The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Corporate Executive Team is comprised of the following members:
Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner
Commissioner Darren Klemm has more than 27 years of experience in fire and emergency services, having served three years with the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service before joining the WA Fire Brigades Board in 1993.
Originally posted to Perth Fire Station, he served at various metropolitan fire stations. This was followed by time in Country Operations in the Goldfields Midlands, based in Northam, which gave him the opportunity to gain considerable experience in regional firefighting operations, as well as the chance to work closely with volunteers.
Commissioner Klemm also spent time at the then FESA Training Centre before being promoted to Assistant Commissioner in 2012. Commissioner Klemm was appointed as the Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner in September 2017.
Over the last six years he has successfully delivered and implemented a number of high level strategic reforms, including delivering key aspects of the DFES response to the Report of the Perth Hills Bushfire. This facilitated significant changes across DFES and the emergency management sector in Western Australia.
Commissioner Klemm has also been responsible for significant structural and cultural reform in the training and professional development of DFES personnel and volunteers, including management of the WA Fire and Emergency Services Academy and the introduction of the Professional Pathways competency based framework.
Commissioner Klemm is the DFES ‘Male Champion of Change’, a role he has held since the inception of the Fire and Emergency Services Male Champions of Change group in April 2017. The group includes Chief Executives and Commissioners who lead 30+ agencies responsible for fire, emergency and land management services across Australia and New Zealand. Their objective is to advance gender equity, inclusive cultures and achieve significant and sustainable improvements in the representation of women at all organisational levels throughout their workplaces and volunteer organisations.
He has been involved in strategic operations at State and Incident Controller level during significant emergencies such as the Waroona, O’Sullivan and Toodyay bushfires and Tropical Cyclone Olwyn.
Commissioner Klemm is a member of a number of national committees concerned with emergency management in Australia, and holds a Graduate Certificate in Management from the Australian Institute of Management.
Commissioner Gary Gifford ESM
A/Deputy Commissioner Gary Gifford has served in the defence and emergency services sectors for more than 40 years and joined the Department of Fire and Emergency Services in 1999.
He has represented Western Australia in emergency management at the national level for more than 15 years and has high-level command, control and coordination experience.
Gary has helped manage a number of major incidents
including the Waroona fires in 2016, Parkerville-Stoneville fires in 2014, WA’s
Boxing Day 2004 tsunami response, and Severe Tropical Cyclone Vance in 1999.
In 2015, A/Deputy Commissioner Gifford’s expertise in
incident management saw him deployed by the Australian Government to Myanmar, to
assist with the response to the country’s worst flooding in decades.
During his 20 years at DFES he has been instrumental in the
introduction of several initiatives; including the formation of the Volunteer
Marine Rescue Service, the procurement of the South West Rescue Helicopter, and
the creation of the heavy rescue equipment cache that can be deployed across WA
to assist in major crashes.
A/Deputy Commissioner Gifford is recipient of both the
National Service Medal and Emergency Services Medal.
Deputy Commissioner Mal Cronstedt AFSM
Strategy and Emergency Management Command
Deputy Commissioner Cronstedt has more than 41 years of experience in
fire and emergency services, having commenced as a volunteer in 1976 before
joining the WA Bush Fires Board full-time in 1982.
He progressed through the ranks in a variety of operational and
support roles both in WA and NSW, gaining considerable experience in both rural
and urban environments, before becoming Chief Superintendent Country South when
DFES was created in 2012.
Appointed as the inaugural Director of the Office of Bushfire Risk
Management in August 2012, he went on to become the Executive Director of the
State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC) Secretariat, which later became the
Office of Emergency Management.
Deputy Commissioner Cronstedt holds a Master of Business Administration
from Curtin University, a Graduate Diploma in Disaster Management from Swinburne
University and a Bachelor of Arts from Edith Cowan University. He is also 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.
Richard Burnell, MBA, BBus
Executive Director, Corporate Services Command
Mr Burnell commenced at DFES in September 2015 as Director Information and Communications Technology (ICT), before taking on the role of Executive Director.
He has over 30 years of experience in accounting and finance, commercial management, business re-organisation and change management, business process re-engineering, cost management and project delivery of enterprise-wide programs, from a range of private sector industries in Australia and overseas.
During his tenure in the fire and emergency services environment, Mr Burnell has managed complex and wide ranging ICT reform to ensure DFES’ information and communications systems and services meet business needs, leveraging off the Government’s Digital Transformation strategy and services.
In 2017, through Mr Burnell’s leadership, the Computer Aided Dispatch project team won a prestigious ‘OpenGov Recognition of Excellence Award’ which recognised the innovative inter-Agency collaborative approach to project delivery.
Mr Burnell holds an MBA qualification from the University of New England (NSW) and a Bachelor of Business from WA Institute of Technology (now Curtin University).
Mr Murray Carter
Executive Director, Rural Fire Division
Murray Carter has dedicated much of his life to combatting bushfire risk in Western Australia. Starting out as a 17 year old cadet with the then Forests Department, he spent thirteen years with CALM conducting prescribed burns and fighting large scale bushfires in country WA.
Mr Carter then took on the role of CEO for Lord Howe Island, leading marine and land management, before returning to WA and working in policy positions with the State Government. He dedicated five years to the role of Fire Manager for the then Department of Parks and Wildlife, and more than three years as Director of the Office of Bushfire Risk Management (OBRM) leading key reforms in rural fire management at the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
The current Chair of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC) Rural and Land Management Group, Mr Carter is also a member of the National Forest Fire Management Group, is on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF), and is the current (inaugural) Chair of the WA State Bushfire Coordinating Committee.
Ms Georgina Camarda BCom
Chief Finance Officer
Ms Camarda commenced at DFES in October 2012 taking up the dual role of Director of Business Services and Chief Finance Officer.
Ms Camarda has over 23 years’ experience in financial management. She has 17 years’ experience with the Office of the Auditor General specialising in Assurance Services and undertook a 12 month secondment to the Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia in 2011-12. Prior to this she worked with the National Australia Bank in Perth and has completed 12 months of service with the Australian Army Reserve.
Ms Camarda has a broad range of knowledge with respect to accounting, auditing, regulatory and statutory reporting requirements, in particular in the context of the WA public sector and specifically the emergency management sector.
Ms Camarda’s Special Commendation for the WA’s Institute of Public Administration Australia Finance Practitioner of the Year in 2018 is recognition of her commitment to her profession and technical expertise.
Ms Camarda holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia and is a Certified Practising Accountant.