​​​​​​​​​​Mr Frank Edwards CSC



Frank Edwards is a former Army Officer and Local Government Chief Executive Offi​​​cer.  He is a voluntary Committee of Management member of the Augusta-​Margaret River Tourism Association, a not-for-profit organisation that provides tourism services to the region and manages attractions and visitor centres. 

Frank graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon, holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New South Wales and a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies. He is also a graduate of the Army Command and Staff College and the Australian Defence Force Joint Services Staff College. 

During his regular Army career Frank​ served in regimental, command, staff and instructional positions in Australia, the USA and Papua New Guinea. He completed his Army Reserve service as the Brigadier commanding 13 Brigades in Western Australia. He was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for service in Papua New Guinea and the US Meritorious Service Medal for his contribution at the United States Infantry Centre and School. 

Frank was Chief Executive Officer at the Town of Kwinana before being appointed Chief Executive Officer at the City of Perth, a position he held for over ten years. Frank was appointed Chair of the SEMC on 6 October 2014.


Ms Sue Ash AO

Deputy Chair  


Ms Sue Ash AO is a leader in the community sector in Western Australia. Sue was recognised for her distinguished service to the community, particularly in the area of social policy development, reform and implementation, and to the provision of services to people in need with the award of Officer of the Order of Australia in 2014.  

She was appointed to the position of Deputy Chairperson of the State Emergency Management Committee in 2012. Sue was a member of the Premier’s Partnership Forum from its inception in 2008 until her retirement from the position of Chief Executive Officer of UnitingCare West, a not-for-profit community services agency providing a diverse range of services in the areas of independent living and accommodation; mental health and disability; community and family support in order to work with people and communities so those most in need can belong and thrive. 

In Sue’s previous role as Chief Executive Officer of the West Australian Council of Social Services (WACOSS), she was a leader in social policy development and advocacy on behalf of the community services sector.
Sue has had a broad ranging career which has spanned service and development of  communities, education and government.  Sue has lectured in social work, social policy and human services management at Curtin University, Edith Cowan University and TAFE WA.

Sue has worked in the Commonwealth, Western Australian, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory governments and participated in community service peak organisations including the Western Australian Association for Mental H​​ealth (WAAMH), the WA State Committee of National Disability Services ​​(NDS) and a range of advisory groups.

​She is a member of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM), the Committee of Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) and a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Sue was the joint winner of the IPAAWA Not for Profit Leader of the Year award in 2012 and, in 1999, Sue was a State Category winner and National Finalist of the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards.

Mr Richard Simpson



Richard has signific​​ant commercial and management experience in the financial services sector and over 20 years' experience in providing investment banking and board governance advice to a range of corporate and government clients in Australia and internationally. He has worked in investment banks in London, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Richard was appointed to the Botanical Parks and Gardens Authority (BGPA) Board of Management as the Chairman in 2002 and is also Chair of its Audit Committee. 

Richard was Chairman and Managing Director of Hartleys Limited from 2003 to 2008 and Head of Corporate Finance from 2002 to 2009. He remains a Director of Hartleys Limited.

Richard has been a​ SEMC member since March 2015.

Mr Malcolm (Mal) Cronstedt AFSM 

Executive Officer


Mal Cronstedt commenced his career in the fire service as a volunteer in 1976 and then joined full-time in 1982, progressing through the ranks across the state in a variety of operational and support roles. Mal undertook a secondment to Fire & Rescue NSW (then NSW Fire Brigades) in 2003–04 and in 2005 joined the NSW Rural Fire Service as the Blue Mountains Superintendent. Mal returned to Western Australia in 2008 as Fire and Emergency Service Authority’s Rural Operations Coordinator South. He was subsequently appointed as Chief Superintendent Country South in July 2012, upon the creation of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).
Mal was appointed inaugural Director of the Office of Bushfire Risk Management in August 2012. In August 2014 he became Executive Director of the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) Secretariat (now OEM). Mal is an ex-officio member of the SEMC, Chair of the SEMC Risk subcommittee, member of the State Bushfire Coordinating Committee and member of the DFES Audit and Risk Committee. In addition, he is Chair of the Development Disability WA board, and sits on the Kensington Secondary School board as an independent member.

Mal holds a Master of Business Administration, a Graduate Diploma in Disaster Management and a Bachelor of Arts. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Institution of Fire Engineers and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government’s Executive Fellows Program.​​


​Dr Karl O'Callaghan APM



Karl O'Callaghan’s career has encompassed Police Communications, Port Hedland Police Station, Accident Inquiry Section, Perth, Manjimup Traffic and general duties, Community Education and the Police Academy. In 1996 he was promoted to Superintendent and served at Professional Standards, Northam (now Wheatbelt) District and later at Cannington (now South East Metropolitan) District. In 2001 he was appointed to the position of Assistant Commissioner, Strategic & Corporate Development (formerly Policy, Planning & Evaluation) This role included responsibility for the Strategic Plan and Annual Business Planning process and legislative reform.

He was the Acting Executive Director and Deputy Commissioner (Standards & Reform). Key roles in these areas included capital and recurrent budget submissions to Government, developing and maintaining strategic asset management plans, continuous improvement in organisational development and oversight of the implementation of the Kennedy Royal Commission. In 2004, he was appointed the West Australian Commissioner of Police.

