Young volunteers bring fresh ideas to emergency responses

Madeleine Croft tells us about her journey as a young NSW SES volunteer.

We’re proud supporters of the NSW SES Cadet Program, which helps recruit the next generation of volunteers.The program provides cadets with skills to service their local community, knowledge of the NSW SES service and other emergency service agencies. Former cadet, Madeleine Croft tells us about her experience with NSW SES.

“My NSWSES journey started with Cadets in 2012 when I was in Year 12. I started with Hornsby Unit, finished my HSC and had a break between the end of school and starting work. We had a big storm season, so I got a few months of really good field experience” Madeleine said.

In 2014, Madeleine applied for the “Change It Up!” program, a workshop run by Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorieties Countcil (AFAC and facilitated by the Foundation for Young Australians).

Madeleine’s application was accepted and she joined 14 other young emergency management volunteers with ideas on how to tackle engagement and retention of young volunteers in the emergency management-volunteering space. 

“I travelled to Melbourne and spent 2 and a half days with 14 other incredible young people with a passion for sharing the impact that our services have had on us, the way it’s changed and shaped our lives and how we want other young people to experience that same thing.”

“It was really exciting to think that I could change the shape of the way that youth engaged and interacted with emergency services organisations.”

In September this year, Youth Beyond Disasters offered Madeleine and her “Change it Up!” Alumni the opportunity to participate in the 3rd UN Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan.

“I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to travel internationally and represent not only NSW SES, but Australian Youth and showcase that we are here, and serious about making a difference, we don’t want our future decided without us.”

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