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Today's Volunteer: David Dhu, Footscray Unit

Published 16/05/2012

David Dhu

It’s National Volunteer Week. To celebrate, we are spotlighting a different member of our service here each day.

David Dhu first headed down to the Footscray SES unit’s headquarters almost four years ago.

With friends in the unit, he’d been thinking of joining for a while, but waited until he had finished his Masters.

David swapped one form of study for another, having since picked up qualifications in storm and water and chainsaw operations.

“There are definitely a lot of qualifications you can pick up along the way,” he says.

There’s a lot to do as well. David has spent time as a Duty Officer, Crew Leader, Coxswain, Staging Area Manager and Media Liaison Officer.

“I’m happy to go where I am needed most. In recent years, that’s been mainly with the boat,” he says.

During the March floods in Victoria’s north east, David was deployed to Tallygaroopna and Numurkah. He spent much of his time there on a boat checking on people and properties that had been isolated by floodwater. Motoring along in water 1.5 metres deep, over what used to be roads, was a disconcerting experience.

“The other thing is, the wildlife comes out. Particularly in the floods in Shepparton, there were so many cockroaches, crickets and snakes. Seeing a snake not that far from the boat … it’s not just people who are looking to get out of floodwater,” he said.

While the creepy crawlies fled, the people worked together in an inspiring fashion.

“At Numurkah, seeing the resilience of the community, how everyone was pulling together, it’s a very worthwhile thing to do.”

It’s experiences like these that made volunteering with the SES so satisfying, he says.

“It’s rewarding giving something to the community when they are not at their best, to be able to provide that assistance to people when they need it most.”

Can you see yourself in orange? Visit our volunteer page for more information.