AFAC welcomes new president DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM

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Darren Klemm appointed as the new AFAC president

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) has announced Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM as its new president.

Commissioner Klemm, a veteran in fire and emergency services with over three decades of experience, steps into the role as the 11th president of the leading council for fire and emergency services in Australia and New Zealand.

Building stronger communities through collaboration

Commissioner Klemm emphasised the value of unity in facing upcoming challenges. “Working side-by-side with our fire and emergency service colleagues across Australia and New Zealand means we are all better placed to address the challenges of the future together,” he stated.

His vision for the presidency is centred on fostering essential connections and capabilities within the sector.

A legacy of leadership and new beginnings

Rob Webb, CEO of AFAC, expressed his gratitude towards the outgoing president, Carlene York, for her service during her term, especially during the NSW natural disasters: “Commissioner York was both the first woman and the first SES Commissioner to preside over AFAC.

“During her tenure, the state of NSW experienced extensive and devastating flood and storm events.

“Commissioner York demonstrated strong leadership and compassion throughout, to flood-impacted communities, to her staff and volunteers, and to her fellow members of the AFAC National Council,” he said.

Webb also commended her for aiding in the realization of a ‘connected and capable emergency service sector.’

Commissioner York’s endorsement of incoming president

In her endorsement, Commissioner York praised the collective accomplishments under her presidency and expressed her confidence in Klemm’s abilities.

“I have enjoyed my time as AFAC President and am proud of what we have collectively achieved across Australia and New Zealand,” said York. “Commissioner Klemm brings a wealth of experience to the role of President and I wish him all the best.”

Transition of leadership at the AFAC National Council AGM

Commissioner Klemm’s appointment was confirmed at the recent AFAC National Council Annual General Meeting held on 24 October 2023.

The council, consisting of 33 members from various fire, state emergency service, and land management agencies, represents the combined expertise and leadership in fire and emergency response across Australasia.

IFSJ Comment

The appointment of a new AFAC president signifies a shift in leadership that oversees the fire and emergency services in Australia and New Zealand, reflecting the dynamic nature of this sector.

Commissioner Darren Klemm’s 30-year tenure in fire and emergency services suggests a profound understanding of the evolving demands and intricacies of disaster management and community safety.

The continuity of expertise, with Klemm at the helm, promises an enriched perspective towards collaborative efforts in tackling emergency responses.

The transition also speaks to the valued contributions of former President Commissioner Carlene York, emphasizing a legacy of resilience and connection.

The sector’s ability to adapt to change while maintaining leadership that champions cooperation and advancement underscores the council’s readiness to face future challenges with renewed vigour and strategic insight.

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