More Australians have donned the New South Wales Special Emergency Services’ (SES) iconic orange overalls as Origin partnered with the organisation to power up a new wave of volunteers.
Announced to coincide with International Volunteers Day on December 5, the partnership focuses on rewarding, recognising and recruiting NSW SES volunteers.
In the past year, NSW SES volunteers contributed more than 260,000 hours to help the community. This included attending 16,484 storm and flood jobs, responding to 604 road crashes and helping the NSW Rural Fire Service with 851 bushfire support tasks.
Origin executive general manager Phil Craig said when disaster strikes, including the disruption of essential services like electricity and gas, the NSW SES volunteers are usually among the first at the scene.
“Almost half of all homes and businesses in NSW get their energy from Origin, so it’s a natural fit that we would support the SES,” he said.
As community partner, Origin will help enlist the next generation of volunteers by supporting the NSW SES Cadet Program, which provides secondary school students with the leadership and life skills required to make a difference in the community. The goal of the program is to educate young Australians about team work, communication and the importance of volunteering with the hope they may graduate to become the future men and women in orange.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres said it’s a welcome partnership, which will provide invaluable service to regional and metropolitan communities throughout the state.
“The NSW Government is committed to supporting programs like these which provide opportunities for young people. It is through these initiatives that we may see the leaders of tomorrow come to the fore,” he said.
In NSW, the volunteer rate for those aged between 18 and 24 years is only 27 per cent – this is the lowest rate for any age group, except for the 65 and over category. Research shows younger volunteers are more inclined to dedicate their time to sport and physical recreation and it’s not until they’re older that they are more likely to become involved in community groups such as the SES.