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A ceremony was held last Wednesday evening at the Hills Shire Council Chambers to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hills SES and to recognise Members for their outstanding service.

The event was hosted by The Hills Shire Council, and attended by various local dignitaries who gathered together to present awards to some of the most outstanding volunteers in the local community.

Member for Castle Hill Ray Williams said “As Minister responsible for Volunteering, it was a great honour to present awards to those members who have achieved 15 years of service to the organisation”.

The Hills SES has now become the largest SES Unit in New South Wales. In 2008, this unit was comprised of only 50 local volunteers, but now boasts over 200 dedicated individuals.

“The volunteer culture of The Hills Shire is truly unique” said Mr Williams. “I’ve seen the Hills SES in action during local storms, fires and floods. They are truly selfless in their efforts to help their local community in times of need. They deserve to be recognised and honoured for all that they do”.

There are more than 2.1 million volunteers in NSW, contributing 240 million hours of their time, worth around $5 billion a year.

People who volunteer enjoy better health and have greater opportunities for employment. There are numerous individuals who would like volunteer, but many don’t know how to start.

Recently Mr Williams launched a one-stop volunteering recruitment website through Volunteering NSW. This new website makes volunteering more accessible by linking volunteers with the right organisation and opportunity for them.

“There is something for everyone to get involved with just under 3,000 opportunities available for people who want to volunteer in NSW” said Mr Williams.

NSW SES Commissioner Mark Smethurst said the SES is registered to use the new website and is aiming to recruit 60 per cent more volunteers over two years.

“Volunteers are at the heart of the NSW SES, providing hundreds of thousands of hours in training and response each year” Mr Smethurst said.

“The NSW SES is proud to offer our new flexible volunteering options through the website where it can best reach prospective volunteers”.

To find out more about a local volunteering opportunity or to post a vacancy visit: