Archive for the ‘Archived Stories’ Category

St Albans Writers’ Festival

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Julie Garrash and Des Cottle (CREST NSW Sydney Post) attended the St Albans Writers’ Festival from 17 to 20 September 2015 in St Albans NSW. The request for assistance came to CREST from the event organisers impressed with our work with the St Albans RFS and Max Adventure for the Convict 100 event.

The CREST logo and name were mentioned on the event website and we were officially thanked at the end of the event. The organisers are considering running this event every 2 years.

Letter of thanks

CREST preparing for a celebration

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

CREST will be turning 40 in 2016 and is currently preparing for a celebration. Past members and those who we have assisted are encouraged to get in touch with CREST via info <at> crest <dot> org <dot> au. A press release is attached.


CREST turning 40

Founder of CREST passes

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

A Eulogy delivered at by the CREST Executive at a wake to honour Bill Payne

Since the creation of CREST in 1976 by Bill, the organisation has seen many changes.

The initial aim of providing a Monitoring Service to assist travellers and others in times of emergency saw the organisation spread across the country.

As technology moved on and the Mobile Phone became more affordable, this monitoring service provided by CREST appeared to have outlived its usefulness.

While still providing this monitoring in some areas, CREST finds that the emphasis is now on Safety Communications for organised sporting events.

CREST Members in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland regularly turn out to assist Marathon Runs, Triathlons, Adventure races and a myriad of other events.

This is a legacy of Bill.

By Des Cottle (NSW 1)
State Director

Bill Payne order of service 12 03 15

More assistance to wildlife

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

Newcastle CREST has been out again this week assisting the Native Animal Trust Fund Inc (NATF) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). Josey from the IFAW was kind enough to pass on the following words about the recent operations and some great pics:_MG_2847 (Large)


Operation started Mon 14 Oct- called by RFS due to wildlife being affected in fires at Heatherbrae and Salt Ash.

Black walks for wildlife rescue were a joint exercise conducted by NATF Disaster team, Hunter Koala Preservation Society (HKPS) and Wildlife in Need of Care (WINC) and members of the three organisations were involved in search and recovery of native wildlife.

Walks have continued all of last week. Habitat tremendously devastating and effect on wildlife horrendous. The fires were so fast moving and intense that little wildlife survived in some areas.  

Zenani eats some leaf (Large)Salt Ash

Wildlife affected: 1 koala – in care with HKPS, 6 possums in care, red belly black snake euthanased, 6 bandicoots didn’t make it, high number of dead possums and reptile species found, several echidnas dead. Also reunited a dog found on fire grounds with its very worried owner who was very grateful.


Wildlife affected:  5 koalas, 1 euthanased due to severity of burns. 4 in care with NATF and HKPS, including one baby found 22 Oct by RAFF staff sitting curled up on a road on their property was placed into care with NATF carer. We searched for its mother today to no avail. Baby is doing well burned paws singed fur but eating and drinking well.

The long term impact of wildlife unknown as many will  have fled fires and possibly come back and face lack of food water and shelter

_MG_2883 (Large)Members of public calling saying animals coming into backyard seeking refuge and food/water. Fire-affected animals who have fled their habitat areas are now impacting on surrounding areas of wildlife

NATF and HKPS and WINC volunteers have worked tirelessly around the clock to search rescue and recovery of any affected species.

IFAW has supported our work by supplying vital radios, fire gear, medical supplies and veterinary treatment. IFAW took photographs.

The CREST team have been present on fire grounds providing vital communication support for search and rescue teams. We wouldn’t be able to do the work without them.

There are also fires now in Minmi and Lack Macquarie (Dudley and Redhead) which will have a big impact on many wildlife species and habitat (possums, echidnas, ground  dwelling and arboreal animals)

The Heatherbrae operation will continue until end of the week and then we will be assessing Lake Macquarie area when possible.

