Archive for the ‘Archived Stories’ Category

40th Anniversary Dinner report

Friday, March 24th, 2017

We all enjoyed the 40th anniversary dinner held at Wallsend on Saturday 6th August.

Apart from a good attendance by members from across the State, we appreciated support from our Patron, Greg Ackman of Mobile One Antennas, Paul Humphreys of H Events and Trevor Millgate of Cessnock Rescue Squad representing the head of the VRA, Mark Gibson.

Our guest speaker was Trudy Hanson who told us 1st-hand of the beginnings of CREST.

We were also honoured to welcome Anna Payne, widow of Bill the founder of CREST who passed away in March 2015.

The function was held at the Wallsend Diggers Club who served up pumpkin soup and cannelloni, followed by melt in your mouth scotch fillet and pine nut crusted barramundi fillet.

In lieu of dessert, Anna cut and distributed our CREST 40th birthday cake and the Club put what was left over in the fridge overnight to be gobbled up at our morning tea on Sunday.

Anna’s guest was Bill Payne’s nephew, Bill Jackson who as a young boy used to accompany his uncle, learnt to operate the early radios and watched history being made.

We were all impressed by the many displays of radios from the beginnings to the present and also memorabilia including newspapers from the time CREST was bubbling up under the surface. Our thanks to Andrew Pain, Terry Matts, Des Cottle, Greg Ackman.

Anna brought along her late husband’s Order of Australia medal from Australia Day 2014, his Certificate and framed photos of the presentation to him by Dame Marie Bashir, then Governor of NSW.
The age range of attendees was 22 to 90.  One member everyone was keen to see from the early days was John Manthey, accompanied by his wife Nola.
Thank you everyone for coming and making it a really enjoyable evening.

CREST NSW 40 year Anniversary Dinner

Friday, February 12th, 2016


You’re invited to a Dinner celebrating

CREST NSW and its 40 years

assisting the community with communications and safety

Where: Diggers

5 Tyrrell Street


(11km from Newcastle CBD)

When: Saturday, 6th August, 2016

6:00 for 6:30 pm

Cost: $40.00 each, at time of booking – please advise any special dietary requirements

Online ANZ, BSB: 012 754, A/c: 201 881 916 –

email receipt to,

A/c Name or cheque in favour: “CREST NSW INC”

You should note that bookings are not confirmed until payment received

RSVP: Friday 22nd July 2016 – email


OR text/phone Julie on 0414 949 768

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: