7th February, 2024.
The members of the Southern Highlands SES Cluster do more than just voluntarily contribute their time and efforts - they represent the very community spirit which has seen our region not only survive when struck by adversity, but to thrive and come out the other side stronger. It was my honour to attend the SES Southern Highlands Cluster Season's Greetings event in December 2023, held to end the year on a high note by recognising and celebrating the hard work of the dedicated volunteers from Wingecarribee and Wollondilly units, as well as Moss Vale in the neighbouring electorate. In 2023, the NSW Southern Highlands Cluster has met the challenge of over 680 requests for assistance, including storm damage, flooding, rescues and providing support to partner agencies. What this means in real time is 17,000 hours of volunteer commitments, sacrificing time with family and friends, to turn up for a stranger in need. I hope that I will never need to call on the SES, but if I do I am confident that I am in capable and caring hands. These volunteers are an asset to our community and deserve our wholehearted thanks and appreciation.