Celebrating WOW factor in vollie work

Caitlyn WattsPilbara News
Karratha SES volunteers with Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan after Tropical Cyclone Damien.
Camera IconKarratha SES volunteers with Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan after Tropical Cyclone Damien.

Volunteers who tirelessly dedicate their time to helping others in the Pilbara were celebrated last week as part of National Volunteer Week.

While usual celebratory events were scrapped due to COVID-19, the immense contribution volunteers bring to the region was recognised across social media by Volunteering WA’s campaign involving people posting a photo of their palm with a drawn-on smiley face.

Residents were also encouraged to dress up in the State Emergency Service trademark shade of orange for Wear Orange Wednesday (WOW).

Karratha SES Unit volunteer and WOW organiser Barry Harrison said even the Red Earth Arts Precinct lit up orange to recognise the work of the SES.

“We’ve got about 30 volunteers at the moment,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a thankless job. There’s a lot of people that go into making it happen and allow you to do the work.

“It’s great for the team to get together and to celebrate our successes as a group.”

On top of their community contributions, Pilbara volunteers were at the forefront of a number of significant events this year including the Eastern State’s bushfires, Tropical Cyclone Damien, missing three-year-old Matilda Moule and the COVID-19 crisis.

Also among those recognised last week was the 233 St John Ambulance volunteers who contributed their skills and time to the Pilbara, with St John head of country ambulance operations Justin Fonte saying volunteers made up a substantial part of regional services.

“Our regional volunteers are a key part of the State’s country ambulance service, helping St John attend to 631,469 patients across WA last year,” he said.

Volunteering Minister Mick Murray said volunteers were the lifeblood of many organisations.

“Our volunteers positively change communities and lives every day, and National Volunteer Week presents a wonderful opportunity to recognise their outstanding contributions.”

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