On Wednesday, Wellington LandSAR hosted its Annual General Meeting at the Hutt Valley High School to recognise the contributions that our volunteers have made over the last 12 months, and to celebrate the range of awards.
Magesh Memorial Award – Meg Shaw
About the award
Magesh embodied the spirit of LandSAR. His exceptional commitment to training and operations, putting in 100% all the time, combined with a contagious warmth and spirited personality, ensured he became a key member of LandSAR as a field team member and as a new addition to the committee.
The Magesh Memorial Award was established in 2019 in memory of our field team member Magesh Jagadeesan, who was tragically killed on Mt Ruapehu in September 2018.
Magesh’s brother Satish has agreed to on-going support for the award. The award itself resides in the SAR Ops Room at Lower Hutt Police Station. However, each recipient will receive a token from Satish and the Committee to recognise the recipient’s contribution to Wellington LandSAR.
Meg Shaw is the 2022 recipient of the Megesh Memorial Award! Meg is a quiet but nonetheless, prominent member of the field teams. She has continued to pursue opportunities for the development of her own individual excellence through the national coursing system while providing significant support to local training events. This includes filling lead roles for both field training and operations.
Meg has attended five operations over the year with multiple return attendances during them. She self-employed and has continuously prioritised her volunteer time and effort over that of her business, in a time where market costs continue to rise and earning capacity is tested.
As a field team leader, Meg is respected by all members of the group, and can be relied on to conduct tasks with enthusiasm and diligence. Meg is well known for managing the welfare and support of all team members but especially the newer members who are naturally the future of LandSAR.
Meg’s dedication, effort and generous contribution, not only across the past year but for her entire voluntary service is recognised and greatly appreciated by the group and she is a very worthy recipient of this award. Congratulations Meg!
Presentation of 2021 LandSAR NZ Awards
The disruptions brought about by COVID-19 in 2021 unfortunately meant that Wellington LandSAR had been unable to formally meet and recognise the award winners from the 2021 National LandSAR Awards. At the AGM we took the opportunity to recognise these members and celebrate their achievements!
Nicole Ranger – Plaque Award
Nicole was awarded a plaque award as recognition of her volunteer service and the effort she has made not only to searches, but to the Committee and training.
To illustrate Nicole’s contribution of service, here were the comments made in support of her award:
Nicole is what I would consider a ‘rock’ of Wellington Land Search & Rescue. Nicole makes herself available to WLSAR at every opportunity by attending all call outs that she can and as much training as her work and life will allow.
When it’s raining, windy, and you are nowhere near your perceived area that the missing person could be, Nicole is still cheerful and focused. She remains calm, she is confident in her mind to speak up and put across her thoughts when required and she keeps her team on task. It is also important to note that she is a machine! Just try and keep up with her if you can; even when she says she is “not feeling very fit.”
Nicole is an excellent team leader who is willing to teach and support others, give constructive feedback and bring everyone home safely. She has both exceptional field skills and team leader qualities. She inspires other Wellington LandSAR members and is highly thought of amongst the group.
Nicole has been a strong role model of a young woman leader in LandSAR. I’ve looked up to her since I joined LandSAR and have learnt a lot from her. We consistently get great feedback about her leadership from tutors and SAREX evaluators, and she plays a valuable role mentoring new members in the field. She has a calm and confident presence that humbly commands respect from those who have the privilege of working with her. She was my team leader on one of my first searches and she was incredibly encouraging, never made me feel like I couldn’t ask the questions were dumb and I felt like my (novice) ideas were still validated and appreciated.
Jeremy Paterson – Excellence Award
Jeremy was awarded the excellence award in recognition of his service to both Dunedin and Wellington LandSAR, in particular to the period he held the Chair position and his support to both the Tararua Alliance and Nationally.
To fully appreciate Jeremy’s contributions, here are some comments that were made in support of his award:
I have been to a lot of national workshops, conferences, regional meetings over the last few years and I can’t think of one of those events that Jeremy didn’t attend. It was always good to catch up with Jeremy because he exudes positivity and those sort of people are good to be around.
Another standout for me was when tragedy struck the group. That is when a valued Member of Wellington SAR was killed on Mt Ruapehu during a private climbing trip. Jeremy showed great leadership during this time bringing the group together to support the family, friends and Members of the group.
I have also seen him (Jeremy) on a couple of SAREXs and he has impressed me with his cool, calm and level-headed approach to things. He has strong leadership traits and is obviously well respected by your group.
He represents Wellington very well at regional and national level. His comments are usually well thought out to the point and timely. He has one of those personalities that make him easy to approach, easy to talk to but you know that he can also be relied on to say the hard things that need to be said to keep the checks and balances in place.
Jeremy brings with him a wealth of both LandSAR experience and existing skills that he readily shares with others, this can be seen most readily in his local area knowledge as a Park Ranger and also his Volunteer Paramedic skills from volunteering with Wellington Free Ambulance. Jeremy is a regular attendee of group and leadership training where he will share his skills and knowledge to the betterment of the training and those in attendance.
As a team leader he is always a positive influence on the group, friendly and welcoming to new members, and a thorough and committed searcher. Despite a very busy day job as a Park Ranger, his young family, and his other volunteer work, Jeremy has committed a huge amount of time and energy to LandSAR over the years. He has been the chairperson of Wellington LandSAR for the last few years. Under his thoughtful and balanced leadership I have seen the relationship between Police SAR and Wellington LandSAR go from strength to strength.
Gavin Holden – Photography Awards
Gavin won two of the categories in the photo competition. In fact, Gavin is quite the photographer, who has been kind enough to allow us to use some of his photos throughout our website. The photo shown is titled “Tyrolean before the Wild Thing”. Congratulations on your awards Gavin!
Certificates Of Service
We also took the opportunity to recognise the outstanding contributions of particular members who made significant time contributions to the Group over the past year. These were awarded to:
- Gavin Holden – For most hours (61 Hours!) dedicated to Search and Rescue Operations (SAROPs) during the past 12 months
- Phoebe Fang – For most hours contributed to group trainings over the last 12 months (29 hours across both Field and IMT Roles)
- Peg Leyland – For 100% attendance at group trainings
- Ally Rutherford – For outstanding contribution in their first year as member – who within her first year has taken the lead on developing new systems, tools and templates for the IMT, is driving a project to improve IMT capability, and has joined the committee
- Clare O’Connell – For outstanding contribution in their first year as member – who in her first year is balancing both Field and IMT and become operational for both, and has also joined the committee and taken on the treasurer role
- Meg Shaw – For an outstanding contribution to SAROPs, training and events as a Team Leader (a total of 113 hours!)
Congratulations to all of those award winners, and thank you to all for your ongoing contribution to the Group!