Help is about reaching out, being there for those who need it, offering something selflessly.
Togetherness and community inspire Esta, which is why she began volunteering with the SES.
The Outdoors Type
When Esta decided to begin volunteering, her desire to help the community and her love of the great outdoors mean the SES was a perfect fit.
Not only does being outdoors with the SES suit Esta’s personality and interests, it gives her an opportunity to learn more about natural disasters, an area of personal interest for her.
“I volunteered to give back to the community, and with the SES I can get my hands dirty.”
Esta is a Community Engagement Officer with the SES. Her work informs her local community of dangers, and of the importance of preparedness.
In times of disaster, Esta liaises with the public, helping where she can to inspire and protect.
Visiting schools, setting up and running public displays, and giving talks to the community, Esta is someone who the community can connect with and whose presence is a reassurance in times of danger.
Making it Work
Finding the time to volunteer with the SES can be a tricky balancing act for Esta, but being able to help her community makes the long hours worthwhile.
Working part time at night and spending much of her day caring for her ageing mother, Esta’s role with the SES is flexible enough that she can make time for it all.
“I have a lot of daytime availability so I do a lot of school visits and other community engagement work about being prepared for when danger strikes.”
In her two and a half years volunteering for the SES, nothing compares to Esta’s memories of her time in Lismore when Cyclone Debbie struck.
Not only is it her most memorable moment with the SES, it was an eyeopening and heart wrenching one.
Cyclone Debbie was memorable for Esta for several reasons. One being that she’d never seen floodwater like it, with waters deep enough to submerge a three story house.
Another reason Cyclone Debbie stands out in Esta’s mind was the resilience the Lismore community showed in banding together, supporting each other in their time of need.
Help is about doing what you can. Whether it was looking after animals for people who had lost everything but their pets, or going door to door to check on locals who had stayed in their homes, Esta helped the Lismore community by doing whatever she could.
“It was intense but the community, instead of thinking of themselves and their own safety, came together to help.”