Andrew Lea was appointed the Tasmanian Director, State Emergency Service (SES) in February 2001 after a 21 year career in the Royal Australian Navy.
In the Navy he attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander within the Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Branch and completed two sea commands (HMAS RUSHCUTTER and HMAS WARRNAMBOOL). Other career highlights were a US Naval exchange posting to Commander Mine Warfare Command, Officer In-Charge (OIC) Mine Warfare Operations Support Section and OIC Mine Warfare Faculty.
As Director SES, Andrew works within the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management where he directs 33 permanent staff and around 640 SES volunteers.
His two primary functions involve the management of the SES organisation, which includes the maintenance of a prepared, skilled and motivated volunteer work force; and the statutory emergency management responsibilities of Executive Officer, State Emergency Management Committee.
He has represented Tasmania on various national emergency management groups or committees and chaired the Australian Tsunami Working Group and the National Flood Risk Advisory Group for over a decade. He chairs a number of State-level committees, such as the Risk Sub-committee to the State Emergency Management Committee, Emergency Services Volunteer Working Group and the Nuclear Powered Warship Visits Committee.
He is a member of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) and the Australian Council of SES (ACSES).
Since his appointment with SES, Andrew completed his Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management in 2008. He was awarded the Emergency Services Medal on Australia Day, 2012. Andrew is married with two adult children.
Andrew Lea is a Member of the Champions of Change Fire & Emergency Group which was established in 2017 in partnership with the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC). The group includes Chief Executives and Commissioners leading more than 30 agencies responsible for fire, emergency and land management services across Australia and New Zealand. The group is committed to advancing gender equity, inclusive cultures and achieving significant and sustainable improvements in the representation of women in their workplaces.