Bio Previous ACREM 1

Martin Howells DipLead
Born in NSW in 1968, Martin first became involved with CB Radio at the age of 9, just prior to the legalisation of CB in Australia, growing up in a home where both himself and his parents used CB to keep in contact with friends. During these early years it was not uncommon for fellow CBers to visit his home every night of the week, talking with his parents until the early hours of the morning.

From an early age Martin had the urge to help others, becoming involved with an assistance organisation known briefly as “Newcastle Assistance” during the early 1980’s. At age 16 he joined the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, and quickly gained the respect of fellow members due to his knowledge and experience with radio communications. By 1986 he had attained the position of Assistant Communications Officer of the Swansea Flotilla of AVCG, before leaving due to other committments, and was a member of the NSW State Emergency Services, Lake Macquarie Communications Section. He also joined the Citizens Radio Emergency Service Teams (CREST) Newcastle Division, where he attained the position of Assistant Emergency Services Liaison Officer. Martin served for 5 years in CREST before personal circumstances forced him to resign.

In 1990 Martin completed an Introductory Electronics course at Glendale TAFE, following on to undertake and complete the Certificate in Electronics (Trade) course at Newcastle TAFE from 1991 to 1993. Around 1994/95 he rejoined CREST Newcastle Division, being elected to the position of Public Relations Officer in 1996 and 1997. Through CREST, Martin was part of the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) response to the Thredbo landslide, working in the Southern Highlands Division SES operations centre performing various duties, including the coordination and tracking of SES crews at Thredbo, organising and tracking supplies and logistics, and liaising with the SES Division Controller regarding the SES response to the emergency. In 1996 he attained his Amateur Operators Limited Certificate of Proficiency (AOLCP) and Amateur Radio licence, originally under the callsign of VK2TJO later becoming VK2UMJ. With the revamping of the Amateur Service in Australia this qualification was merged with the Full Call licence to create the Advanced category, the highest Amateur Radio qualification in Australia. His callsign was recently changed to VK2QH

In December 1997 Martin joined ACRM (NSW) Inc. Although its roots dated back to 1974 and ACRM (SA), the NSW group had grown fragmented and in some disarray. Martin was instrumental in the rewriting of the Constitution and training manual for ACRM (NSW), and for the reuniting of a number of fragmented members into a single body known as A.C.R.E.M. – NSW. In early 1998 Martin was elected to the position of State Coordinator, where he worked hard to bring the new reunited group back to the forefront of CB monitoring.

Martin previously worked in the security industry working as an armed mobile patrol officer and supervisor before being forced to retire due to a back injury suffered in a motor vehicle accident in 2000. In 2001 he moved to the north-west NSW town of Lightning Ridge, joining the NSW State Emergency Service, Lightning Ridge Mines Rescue Unit where he attained the position of Communications Officer. Martin assisted in presenting the first Trainer Endorsement course held in Macquarie Division (in Dubbo) in 2003, for the new SES training module “Operate Communications Equipment”, under the guidance of SES communications experts from Orange. Martin was deemed Subject Matter Expert for Communications for both Macquarie Division and Walgett Shire, and trained the Lightning Ridge Unit members in communications. Being Opal mining country, Lightning Ridge SES performed both Road Crash and Mines Rescue operations, and Martin trained in these roles as well as general rescue work, becoming a registered General Land Rescue Operator with the NSW State Rescue Board. He moved back to Cessnock from Lightning Ridge in December 2003 and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the Lightning Ridge SES for his “tireless dedication” (skip down to certificate).

In 2005 Martin was recognised by ACBRO (Australian Association of Citizens Band Radio Operators) for “Providing a distinguished public service for the benefit of the Citizens Band Radio community in Australia” (skip down to certificate). In 2006 Martin was again instrumental in moves to turn A.C.R.E.M. – NSW into a National based group, following indications from Queensland operators that they wanted the organisation to accept members outside NSW. This saw the group reformed into the current “Australian Citizens Radio Emergency Monitors Inc.” or “ACREM”, with Martin again being elected to the position of Chief Executive Officer or “National Director”.

In 2007 Martin joined the Cessnock City Scout Group, in the role of Group Leader. This position is the uniformed head of the whole Scout group, overseeing all Sections and Leaders in the Scout group. As part of this role he completed the Certificate III in Business (Frontline Management) and Certificate III in Leadership Support, with the Scouts Australia Institute of Training. In 2012 Martin stepped down from this role to allow more time for new studies.

In 2013 Martin was elected to the position of Deacon in one of the local Christian churches, also acting as a volunteer lay-preacher. He stepped down from this role in late 2015 and commenced studies in the Diploma of Leadership (Church Work) in 2016. This was changed to a Higher Education level Diploma of Leadership for 2017, which he completed successfully in November 2017, graduating in April 2018.

