What's it like to be a Volunteer?

Hero of the month!
Tim Miller

Age: 55

Port Stephens Unit

'In my time as a member of the NSW SES, I’ve had the privilege to meet some of the most exceptional people with big hearts that have become an extended family - I wouldn’t change a thing that I have done in the last 38 years.'

Our volunteers

Volunteering with the NSW State Emergency Service is an exciting and rewarding way to give back to your community. But don't take our word for it! Read some volunteer stories and decide for yourself. If you want to thank SES volunteers, the best day to get involved is on WOW day

  • Chris Hovey
    36
    Bellingen Unit
    Team Leader
    'The NSW SES has given me the opportunity to help my local Community while giving me so much personally in return.'
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  • Elaine Mason
    60
    Port Macquarie Hastings Unit
    Volunteer
    'Quickly it developed in to a love of helping people when they are at their most vulnerable.'
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  • Shirley Heap
    25
    Armidale - Dumaresq Unit
    Volunteer and Trainer
    “It was in the SES I realised I enjoyed working in emergency service, so I decided to apply for NSW Ambulance and become a paramedic.”
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  • Paul Maher
    82
    Corindi Unit
    Corindi Unit Commander
    "The NSW SES can help you develop skills and use the ones you already have.”
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  • Vic Weller
    68
    Unit
    Hunter Capability Unit Commander
    “I’m very proud of what we do.”
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  • Dennis Buck
    70
    Unit
    Namoi Capability Unit Commander & Gunnedah Unit Volunteer
    “I believe in the people of the NSW SES. Not just the Units to which I belong but the organisation as a whole.”
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  • Joe Bond
    75
    Gundagai Unit
    Gundagai Unit Trainer and Volunteer
    “There was no rescue unit in Gundagai in 1970, so members from the police, rural fire service, ambulance and community volunteers got together to form one.”
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  • John Dodd
    71
    Campbelltown Unit
    Planning Officer
    'I joined originally to help my neighbours.'
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  • Sharmin Hossain
    33
    Ku-ring-gai Unit
    Community Engagement Officer
    'I really appreciate how the NSW SES provides its members with the opportunity to gain skills and experience in a wide range of areas.'
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  • William Chi
    20
    Parramatta Unit
    Volunteer
    'Great things never come from comfort zones'
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  • Simone Burrows
    24
    Singleton Unit
    Community Engagements and Media Officer
    'One day I could be using a chainsaw, the next I'm helping organise a press conference. There really is a role for everyone!'
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  • Kai Ho
    24
    Auburn Unit
    Storm and Flood Damage Team Operator
    'The mateship, teamwork and work culture are all outstanding in my unit. People are definitely my favourite part of joining the SES.'
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  • Mathew Wallis
    46
    Auburn Unit
    Planning Officer
    'I feel immensely proud every time I don the orange uniform as I know that I’m helping others.'
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  • Lily Bokulic
    21
    Sutton Unit
    Deputy Team Leader, Community Engagement Officer and Duty Officer
    'The opportunities to gain new skills as well as travelling for training and operations is pretty rewarding.'
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  • Zhanna Smolovich
    35
    Parramatta Unit
    Volunteer
    'That was probably the deciding factor for me - I can get involved as much as I want to, without sacrificing my other interests and having to take time off work.'
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  • Reba Skuthorpe
    27
    Goodooga Unit
    Volunteer
    'Go for it! It's okay to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new, for me this was one of the greatest choices I have made.'
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  • Teon West
    21
    Hornsby Unit
    Member
    "If you're thinking about it, do it! Don't waste time thinking about if you should join."
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  • Linda Catalano
    27
    Warringah - Pittwater Unit
    Training Coordinator
    'Give it a go! Get your application in, go have a chat to your local unit volunteers and step out of your comfort zone! You won’t regret it! You’ll make amazing friends and you’ll learn a whole lot!'
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  • Isaiah Gorman
    18
    Campbelltown Unit
    'Do it - it’s an amazing experience. I’ve met so many people, I’ve made new friends, new mentors and learnt so much. It’s also a brilliant way to further yourself as a human.'
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  • Michelle De Friskbom
    50
    Bega Unit
    Deputy Unit Controller
    "I am passionate about running realistic training exercises for our volunteer members, I love being part of an awesome team and family".
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  • Lyndsey Crammond
    42
    City of Sydney Unit
    Volunteering Team and Retention Specialist
    "I wanted to do something for my community and a friend recommended the NSW SES."
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  • Sandra Smail
    60
    Port Macquarie Hastings Unit
    Operations Officer
    "I have family in the SES and their feedback persuaded me to join the service."
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  • Katrina Frankish
    24
    Hornsby Unit
    Media Officer
    "I am the newly appointed Media Liasion Officer at the Hornsby Unit. My role includes maintaining the Hornsby SES Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page to keep the public up to date and informed."
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  • Andrew McDonough
    25
    Warringah - Pittwater Unit
    'You get out as much as you put in with the SES so just jump in and give it a go, there's a job for everyone in the SES and there are so many different avenues you can specialise into.'
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  • Taryn Rowe
    18
    Wingecarribee Unit
    “It is such an awesome experience, you get loads of cool training, meet heaps of really nice people and you get to give back to your community! What more could you want?!”
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  • Zakia Patel
    32
    Queanbeyan Unit
    I am currently the Deputy Local Controller of Operations in our unit
    "As soon as I walked in and saw the first display, I knew it was something I wanted to be part of. I signed up for an interview to be a new recruit. I've loved volunteering for NSW SES ever since."
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  • Steve Cliffe
    55
    Wollongong City Unit
    Local Controller and NSW SES Vertical Rescue Capability Development Group Chair
    "It's really rewarding to be able to help out people in need of our assistance."
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  • Tom Nicholls
    26
    Shellharbour City Unit
    Operations and Community Engagement Coordinator
    "Joined SES at Shellharbour City Unit in 2013 when I was 18 and haven't looked back since!"
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  • Paul Burg
    40
    Camden Haven Unit
    A/local controller of the Port Macquarie Hastings LGA
    'I enjoy teaching people, especially newer members skills that will allow them to help someone else or rescue someone in a critical situation and that's what it's all about.'
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  • Michelle C
    33
    Kogarah Unit
    Deputy Team Leader Media Liaison Officer
    'I have a background in graphic design and event management and it has been refreshing to bring those skills to the unit'
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  • Tim Keown
    50
    Albury Unit
    Community Engagement Officer
    'I grew up in a rural area where everyone in the community had to help each other, especially in hard times. '
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  • Dylan Whitelaw
    19
    Wingecarribee Unit
    “I love helping people and the SES provides a great avenue to do this. With the high-quality training that the SES gives, it’s an exceptional organisation to volunteer with."
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  • Kaamilah Kim Barbara Davids
    61
    Campbelltown Unit
    Deputy Team Leader
    "I have been a member for almost 9 years and feel at home."
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  • Stacey Dengate
    31
    Unit
    Team Leader
    'NSW SES is one reason why I decided to pursue Nursing. I love helping and supporting people in the time of need.'
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  • Owen Pacewicz
    34
    Wollongong City Unit
    Volunteering with SES
    My name is Owen Pacewicz and I am a volunteer with the Wollongong City NSW SES Unit.
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  • Katie Moulton
    35
    Parramatta Unit
    Community Engagement Coordinator & Media Officer
    I volunteered for 4 years at the Parramatta unit. I enjoyed my time at the NSW SES so much that I have pursued a career with NSW SES in the Sydney Western Region office as the Community Engagement Coordinator.
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  • Esther Giam
    48
    Shellharbour City Unit
    Community Engagement Officer
    'I only work 20 hours a week. This allows me to be flexible and use my spare time to give back to the community.'
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  • Lyal Stanford
    19
    Parramatta Unit
    "I’m currently a student at the Kings school. I really came to love the NSW SES through the school cadet program, so I continued being a volunteer after the course finished."
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  • Jason Tien-Kin Li
    47
    Willoughby - Lane Cove Unit
    Unit Commander, Willoughby-Lane Cove Unit Previously Team Leader (Operations) Flood Rescue Level 1 Endorsed Community Educator and Media Officer
    "It is one of the best things that I do with my life, and you will be glad that you took the first step to sign up as an SES volunteer."
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  • Daniel Mowbray
    33