Karl O’Callaghan holds a PhD, Bachelor of Education (1st Class Honours) and  Bachelor of Arts (Education). He is also Adjunct Associate Professor at the Sellenger Centre for Police Research.

Karl was the Chair for the State Emergency Management Committee from 2004 to mid-2012. He is currently State Emergency Coordinator.

Mr Wayne Gregson APM



Wayne Gregson graduated from the WA Police Academy in 1980. He rose through the ranks as a general duties officer and detective, prior to being promoted to Assistant Commissioner in 2004. He served as Portfolio head of the Metropolitan Region, Frontline Services, Specialist Crime and Judicial Services portfolios. 

Wayne took up the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Fire and Emergency Services Authority in September 2011 to drive organisational and cultural reform in light of the findings of the "Report of the Perth Hills Bushfire". His permanent appointment as the Commissioner of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services commenced in November 2012.

Wayne is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and holds a Bachelors degree in Politics and Philosophy and a Masters degree in Business Administration. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of the Company Directors and an Executive Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. He was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2006. 

Dr David (Russ) Russell-Weisz



Dr David Russell-Weisz was responsible for overseeing the commissioning of the Fiona Stanley Hospital. The Fiona Stanley Hospital is a major tertiary/quaternary hospital, offering comprehensive health care services to communities south of Perth and across Western Australia. The 783-bed hospital includes the 140-bed State Rehabilitation Service and will be a leader in clinical care, research and education. The hospital successfully opened the first two phases in October and November 2014, with the third phase opened in February 2015.

Russ was the Chief Executive, North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS), Perth, for six years. The NMHS consists of three tertiary hospitals and three outer metropolitan hospitals, many of which underwent significant redevelopment as part of the broader WA Health reform program. He oversaw, and was responsible for: the $1 billion redevelopment at the QE II Medical Centre; the contract management and expansion of the Joondalup Health Campus; and the Midland Health Campus, a new 307-bed facility in the eastern suburbs of Perth which was completed in late 2015.

Russ qualified from the University of Dundee, Scotland in 1987 and then continued his training as a procedural General Practitioner. Since moving to Australia in 1993, he has worked for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Broken Hill and spent eight years in the North West of Western Australia, initially as a procedural GP and then as Director of Medical Services for the north west of the State. From 2004, Dr Russell-Weisz has held the appointments of Medical Director of King Edward Memorial Hospital and Executive Director of the Sir Charles Gairdner Group. 

Ms Emma White



Emma White has worked in the community services arena since 1994 covering a variety of service delivery roles in Government and non-government sectors. She has also worked in policy and evaluation within State Government. She has worked with the Department for Child Protection and Family Support since 2010.

Emma commenced her service for the Department for Child Protection and Family Support in the West Kimberley, working in the Broome office. Since that time, she has worked in a range of service delivery positions in the West and East Kimberley including Team Leader and District Director. In these roles she was responsible for representing the Department for Child Protection and Family Support on Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs) and District Emergency Management Committees (DEMCs). She had the responsibility of opening and closing evacuation centres on a number of occasions. Then in 2010 she transferred to the position of District Director, ​Fremantle.     

Emma commenced as Executive Director, Country Services in 2012. In this position she was responsible for the implementation of strategic direction, ensuring case practice standards and resource management of the State's nine Country Services Districts. In this role Emma also contributed to the effective strategic management of the Department as a member of the Department's Corporate Executive​ identifying​, through community engagement, significant issues that might impact on service quality.

Emma has been a SEMC member from April 2014, since taking up the position of Acting Director General of Department for Child Protection and Family Support. Emma was appointed the Director General of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support in August 2014​.

Mr Jim Sharp



Jim Sharp was born and educated in Western Australia. He completed an Education degree at The University of Western Australia in 1971 and a Masters degree in 1978.

In March 2014 Jim was appointed Director General, Parks and Wildlife. Prior to that he was Deputy Director General Parks and Conservation in the Department of Environment and Conversation. He was the Department of Conservation and Land Management's Director National Parks for 12 years and Scientific Advisor before that. Jim acted as the Director General, Department of Environment and Conservation from February 2013 and then the Department of Parks and Wildlife on its creation in July 2013.   

Jim has a background in social research, policy development, tourism and recreation access, Aboriginal policy, volunteers, external funding, leases, licences, and visitation research.

He is a Board member of the Bibbulmun Track Foundation (long distance walking track) and the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation (long distance cycling trail). The Boards are models for development of unique cross regional partnerships focused on the natural environment.

Jim is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas Working Group on Tourism in Protected Areas and has a strong interest in the establishment, promotion and sustainable use of protected areas.

Ms Ricky Burges PSM



Prior to joining the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA)​ in February 2000, Ricky Burges was the Director General of the Department for Culture and the Arts, Chief Executive Officer of Perth Zoo, and Director of Human Resources at the WA Tourism Commission.

Ricky has a Masters in Leadership and Management from Curtin University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Development, a Certificate in Psychotherapy, and a Diploma in Coaching.

Ricky sits on the ROADS Foundation, the Board of MercyCare, the Local Government Insurance Board, the Murdoch Senate, the Western Australian Council on Homelessness, the Healthway Board and various Local Government committees and Boards. Ricky is a past President of the Australian Institute of Management and the Board of the Art Gallery of Western Australia.  She was the Western Australian Businesswoman of the Year in 1997 and was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2007.