Pinder's navy slacks make way for bright orange overalls
HE'S got some mighty big shoes to fill, but Ipswich's new SES controller isn't without the odd old head to guide him on his way.
Former police officer Matthew Pinder has traded the navy slacks for a fresh pair of bright orange overalls, taking over the top job with the local emergency services following the departure of Arie van den Ende.
What many Ipswich residents might not know about Mr Pinder is that he has an association with the SES that stretches back to the cadet units in the mid-1990s.
Strangely enough, experienced SES volunteer Beth Suhr, who is about to be formally recognised for 30 years' service, was the cadet coordinator when the new controller was just a young kid learning the ropes.
"Beth was the cadet co-ordinator when I started with the program in Lowood in 1996," Mr Pinder said.
"She has known me since I was 12.
"To be honest, taking over from Arie is a daunting prospect, because he was so well-known and respected throughout south-east Queensland.
"Stepping into his boots is by no means an easy feat.
"What will make it easier for me is having people like Beth Suhr and John McVeigh here. They know how everything works and how to make it all come together."
Mr Pinder officially took on the role on January 1 this year.
He replaces Mr van den Ende, who served the SES for nearly 40 years before his retirement towards the end of last year.
Mr Pinder served as a police officer at Ipswich station, Lowood, Leichhardt Police Beat and Karana Downs before taking on the full-time SES role.
Experienced SES members John Holdcroft and Amy Hartness have taken on the role of joint deputy controller. Mr Pinder is now in charge of 203 SES volunteers across the four Ipswich groups, which include Marburg, Rosewood, Goodna-Redbank Plains, and Ipswich central.