ERS Highlight: A career that includes two decades with the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of WA

Graduate Diploma in Executive Leadership 2003.
Graduate Certificate in Applied Management, 2001.
Certificate in Fire Engineering Management, 2001-1995.

Meet Phillip Thelwell, our highly skilled Emergency Management Consultant who has been actively involved in public safety for the last three decades. Phill joined the Executive Risk Solutions team in 2018 and has been an integral part of our business from the moment he arrived. He is a true reflection of what we set out to achieve each and every day. An inspiring man that helps us keep the world just that little bit safer.

Phill has over 30 years’ national and international experience across public safety, 20 of which were spent with the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (FESA). His experience is extensive and knowledge vast with skillsets spanning operational management, strategic policy planning, and the implementation and shaping of emergency, crisis management and security improvements. His fruitful career has been highlighted with senior leadership roles where he was responsible for managing complex situations across a wide range of hazards. He has also spent the better part of his career managing multi-agency incident response both at an operational and strategic level.

Phill started his career in 1989 with the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia. He continued to thrive at FESA over an impressive 20-year tenure. Holding senior ranks by the time he left, Phill championed a number of projects and was accountable for overseeing Major Hazard Facilities and the Specialised Operations Portfolio within the state. He managed 6 career fire stations, 4 volunteer fire stations, and 4 local Government Bush Fire Brigades. Whilst at FESA, Phill led the procurement, implementation and maintenance of $8 million worth of specialised equipment for the Australian Federal Government. He championed the development of interoperability protocols with State and Federal agencies for specialised events and worked with State Police and the Australian Government agencies to spearhead critical infrastructure (CI) protection.

In 2008, Phill made the tough decision to leave FESA and joined the team at Woodside Energy. As the Emergency Management Advisor, Phill spent the next 4 years leading a number of key projects including a nationally accredited competency-based training roll-out; the development of Registered Training Organisations (RTO) delivery; leading offshore and onshore teams in emergency response and incident management interoperability training; and improving service delivery of the team through continuous improvement of processes and procedures.

In 2012, a Senior Emergency Management Advisor position presented itself at INPEX. Through to 2018, Phill was able to share his vast knowledge across the company. He achieved many milestones throughout his time, including the development and training of INPEX incident management teams; designing and commissioning 2 specialised fire appliances; and implementing a new Emergency and Crisis Management System (EMQnet) throughout the Company. Phill is a member of the International Associations of Emergency Managers (IAEM), Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPA) and Global Disaster Alert & Coordination Member (UN Charter).

“Throughout my career, both in the Public Sector and later in the private sector, my training and experience in managing differing incidents or crisis events (either natural or man-made) has kept me in good stead and has allowed me to impart some of that experience to others over time. If there is one piece of wisdom I could share, it’s that in undertaking a response to an incident, or even a crisis event that may face you or your company, you as a member of any response team will make mistakes; embrace the mistake and learn from them, after all you are only human. Learning is a huge component of anyone’s life so that when faced with a similar event, then at least you will (hopefully) not make the same error again. A recent article I came across stated “the secret of incident (or crisis) management is not good vs. bad, it’s preventing the bad from getting worse – Andy Gilman”, commented Phillip Thelwell, Emergency Management Consultant at Executive Risk Solutions.

Contact Phillip at


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