Australind SES praised during National Volunteer Week

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Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
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Australind SES volunteers Tom White, Corey Hoggett, Christine Wetherly, Diane Tonkin, Jessie Williams, Emma Della Bosca and Matthew Williams during volunteer week.
Camera IconAustralind SES volunteers Tom White, Corey Hoggett, Christine Wetherly, Diane Tonkin, Jessie Williams, Emma Della Bosca and Matthew Williams during volunteer week. Credit: Picture: Briana Fiore

Volunteers are said to be the backbone of the community. They dedicate their time to making a difference and offering support in times of need — something the Australind SES crew never shy away from.

While they might be shy when sprung into the spotlight, especially during National Volunteer Week which falls this week, they are always happy to lend a hand during floods, emergencies and severe storms.

The team worked tirelessly through the storm that swept through the South West earlier this month, with some courageous volunteers even working 40-hour weeks.

Many worked several days in a row to remove trees from driveways, put tarps on houses without roofs and clear dangerous debris.

Australind SES manager Jessie Williams said she was extremely proud of her team during the storm clean-up.

“We have a really young team and they were outstanding,” Mrs Williams said.

“It’s great to see so much enthusiasm, maturity and commitment by all of our volunteers.”

The Australind SES team now has 32 volunteers, this time two years ago it had only 18.

Mrs Williams believed the influx of young blood was due to the cadets program at Australind Senior High School.

Australind SES members Tom White and Corey Hoggett both graduated from the cadets program and went on to join the Australind SES crew.

“The program was great and taught us so many valuable skills that we can now use when we’re out in the community,” Mr Hoggett said.

Mr White said teenagers were able to join as a cadet at the age of 14.

“Many people ask ‘but what can I do to help because I can’t get on a roof’ and that’s OK because there are so many other things our team needs help with.”

Mr White said there was always something for everyone, whether that be paperwork duties, coffee runs or welfare roles.

“When the storm hit, it was cold and wet and (volunteer) Emma’s mum made us hot beef and gravy rolls so we didn’t go hungry,” he said.

He also said the crew was always in need of more volunteers.

The team is looking forward to moving into its new headquarters soon.

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