The Minister for Defence and Member for Perth, Stephen Smith MP and the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, congratulated seven West Australian employers and their Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reservists for their outstanding service to the ADF during 2011.
A ceremony recognising the employers and their Reservist employees was held last night on board Sail Training Ship Leeuwin in Fremantle.
The evening included a traditional Beat to Quarters and Ceremonial Sunset by the Royal Australian Navy Band and a ceremonial guard.
“As a Western Australian, I know the importance of supporting our business community. I understand the impact that Reserve training and deployment can have on businesses, particularly small business,” Minister Smith said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank and recognise West Australian businesses who support ADF Reservists.
“I would also like to congratulate the six Reservists for their outstanding service to the ADF,” Minister Smith said.
“Our Reserve forces make a substantial contribution to ADF capability. Reservists have a unique combination of civilian and military skills.
“This means that a Reserve force can perform a range of tasks – from domestic support such as that provided at CHOGM, to stabilisation operations such as those in East Timor and the Solomon Islands,” Senator Feeney said.
“Without the support of employers, such as those represented at the West Australian Awards, it would not be possible for Reservists to serve Australia at home and abroad,” the Senator said.
The WA Employer of the Year Award was presented to Iluka Resources Ltd by Captain Brett Wolski, Commanding Officer of HMAS Stirling.
Commenting on the award, Iluka Resources Human Resources Manager, Kathy Bunce, said the company was delighted to receive the award.
"We like to work with the best people who share our values of commitment, integrity and responsibility. By creating a flexible workplace our employees have the opportunity to pursue important activities such as the Reserves," Ms Bunce said.
The Awards were organised by the WA Council of the Defence Reserves Support Council (DRSC).
The Awards recognise private sector and government employers who have been particularly supportive of their Reservist employees.
DRSC WA Council chairman Mr Duncan Warren said the recognition was well deserved.
Reserve Service Excellence Awards were also presented to six Navy, Army and Air Force West Australian Reservists in recognition of their service.
"These Excellence Awards recognise the high quality of service among the many West Australian Reservists who contribute to Australia's Defence capability,” Mr Warren said.
For more information about support available for ADF Reserves and their employers visit www.defence.gov.au/reserves
WA EMPLOYER AWARD WINNERS:
Employer of the Year: Iluka Resources Ltd
Private sector (large): National Australia Bank
Private sector (medium): Sustainability Pty Ltd
Private sector (small): Caterlink
Federal Government: Department of Immigration and Citizenship
State Government: Department of Education
Local Government: City of Melville
RESERVE SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARDS:
Army: Sergeant Ray Wharton
Corporal Jason MacKay
Lance Corporal Matija Franetovich
RAAF: Wing Commander Robert Wood
Leading Aircraftman Benjamin Shaw
RAN: Lieutenant Peter Velterop
Imagery is available at the following link: http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003=&search=11121395
Ellen Shields (Smith) - 0400 347 473
Lorna Clarke (Feeney) - 0408 345 730
Defence Media Operations - 02 6127 1999