Wear Orange Wednesday and say thanks to SES volunteers

May 17, 2024 BY

SES volunteers from the Geelong, Corio and South Barwon units are encouraging community members to participate in Wear Orange Wednesday. Photo: ABBY PARDEW

COMMUNITIES are being encouraged to participate in Wear Orange Wednesday (WOW) to say thank you to State Emergency Services (SES) next week (May 22).

The national day will show appreciation for the volunteers and work they do right around the country, including across the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast regions, assisting communities in times of floods, fire, storms, car crashes and more.

The SES assist the community in a number of ways, including during car accidents with the jaws of life.


Marion Peterson is a volunteer with the Geelong Unit and said many people don’t know they’re volunteers and believe they are getting paid.

“WOW is a really good way of just promoting that these people in orange are volunteers and they come from all walks of life, but they all work very hard to get these skills to get you out of a spot.”

“It’s a big commitment, but you get a whole lot of back too, you get it back in spades with all the training and experiences you get.”

Volunteers from the Barwon South-West region have responded to over 3,100 requests for assistance since April last year. Photo: ABBY PARDEW


Since April last year volunteers from the Barwon South-West region, which covers Geelong to the South Australian boarder, have responded to more than 3,100 requests for assistance.

Along with these requests they also supported other emergency services on more than 250 call outs.

Two years ago, Emily Cooney joined the Corio unit so she could get to know the people in her community after moving back to the area.

The national day is an opportunity for community member to show appreciation for the SES. Photo: ABBY PARDEW


“It made me feel like I was part of it and felt like I was at home after I met everyone at the Corio unit and made some friends, being able to help people just reinforced that,” she said.

“We’re all very diverse with different backgrounds, but the one thing you can see, and people recognise is we’re one, the one thing we all have in common is we all wear orange.”

Not only do the SES attend call outs, they are also involved with community engagement, something that Ms Cooney finds to be most rewarding.

“We do lots of events and even dressing up in the platypus suit, seeing the joy that can bring to some little kids, that makes my day, so I’ll always fight to be in that platypus suit.”

Marion Peterson from the Geelong unit and Emily Cooney from the Corio unit. Photo: ABBY PARDEW


Ms Cooney said the day is also an opportunity to recognise and thank the families of the volunteers, who have also had to sacrifice time with their loved ones.

This Wear Orange Wednesday communities are encouraged to wear something orange, post a photo or video to social media and use the hash tag #WearOrangeWednesday and #ThankyouSES, they can also tag their local units.

For more information on WOW or to sign up as a volunteer, head to ses.vic.gov.au