    Communication Officer, State Headquarters
    I have been a part of the NSW SES for about 10 years.
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  • Evelyn Lester
    65
    The Hills Unit
    Local Controller
    “There were houses with more than 300 holes from the hail. The community was devastated.”
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  • Parryn Sellings-Bibby
    21
    Coffs Harbour City Unit
    Meet Parryn Sellings-Bibby a volunteer from the NSW SES Coffs Harbour Unit has been a member since 2016.
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  • Curtis Kishere
    25
    Albury Unit
    Duty Officer
    "I joined the NSW SES to help people in my community and to learn new lifesaving skills."
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  • Geoffrey Kiehne
    60
    Gilgandra Unit
    Local Commander
    'I wanted to help build community resilience. Knowing I am making a difference is what it is all about.'
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  • Tim Miller
    55
    Port Stephens Unit
    Road Crash Rescue Instructor
    'In my time as a member of the NSW SES, I’ve had the privilege to meet some of the most exceptional people with big hearts that have become an extended family - I wouldn’t change a thing that I have done in the last 38 years.'
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  • Kam Wheeler
    46

    Youth Engagement Coordinator
    You’d be surprised what you can bring to the Service and how you can gain new skills for your personal and professional life. It’ll be the best thing you’ve ever done.
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  • Debbie Burns
    59
    Campbelltown Unit
    Acting Deputy Unit Commander for Community Capabilities
    I bleed Orange! The journey I’ve had in the NSW SES has been challenging and amazing
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