Essay by Luke Foster
“The 2022 eastern Australia floods were one of the nation’s worst recorded flood disasters with a series of floods that occurred from late February to early May in South East Queensland, the Wide Bay–Burnett and parts of coastal New South Wales.”
During the floods in 2022 I was living in a studio apartment in Bogangar and I had only been living there for a few months. I had chosen the first floor as it had a great view of the adjacent lake and if I had taken the slightly cheaper ground floor then I would have been completely flooded out and lost everything.
A couple of days ago I saw a SES worker in his uniform having a coffee at my local café and it projected me back to that crisis and I remembered how I had little food except what a sympathetic neighbour had given me but the SES came around after a few days and I got four wraps from them and reassurances that I would be safe.
“The average NSW State Emergency Service monthly salary ranges from approximately $6,250 per month for Assistant to $12,500 per month for Manager in Training. Salary information comes from 399 data points collected directly from employees, users, and past and present job advertisements on Indeed in the past 36 months.”
I don’t think SES workers take the job for the money but they do it as they care about the community and want to make a positive change in the world. However, I think a ten percent wage rise would be fantastic as their job is so challenging at times and when there is a crisis they work around the clock for weeks.
“Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer.”
– Rachaell Joy Scott
I think the greatest quality in the SES workers I met was empathy and compassion. When they reassured me that I would be safe then I felt very relieved.
I don’t think just the NSW emergency service workers need a better pay rise but all those workers nationally.
I didn’t realise until just now that a lot of SES staff is made up of volunteers. This is what one volunteer said:
‘That was probably the deciding factor for me – I can get involved as much as I want to, without sacrificing my other interests and having to take time off work.’
In conclusion I can’t praise the NSW SES enough and they deserve much praise and a good pay rise. If they hadn’t been there during the floods of 2022 then many people would have perished.