During the summer of 2009, tens of thousands of volunteers protected bushfire and flood ravaged Australian communities. However the average age of Australia's 500,000 emergency volunteers is around 50 years old. In comparison, the average age of Australia's WWII Infantry Division was 26.
We confront a serious national challenge: fostering a new generation of heroes to support communities through the more frequent and intense floods and fires predicted by climate scientists.
Green Cross Australia is building a pathway to rejuvenate our world class volunteering groups at this critical time. Each time that extreme weather hits our shores, cities and properties, thousands of emergency volunteers are there to protect, comfort and rebuild communities. Green Cross Australia wants Australians to recognise our emergency service workers as Extreme Weather Heroes, bravely stepping up to the frontline in the fight against climate change.
Green Cross Australia needs your help to tackle this challenge head-on with a fresh approach to building the skills and commitment of a new generation of volunteering heroes. Your donation will help Green Cross Australia work with young leaders from the Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Services, St John Ambulance, Surf Life Saving Queensland and the Australian Red Cross to inspire and recruit a new generation of emergency volunteers.
Ayla Curtis is a 22-year old Brisbane SES volunteer with a passion for the environment. She was deployed to the oil spill clean-up in the aftermath of Cyclone Hamish.
Ayla knows that warmer ocean temperatures may lead to more intense storms and she is inspiring young people to follow her lead to prepare in advance using the Extreme Weather Heroes network.
After hearing about St John Ambulance First Aid Volunteers at age fourteen, Zoe couldn't wait to sign up. She has been an active member since and has now gone on to become a Registered Nurse, using many of the emergency medicine skills learnt as a St John Ambulance Volunteer. Zoe is still at the very same division where she was trained and is now training and inspiring young cadets to become Extreme Weather Heroes too!
Ben is with the Red Cross from Sydney. So depending on which direction you're facing he's either up or down from you. He volunteers in the Emergency and Youth Services fields handing out bandaids and bandages, educating the kiddies in drug awareness and helping with personal support when you're up to your neck in water or your roof has collapsed.
Katie is the Red Cross disaster management poster girl. From Cyclone Larry to the Solomon Islands - Katie gets her kicks from fostering positive change amidst vulnerable communities and individuals. Between scuba diving and avoiding pea and ham soup, Katie takes spontaneous volunteers under her wing and moulds them into the next generation of Extreme Weather Heroes!
At 16, Dean joined St John Ambulance Victoria as a Cadet. Dean graduated and became an Adult member at 18 becoming a First Aid Volunteer which enabled him to attend an array of local and state events across Victoria. Dean has just finished his degree to be a Paramedic and believes he can utilise the skills and training learnt at St John to further his career in his chosen profession.
Jake volunteers for the ACT Rural Fire Service and is an apprentice carpenter. Jake was devastated at age 4 that he could not immediately join the fire brigade and listen to sirens all day. But he returned on his 16th birthday and now is super highly skilled to save our bushland from the next fire season. During Black Saturday Jake spent days battling the blazes and managing the aftermath.
Your monthly donation will help inspire this new breed of volunteers armed with the skills that you will rely on when extreme weather hits, and allow Green Cross Australia to continue their great work.
It's our climate, our future, and our responsibility to be there for each other so please donate today.