“When we arrive to help a person in crisis, the look of relief on their face stays with me. That’s what I get out of it – knowing I helped someone who may be having their worst day,” said Anthony, a long-term emergency services volunteer.
For Anthony and his three daughters Sam, Vanessa and Rachel, volunteering is something that runs deep in the family.
Anthony’s relationship with the Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) started 17 years ago as a self-employed paid contractor. He then decided to try a volunteer role and developed his knowledge and skills over the years to become officer in charge of the SES Sunbury unit.
Today, Anthony still provides contractor services to the SES and is just as passionate about his volunteer contributions to the organisation. The positive impact that volunteering has had on Anthony inspired his daughters, who have since followed his example to become active volunteer members, too.
Daughter Sam, 23, has a son and owns her own wellness coaching business. She has recently become a section leader in her SES volunteer role of eight years.
“I started volunteering while I was in high school. It was just the norm in our family. The work I do with the SES is so varied, I love it. It could be car accidents, horse riding accidents, people lost, kids stuck in drainage pipes,” Sam said.
Daughter Rachel, 18, is a full-time student and has recently become team leader of community education in her SES volunteer role of three years.
“From a young age I wanted to go with dad whenever he went to the unit. As soon as I was old enough to volunteer, I went for it. As well as learning practical skills needed to help people, I’m learning leadership and communication skills,” Rachel said.
For anyone thinking about trying a volunteer role, Anthony, Sam and Rachel agree it’s a great way to help others while having fun.
“You get a great sense of supporting people in the community and you get to learn amazing skills and meet great people.”