The Victoria State Emergency Service Volunteers Association was formed in 1983 as the Victoria Emergency Service Association (VESA) and was formed for 2 main purposes:
- to give the volunteers a united voice and a conduit to seek improvements with regard to equipment, training, funding and conditions.
- to support and enhance the ideals of the Victoria State Emergency Service.
During the late 1970s VICSES was seen as a poor cousin to the other emergency service organisations, in fact in several quarters SES was an emergency service in name only. Legislation, funding, meagre equipment and training all reinforced this perception. SES was an organisation doing what the others did not or could not.
VESA was structured to represent individual, unit, region and state issues. Unit representatives formed regional councils who in turn supplied members for the State Committee of Management. In its embryonic stages VESA comprised essentially individuals, gradually evolving to a “whole of unit” membership basis.
In 2015 the VESA board decided to change the association’s name to the Victoria State Emergency Service Volunteers Association to better reflect who the association represents.