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Half a million reasons to say thanks

Published 13/05/2013

Last year Victoria State Emergency Service’s (SES) 5,500 volunteers gave more than 500,000 hours of their time protecting their communities. They’ve certainly earned a thank you.

Victoria SES is proud to support National Volunteer Week (13-19 May) and its 2013 theme “Thanks a Million”.

National Volunteer Week is organised annually by Volunteering Australia to recognise the valuable contribution each individual volunteer makes to our country.

Victoria SES is the state’s response agency for flood, storm, earthquake and tsunami emergency. SES volunteers perform a wide variety of tasks, including cutting up dangerous trees felled by storms, sandbagging homes to protect from floods and rescuing people who have been stranded, lost or injured.

Between emergencies, SES volunteers work tirelessly to keep their skills sharp through regular training, which provides recognised qualifications.

They’re also out in their communities showing people how they can be prepared and resilient long before disaster strikes.

SES CEO Mary Barry said volunteers are the lifeblood of the organisation and enormously worthy of thanks.

“Over the last year the average SES volunteer gave 160 hours of their time. That’s the equivalent of four weeks of full time work,” she said.

“Volunteers are out there in all conditions, often when the weather is at its worst, saving lives and keeping people and property safe.

“I publicly thank each and every one of our volunteers for their commitment, passion and bravery. SES would not exist without you.”

Ms Barry has signed Volunteering Australia’s Thanks a Million Petition, which is gathering the signatures of Australian leaders and CEOs as a show of public thanks to volunteers.

“I encourage everyone in Australia to use this week as an opportunity to thank all the volunteers who make Victoria great,” she said.

View our Thanks a Million photo album and say thanks this week at Facebook or Twitter.