Community Engagement

  Comment Banner May 2010
 

National Volunteer Week 2010

 
 

This week provided the State with an opportunity to highlight and thank our SES and CFS volunteers who form the State's dedicated army of nearly 17,000 emergency service volunteers, delivering an emergency response capacity valued at billions of dollars.

Just as important is the support provided by the families and employers of our volunteers. South Australia has the highest volunteer participation rate in the nation, with a total of five million Australians who volunteer.

National Volunteer Week offers an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of our sector's volunteers. A number of public relations activities were planned for the week to help promote our message of thanks and appreciation out to our volunteers around the State, starting with a message of thanks which ran within the Advertiser National Volunteer Week feature.

ABC Radio generously supplied air time for thank you community service announcements throughout this week, and a schedule of interview candidates from across the State was provided to print, broadcast and electronic media for consideration.

The schedule contained a list of emergency service volunteers who agreed to be interviewed and tell their story. Each volunteer talked about different aspects of what it means to be an emergency services volunteer and further promote the benefits and rewards of volunteering.

The list also contained representatives from SAFECOM, the SES and CFS, and the SES and CFS Volunteer Associations to promote the opportunities available to volunteers, the support provided and the importance of their contributions to South Australian communities.

Letters of appreciation were also prepared for each CFS Brigade and Group and SES Unit across the State to provide a personal message of thanks.

SAFECOM Chief Executive David Place said emergency service volunteers should feel proud of their commitment to the State's response and recovery efforts.

"Emergency service volunteers are fundamental to emergency management in South Australia and their value and importance is highly regarded by the South Australian community. We hope the activities we have planned through out this week allow us to demonstrate how much we appreciate the contribution of our volunteers," said Mr Place.

SES Chief Officer Stuart Macleod said volunteers give their time generously, without expecting reward, other than the satisfaction they receive from knowing that they really are making a difference to the lives of others.

"It is very fitting that we have an annual event that celebrates the dedication of those who selflessly volunteer their time and energy to serve their community. In keeping with this year's National Volunteer Week theme, 'Volunteering: Now, more than ever', I extend to all SES volunteers - thank you, now more than ever."

CFS Chief Officer Euan Ferguson added that volunteers are important role models for others, particularly youth, in today's society.

"They epitomise what being a citizen is about - participating in community activities and helping your neighbours," he said.

"Too often we take our volunteers for granted. National Volunteer Week is a fantastic opportunity to put these everyday people, who do extraordinary things in our community, on a pedestal and to say 'thank you'."

Our emergency service volunteers were also acknowledged and thanked at the Volunteering SA&NT official launch of National Volunteer Week, hosted by the Minister for Volunteers, Hon.Grace Portolesi MP in Rundle Mall on the Monday morning of National Volunteer Week.

 

Grace Portolesi MP launching National Volunteer Week 2010

Minister for Volunteers, Hon. Grace Portolesi MP at the launch of National Volunteer Week 2010

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