Executive Fellows
Mr Mal Cronstedt has
been the SEMC Executive Officer since August 2014.
Mr Darren Foster was
appointed as Director General of the Department of the Premier and
Cabinet in July 2017.
Mr Foster has over 30
years of public sector experience as a senior policy and strategy
adviser in Commonwealth, State and local governments, in areas as
diverse as Environment, Treasury and Finance; Energy; Health; Education
and Training; Tourism; Racing and Gaming and Native Title.
Mr Foster has held
senior roles in the Department of Fisheries and the Office of the
Environmental Protection Authority, and the National Native Title
Tribunal. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communication and Cultural
Studies) and a Postgraduate Diploma of Arts (History), and is an alumnus
of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government Executive Fellows
Mr Darren Foster has
been a SEMC Member since October 2017.
Mr Darren Klemm has
over 27 years of experience in fire and emergency services, having
served three years with the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service
before joining the WA Fire Brigades Board in 1993.
Originally posted to
Perth Fire Station, he served at various metropolitan fire stations.
This was followed by time in Country Operations in the Goldfields
Midlands, based in Northam, which gave him the opportunity to gain
considerable experience in regional firefighting operations, as well as
the chance to work closely with volunteers.
Mr Klemm also spent
time at the then FESA Training Centre before being promoted to Assistant
Commissioner in 2012.
Over the last six
years he has successfully delivered and implemented a number of high
level strategic reforms, including delivering key aspects of the DFES
response to the Report of the Perth Hills Bushfire. This facilitated
significant changes across DFES and the EM sector in WA.
Mr Klemm has also
been responsible for significant structural and cultural reform in the
training and professional development of DFES personnel and volunteers,
including management of the WA Fire and Emergency Services Academy and
the introduction of the Professional Pathways competency based
framework. He has been involved in strategic operations at State and
Incident Controller level during significant emergencies such as the
Waroona, O'Sullivan and Toodyay bushfires and Tropical Cyclone Olwyn.
Mr Klemm is a member of a number of national committees concerned with
EM in Australia, and holds a Graduate Certificate in Management from the
Australian Institute of Management. He was appointed as Commissioner of
the Department of Fire and Emergency Services in August 2017.
Mr Darren Klemm has
been a SEMC Member since October 2017.
Mr Chris Dawson joined WA Police as a cadet in February 1976, going
on to provide 38 years of continuous service in country and
metropolitan positions across a range of portfolios. He was
appointed to the rank of Superintendent in 1999 when he became the
inaugural principal of the WA Police Academy in Joondalup. The
Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2002 saw him awarded the Australian
Police Medal for distinguished service.
He was appointed Deputy Commissioner under Karl O'Callaghan in July
2004, with a brief to lead an agency reform program resulting from
outcomes from the Kennedy Royal Commission. From May 2008 he had
overall management of all operational policing within metropolitan
and regional areas, including the specialist portfolios of serious
and organised crime, counter terrorism and state protection.
In 2011, Mr Dawson headed up the biggest security operation in the
history of WA Police, as State Commander for the Commonwealth Heads
of Government Meeting (CHOGM). He was responsible for the security
of all attending Heads of State from 53 Commonwealth countries and
their respective senior ministers and delegates.
After ten years as Deputy Commissioner, Mr Dawson left WA Police in
April 2014 to take up the role of Chief Executive Officer of the
Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, formerly the Australian
Crime Commission. He has also served as Director of the Australian
Institute of Criminology at this time. He was appointed as
Commissioner of the Western Australia Police Force in August 2017.
Mr Dawson has been a SEMC Member since October 2017.
Dr Andrew (Andy) Robertson is the Acting Assistant Director General and Acting Chief Health Officer within the Public and Aboriginal Health Division in the Western Australia Department of Health (WA Health). With specialist qualifications in Public Health Medicine and Medical Administration, he served with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from 1984 until 2003, including completing three tours to Iraq as a Biological Weapons Chief Inspector with the United Nations Special Commission in 1996 and 1997. He remains in the RAN’s Active Reserve, and was promoted to Commodore and took up the role of Director General Navy Health Reserves in July 2015.
