ON Thursday, December 21, Gail Marie Dacey passed away at the age of 65 after a battle of ovarian cancer. Gail lived in the Murrindindi Shire for over two decades, and apart from her deep love for her family, especially her grandchildren, Gail found her place in life working behind the scenes for Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) and its predecessor agencies.
Gail found her position by chance. One day she went into the Alexandra DEECA office to pay for a hunting licence and she commented on how the reception staff could do with a hand as they were so busy. Gail was told she was welcome to apply for an upcoming position and that’s where her time there started.
Gail commenced in a fixed term role in Alexandra and from there on in, Gail’s home was within the department. After working in Alexandra for a few years, Gail moved to the Marysville office four days a week and remained at Alexandra one day a week.
Whichever work centre Gail was located in, she took great pride in looking after ‘her boys’, male or female. Gail’s emergency role was in logistics which involved catering, sourcing accommodation, and supplying goods to anyone who needed it.
Gail’s supervisor, Lucas Russell, said that when an emergency started, Gail would kick into action.
“Gail knew all the suppliers in town, and she didn’t worry about putting pressure on to get the best possible outcomes for the ‘crew’ field staff and the staff in the incident control centre. Early in an incident, Gail could be seen pushing a trolley through the supermarket until it was overflowing with supplies. As the incident went on, Gail would work hard to ensure people involved were provided good accommodation, that every meal was well catered for, and there were sufficient snacks for everyone.”
Gail worked in all the major incidents including the Black Saturday bushfires, even when she lost her own home. This didn’t deter Gail from contributing to the behind the scenes effort.
Gail was also heavily involved in the emergency management of the 2013 Harrietville fires, the 2017/18 south west complex fires around Camperdown, and the 2019/20 Black Summer fires where Gail worked a lot of her time in Ovens.
Gail always tried to make a difference, especially from…. To read the full story click here.
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