22/09/2023 03:40 PM

More than 20 youth from the Southern Illawarra region have completed a 10-week internship program through the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), learning communication skills, basic first aid, leadership and flood and storm response. 

Through hands-on lessons and practical demonstrations at the NSW SES Shellharbour Unit outside of school hours, students gained enhanced knowledge of natural disasters and how to prepare for an emergency should they arise.  

The Illawarra students join more than 80 other youth from 10 locations across the state who graduated from the program this week. 

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York APM congratulated the graduating students, and said it was inspirational to see young people willing to try something new and find out more about volunteering to support their communities. 

“It’s fantastic to see young people learning important flood and storm safety tips, communication and more about how emergency services work together in a disaster,” Commissioner York said.  

“Not only have the students shown a commitment to their education and community, they’ve also gained new skills that will put them in good stead for their future - whether that’s joining the SES as a volunteer, or going on to university or the workforce.” 

Commissioner York also acknowledged the volunteers who’ve dedicated their time to share knowledge and experiences with the next generation. 

“Without the willingness of our members to mentor our youth, this program would not be the success it has been,” she said. 

“It’s great to hear some participants in this program were so inspired by our volunteers, they’re now taking steps to join the Service in our next volunteer intake.” 

Shellharbour Unit Commander Ray Merz said it was great to see local students taking an interest in the Service and their community. 

“Young people are our future, and the students who completed the Internship Program are highly engaged individuals who would be an asset to the SES,” Mr Merz said. 

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500. In life threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Media enquiries: NSW SES Media 1800 067 234 or media@ses.nsw.gov.au

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