These worthwhile organisations can be contacted via their websites:_MG_2835 (Large)






CREST active during the fires

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Newcastle CREST have been active this week assisting the Native Animal Trust Fund (NATF) in the Salt Ash area. Native wildlife were found in the area injured or killed by the recent fires.DSC00382a

CREST established radio communications to provide a safety net for the NATF volunteers.

Sadly many animals could not be saved from the fires and had perished. Only a small number of injured animals were treated including one koala that was assisted by the volunteers on site and relocated for long term recovery.

DSC00378aNewcastle CREST has a long and proud history with NATF who rely on the communications network to work safely in a dangerous environment following fires.

Further information about the NATF is available on their website at:

CREST farewells Jean Henderson

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Jean Henderson, member of Newcastle CREST passed away on 1st October 2012 and was farewelled today at Wallsend.

Jean had been a member for 17 years and had continued to actively take part in events until shortly before her death. Over the years, Jean had received recognition for her assistance with the Maitland floods and bushfire events in the Hunter region. In 2006, Jean was presented with the CREST NSW Monitor of the year award.

Newcastle CREST Secretary Dianne Elphick said “Jean rarely missed an event and Newcastle CREST does about 46 events a year”

Jean was born in Clark Street Wallsend. Her first job was at the Wire and Rope Works and she later worked at the Wallsend Hospital as a nurses aid.

Jean had four children Brad, Andrew, Timothy and Sarah. She was the proud grandmother of Jayden, Paige, Zoe and Alex.


We’ve become more social!

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Following on from Newcastle CREST recently joining Facebook, CREST NSW Inc is now on Twitter. We’ll be providing ‘on the spot’ updates to our Twitter feed with photographs and links to other websites.

The twitter account @crestnsw can also be used to get in touch with CREST. Follow us today!

We ‘like’ Newcastle CREST

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

The Newcastle Division of CREST NSW has recently joined Facebook. Reaching out to its members and the community, Newcastle CREST is using Facebook to announce up-coming events and to attract new members.

Members are encouraged to ‘like’ posts regarding future exercises and visitors are very welcome to keep in touch.

Visit the Newcastle CREST Facebook page at:

CREST sizzles hot at the WICEN BBQ

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

On Sunday 29 April, members from Sydney, Singleton, Prospect and Central Coast attended a BBQ and get together organised by WICEN NSW at the Amateur Radio NSW (ARNSW) site in Dural.

WICEN like CREST is a specialist squad of the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) and has a team of experienced amateur radio operators that volunteer their time to provide field communications.

WICEN put together an enjoyable information and education session which included information about up-coming communications events and some hands on technical demonstrations. These provided a great opportunity for members from both organisations to share their experiences of setting up communications networks.

One of the CREST field stations

Those attending were invited to show off their field communications stations. The Sydney CREST team set up a UHF repeater and portable mast and the team from Singleton / Central Coast demonstrated a VHF repeater with a crossband linked remote station with a standalone and vehicle mounted masts.

A detailed review of the other stations on display can be found on the WICEN page here.

Evan Longworth recognised for his contribution to the Newcastle and Hunter Region

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

On 29 November 2011, Mr Evan Longworth was awarded a service award by the Newcastle City Council for his outstanding contribution to emergency services and community organisations servicing the Hunter region. Evan has been a member of CREST NSW for some 30 years, has worked as the Newcastle Operations Director and is currently the NSW State Director.

The Newcastle CREST team with Mr Longworth

Mr Evan Longworth

The Newcastle Community Awards recognise outstanding effort and achievement by Newcastle individuals or community groups.

The City of Newcastle Service Award is awarded to individuals, organisations or groups for service to a specific field of activity. Community Awards show appreciation for the service, commitment, effort and achievements that make a difference to the lives of people in Newcastle.

Evan was joined by members of the Newcastle CREST team at a function to celebrate this achievement.

Newcastle Mayor John Tate presented Mr Longworth with the Service Award

Photographs courtesy Photolook Newcastle