In October 2003, he took up the position of the Director, Disaster Preparedness and Management in WA Health. In December 2004, he led the Australian Medical Relief team into the Maldives post tsunami, managed WA Health’s response to the 2005 Bali Bombing, led the WA Health team into Indonesia after the Yogyakarta earthquakes in June 2006, worked as the Radiation Health Adviser to the Australian Embassy after the Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011 and conducted the AUSMAT needs assessment in Nepal after the Nepal earthquake in 2015. Since 2008, as Director, Disaster Management and Deputy Chief Health Officer, he has coordinated the WA Health responses to Cyclone George, the Varanus Island gas explosion, the Ashmore Reef incident, the public health system aspects of the H1N1 2009 pandemic, the 2011 CHOGM meeting and the 2015 Ebola preparations.
Mr Mark Webb has
a Degree in Science (Agriculture) Hons from the University of
Western Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Cross-sector
Partnership from the University of Cambridge (UK).
Mr Webb was
previously employed by the Department of Agriculture and Foods WA
(DAFWA) for more than 15 years and worked in South Perth, Manjimup,
Kununurra and Albany. He has extensive experience in horticultural
research, public and private sector management, farming and
Mr Webb was CEO
of the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority from 2004 – 2017. From
March 2016 to June 2017 he was Acting Director General of DAFWA. He
sits on a number of local, national and international committees and
boards. Mr Webb has been appointed to lead the new Department of
Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions as Interim Director
Mr Mark Webb has
been a SEMC Member since October 2017.
Mr Grahame Searle
was appointed to lead the State Government's regional services
reform in June 2015 with a mandate to transform the way government
services are provided to Aboriginal communities in WA.
Mr Searle has
been a public service leader and innovator for many years. He
successfully drove major organisational change in his former roles
as Department of Housing director general (2008-2015) and Landgate
CEO (2004-2008). He is widely respected in the State Government and
by Aboriginal leaders for his ability to facilitate collaboration
and achieve results.
At the Department
of Housing he led the nation in fulfilling targets set under the
National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing,
exceeding Indigenous employment targets for five consecutive years.
As State Reform
Leader, he is overseeing sweeping, systemic and long-term changes
that will lead to better living conditions and greater education and
employment opportunities for Aboriginal people in regional and
Mr Searle holds a
Bachelor of Business from Monash University. He is a national fellow
and former State president of the Institute of Public Administration
Australia, a fellow of the Spatial Sciences Institutes well as being
a board member of the Western Australian Treasury Corporation and
Leadership WA. Grahame is also a former member of the Australia New
Zealand Land Information Council and chairman of its Standing
Committee on Land Administration. He is also a former board member
of the CRC for Spatial Information and the Australia Housing and
Urban Research Institute.
Mr Grahame Searle
has been a SEMC Member since October 2017.
Prior to joining the
Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) in February
2000, Ms Ricky Burges was the Director General of the Department for
Culture and the Arts, CEO of Perth Zoo, and Director of Human Resources
at the WA Tourism Commission.
Ms Burges has a
Masters in Leadership and Management from Curtin University, a
Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Development, a Certificate in
Psychotherapy, and a Diploma in Coaching.
Ms Burges sits on the
ROADS Foundation, the Board of MercyCare, the Local Government Insurance
Board, the Murdoch Senate, the Western Australian Council on
Homelessness, the Healthway Board and various Local Government
committees and Boards.
Ms Burges is a past
President of the Australian Institute of Management and the Board of the
Art Gallery of Western Australia. She was the Western Australian
Businesswoman of the Year in 1997 and was awarded a Public Service Medal
Ms Ricky Burges has
been a SEMC Member since January 2013.