Transforming Lives and Regions


Redesigning Leadership To Improve Retention Of NSW SES Volunteers

The Project

SES2In times of natural disaster and crisis, services such as the NSW SES are essential to restoring calm and helping the community to clean up and rebuild. 

This project examines how the NSW State Emergency Service, which has an annual turnover of volunteers of around 20 per cent, can retain their volunteers. 

Redesigning Leadership to Improve Retention of Volunteers in the NSW SES will focus on important elements of leadership capacity and their impact on recruitment and retention. 

The project will work with current members of the organisation in data collection and training intervention with a focus on creating more optimistic and healthy working environments. 

It aims to use the research gathered to halve the turnover rate in the NSW SES in the next three to five years.  

Researcher Dr Michael Jones says with storms growing in frequency and intensity and a relative decrease in volunteers, the project is essential to aiding these organisations. 

The findings will then be translated to similar organisations in Australia, such as the Country Fire Association and Rural Fire Service, and in the United States and United Kingdom.  

The Researchers

SES Project Meeting 25 Feb 15

Redesigning Leadership to Improve Retention of Volunteers in the NSW SES brings together researchers from diverse backgrounds, with expertise in business, law, science, health and the emergency services.

Dr Michael Jones is a lecturer in the Faculty of Business at UOW. 

Vivien Forner is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Business at UOW.

Dr Joakim Eidenfalk is a lecturer in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at UOW. 

Dominique Parrish is in the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health at UOW.

Dr Senevi Kiridena is in the School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering at UOW. 

David Rae is the Director of Human Services in the NSW State Emergency Services.

Last reviewed: 21 June, 2016

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