Martin left his role as Chief Commissioner after almost 22 years at the head for personal reasons in February 2019.

His qualifications and experience include:

* Core unit

  • Diploma of Leadership – Higher Education, Alphacrucis College, 2018
  • HLTAID001 – Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.
  • HLTAID002 – Provide Basic Emergency Life Support.
  • HLTAID003 – Provide First Aid.
  • HLTAID004 – Provide and Emergency First Aid Response in an Education and Care Setting.
  • CPCCOHS1001A – Work Safely in the Construction Industry
  • WorkCover NSW National WHS General Construction Induction Training (White Card)
  • UEENEEP008B – Conduct In-Service Safety Testing of Electrical Cord Assemblies & Cord Connected Equipment
  • Certificate III in Business (Frontline Management)
    • Contribute to effective workplace relationships*
    • Support operational plan*
    • Contribute to team effectiveness*
    • Organise personal work priorities and development*
    • Maintain workplace safety*
    • Provide workplace information and resourcing plans
    • Support continuous improvement systems and processes
    • Support a workplace learning environment
    • Deliver and monitor a service to customers
    • Support innovation and change
    • Manage projects
    • Identify risk and apply risk management process
    • Communicate electronically; Lead and facilitate e-staff
  • Certificate III in Leadership Support
    • Organise personal work practices
    • Maintain workplace safety
    • Contribute to effective workplace relationships
    • Participate in work teams
    • Support operational plans
    • Support group activities
    • Develop enterprise skills, knowledge and values
    • Contribute to the development of leadership programs
  • Certificate II in Public Safety (SES Rescue)
    • PUACOM001A*     Communicate in the workplace.
    • PUATEA001A*     Work in a team.
    • PUATEA004A*     Work effectively in a public safety organisation.
    • PUAOHS001A*     Follow defined OHS procedures.
    • PUASAR001A*     Participate in a rescue operation.
    • PUAEME001A*     Provide emergency care.
    • PUACOM002A     Provide services to clients.
  • Certificate II in Public Safety (SES Operations)
    • PUASES002A*     Work in an emergency operations centre.
    • PUACOM001A*     Communicate in the workplace.
    • PUAOHS001A*     Follow defined OHS procedures.
    • PUAOPE002A*     Operate communications systems & equipment.
    • PUATEA001A*     Work in a team.
    • PUATEA004A*     Work effectively in a public safety organisation.
    • PUACOM002A     Provide services to clients.
  • Partial completion of Certificate III in Public Safety (SES Rescue)
    • PUASAR002A     Undertake road accident rescue
    • PUASAR008A     Search as a member of a land search team
  • Formerly endorsed as First Responder by Emergency Medical Services Australia Pty Ltd
  • Former NSW State Rescue Board registered General Land Rescue Operator [now expired]
  • Emergency Radiocommunications Operator [ACREM]
  • Train & Assess – Emergency Radiocommunications Operator [ACREM]
  • Advanced Amateur Radio Operator (VK2QH)
  • Certificate III in Security (Guarding) [STS Training]
    • Unit 1     Maintain the Security of Premises and Property
    • Unit 2     Control Access To and From Premises
    • Unit 3     Maintain Safety of Premises and Personnel
    • Unit 4     Communicate in the Workplace
    • Unit 5     Manage Conflict
    • Unit 6     Maintain Occupational Health and Safety
    • Unit 7     Manage Own Performance
    • Unit 8     Operate Basic Security Equipment
    • Unit 9     Apprehend Offenders
    • Unit 11    Escort and Carry Valuables
    • Unit 12    Provide for Safety of Persons
    • Unit 13    Control Crowds
    • Unit 15    Handle Firearms
    • Unit 17    Maintain and Effective Relationship with Clients
    • Unit 18    Work as Part of a Security Team
    • Unit 19    Lead Small Teams
    • Unit 20    Interpret Information from Advanced Security Equipment
    • Unit 22    Monitor Field Staff from Control Room
    • Unit 23    Operate Security Vehicle
    • Unit 26    Observe and Monitor People
    • PRSSG28A  Interpret and Comply with Legal & Procedural Requirements
  • Employ Batons and Handcuffs [STS Training]
  • Certificate in Electronics (Trade)
  • Restricted Operators Certificate of Proficiency in Radiotelephony (ROCP)
  • Amateur Operators Limited Certificate of Proficiency (AOLCP) [now replaced by Amateur Operators Certificate of Proficiency (Advanced) or AOCP(A)]