18 May 2021

SCG to light up orange for NSW SES' 'WOW' Day

The Sydney Cricket Ground will be lit-up in in orange on Wednesday, May 19, in a show of support for the NSW State Emergency Services annual Wear Orange Wednesday community day.

Wear Orange Wednesday or 'WOW Day' encourages communities across Australia to wear orange and thank all SES volunteers across Australia who generously give their time to help communities during flood and storm emergencies. WOW day coincides with National Volunteer Week, May 17-23. 

Fellow Venues NSW venues Stadium Australia and Bankwest Stadium will also be lit-up in orange to mark the occasion. 

Former employee of the Sydney Cricket Ground, Matt Kirby, shares his story of volunteering before pursuing a full-time role with the SES.


Q AND A: Matt Kirby (Project Officer | Finance, Assets and Business Services Directorate NSW State Emergency Service)

Matt, you volunteered for the SES when you worked at the SCG, what does volunteering for the SES entail?
Volunteering with the NSW SES is about getting out to help your local community during times of disasters, undertaking training and also getting out into the community to help them become resilient.

For what region did you volunteer and for how long?
I volunteered for the Kogarah Unit and now am the Local Commander that looks after 3 units, I have been volunteering for 19.5 years.

What training did you do?
I have done a wide range of training from being able to work at heights to Incident Management. The NSW SES training is all nationally recognised. Some specific courses I have undertaken are First Aid, Drive Operational Vehicles, Operate a Flood Boat, Land Based Flood Rescue and much more.

What type of events did you assist with?
I have been involved in the Kurnell Tornado, East Coast Lows that have impacted the Sydney Coast in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2015 and more recently in 2017 and 2020 and I was also a part of the state management team for then 2021 NSW Flooding. I assisted in the 2019/2020 NSW Bushfire Season

How did the skills you learnt while volunteering help you with your primary role at the SCG?
The NSW SES taught me about team work and how to handle myself in difficult situations. I used these skills at the SCG being a part of the Membership and Customer Service team and also when dealing with issues and overcoming them. I left the SCG in 2018 and now work full-time at the SES.

What do you do there and how's it going?
I am currently a Project Officer and really enjoying the diversity of the role.

What does SES WOW day on May 19 mean to you?

As a NSW SES volunteer WOW Day is a great way for the community to show their thanks to the volunteer across the state

What would you say to anyone thinking about joining the SES as a volunteer?
Do it. Volunteering with the NSW SES is rewarding and you meet great people who become lifelong friends

How can someone become a volunteer?
Visit www.ses.nsw.gov.au/get-involved/volunteer/unit-volunteers/ or visit your local NSW SES unit.



Residents of NSW are encouraged to wear something orange on Wednesday, May 19 to show their support and appreciation for their local NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) volunteers.

Here’s to all the volunteers across Australia who work all year round to protect us at our most vulnerable. We thank you for saving lives and protecting communities.

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. From Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd May 2021, NVW will celebrate the significant contribution of Australia’s almost six million volunteers and we will highlight our special SES volunteers.

Share your video or photo of thanks during May, and use the hashtag #thankyouSES

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