From the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, to Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne and Larry the Lobster in South Australia, iconic landmarks right across the country will turn orange on 18 and 19 May to mark this year’s Wear Orange Wednesday (WOW Day) in support of State Emergency Service volunteers.
Running every year during National Volunteer Week (17-23 May), WOW Day is celebrated by all states and territories to acknowledge and thank their State Emergency Service volunteers.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said after an intense year of severe storms and floods, it was only fitting NSW shows support for the 10,260 NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) volunteers.
“These are people who have willingly put themselves in harms way to protect others,” Mr Elliott said.
“On behalf of the NSW Government, I want to thank every one of our volunteers – your dedication is a true embodiment of the Australian spirit of mateship,” he said.
Commissioner Carlene York echoed Mr Elliott’s praise of the volunteers, adding without them there would be no NSW SES.
“After an intense 12 months, which has seen our volunteers respond to more than 42,000 requests for assistance, it was only fitting that we had lit up the entire state the colour orange,” Commissioner York said.
“It is also amazing to see so many local Councils get behind their local NSW SES volunteers.
“Whether it be wearing orange, lighting up their Council chambers, or an iconic landmark – your efforts have been noticed and are very appreciated.”
Commissioner York said the service’s volunteers are emergency services professionals that have a wide range of skills.
“While our volunteers are ready to respond to storms, floods, and tsunamis, they do so much more as well.
“They help respond to road crash rescues, bush search and rescues, vertical rescues, assist police with searches for missing persons, and even act as community first responders.
“These are skills that they dedicate themselves to acquiring in their own time so they can step up and help whenever they are called upon.
“I want to thank each and every one of our volunteers for their dedication, passion and commitment to helping their local community.
“I also want to thank those volunteers’ families and employers, for without their support, our volunteers would not be able to dedicate the time they do to helping others,” she said.