Wear Orange with pride for the SES

Emerald SES crews painted Elephant Rock near Dewhurst in celebration of Wear Orange Wednesday (WOW) Day 2023, with help from local Emerald Arts Society member Wendy Lindrea. PICTURES: SUPPLIED

By Tanya Steele

Wear Orange Wednesday approaches and the SES volunteers across the Yarra Ranges have been busier than ever this year.

Each year the Victoria State Emergency Service celebrates Wear Orange Wednesday in May.

The day is a national day of thanks to the thousands of VICSES volunteers who serve the Victorian community 24 hours a day, seven days a week through storm, flood, road crash rescue, and much more.

Ben Owen of Emerald SES said that people showing support any way they can means a lot to the volunteers putting their time in.

“If you can wear orange and show support that would be great,” he said.

As a volunteer, Mr Owen said it’s great to see when the public and organisations get on board for the day.

“Businesses and other places sometimes make orange things and that’s really nice and noticeable.” Mr Owen said.

Emerald supports its SES proudly, last year in May a giant orange artwork appeared in the town to honour the local SES.

Volunteers spent two days painting Elephant Rock, near Dewhurst, with the help of Emerald Arts Society member Wendy Lindrea, creating an artwork displaying the SES logo.

The giant feature was dubbed “Elephant Rock” and was enjoyed by all.

This year the Emerald unit of volunteers hasn’t had a chance to prepare for WOW 2024, but Mr Owen said it is nice to have a day dedicated to the work the SES do.

“We’ve just been so busy,” Mr Owen said.

“We’ve had over 600 calls for help just in February for the storm.”

The Emerald SES are also a container deposit collection point, doing anything they can to raise funds for the unit.

People can show support for the SES by wearing orange on Wednesday 22 May!

Other ways to celebrate the SES include Donating to your local volunteers now – visit ses.vic.gov.au/donate

Posting a photo or video to social media to say thank you using the hashtag #ThankYouSES.

Host an orange themed morning tea or encourage your local school or child-care centre to do so.

Put up posters in your workplace to celebrate our volunteers or Download an SES colouring sheet for the classroom at your local school or kinder.

Lastly – the SES ask the public to get prepared for the risk of storm and flood so you’re less likely to need them.

“If people can recognise the work we’ve already done, in terms of voluntary time, that is positive,” Mr Owen said.