Frequently Asked Questions
Interested in learning more about volunteering with the NSW SES?
We've compiled the following frequently asked questions to help.
Who can I speak to about volunteering?
As the NSW SES is a volunteer organisation, not all NSW SES Units are staffed during business hours.
Contact our Volunteering Information line on 1800 201 000 and we'll put you in touch with your local Unit or Volunteer Engagement Officer.
Can I join if I am under the age of 18?
Volunteers can join the NSW SES at ages 16 and 17 but must complete a Parent and Guardian Consent form at the time of joining.
Do I need to be an Australian citizen to volunteer with NSW SES?
Non-Australian citizens who hold a temporary visa can volunteer depending on the type of visa held.
Generally speaking, if a person's visa allows them to do paid work, then they can volunteer.
Visa holders can check their visa details and conditions online at the Department of Home Affairs VEVO website.
I have a disability and want to know if I can volunteer?
Of course you can. The NSW SES has four categories of volunteering designed to provide every community member with the opportunity to join the NSW SES, no matter what their personal circumstance may be.
For Unit Volunteering, the application form provides a section for you to disclose any disabilities and your required adjustments to facilitate your request.
Check out the other volunteer categories here, and submit an expression of interest for the category that best suits your circumstances.
To get in touch with your local Unit, call the Volunteer Information line on 1800 201 000.
I know there are floods coming - can I help out for the day?
Yes you can!
Spontaneous Volunteers are community members who volunteer in one-off events to support the NSW SES during emergencies.
Spontaneous Volunteers work closely with the NSW SES and local communities before, during and after disasters. Explore your volunteer options further here.
I have previously been a Unit Volunteer with NSW SES – do I need to reapply?
If you have ceased your membership with NSW SES, you will need to reapply. There is an option for 'rejoining member' within our Online Application form.
Who can I contact to discuss my application after the 21 day application period has passed?
There is a 21 day processing period from the date you submit your application to the time you receive notification about your application. Only after this time can we investigate the tracking of your application.
If you have not received any contact from the NSW SES after the 21 day period has lapsed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what stage your application is up to.
Can I change my application to another Unit?
Yes. This can be discussed with the Unit at the time of your initial interview and your application can be reassigned.
Does the NSW SES have Open Days?
Yes we do host Open Days at our Units so you can come along and see what we are all about! Visit our website for a full list of upcoming Community events or search for your local Unit on Facebook.
I have a criminal record. Can I still apply to be a volunteer?
Yes. All applications for NSW SES undergo a National Police History Check and suitability assessments are conducted. Discussions regarding the results of these checks will be held with you where required.
I’m on Centrelink benefits, will volunteering impact on my payments?
Centrelink clients can elect to volunteer as part of their activity requirements – if that is in their contract.
Centrelink clients can choose to volunteer at a particular not-for-profit organisation, as part of their activity requirement, as long as that organisation is on Centrelink’s approved list.
Each Centrelink client must always check the conditions of their contract in the first instance.
I'm a NSW SES staff member. Will I get a new member number when I become a volunteer?
Yes. If a staff member joins as a volunteer, or a volunteer becomes a staff member, a second member number will be issued. The accounts are separate, however qualifications and contact details are linked.
I still have more questions?
We are more than happy to help you. Just call the Volunteering Information line on 1800 201 000
Click here to learn about NSW SES Training