NSW State Emergency Service members marched in this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, celebrating the contribution, acceptance and belonging of LGBTQIA+ members within the NSW SES.

The NSW SES contingent featured a rainbow wrapped high clearance vehicle and members dressed in various NSW SES operational roles including flood rescue operator, storm responder, chainsaw person, and land search and rescue operator, all dancing to weather-themed music.

And of course, the NSW SES mascot Paddy the Platypus made an appearance in a whole new fabulous outfit.

NSW SES Deputy Commissioner Deb Platz was proud to march with NSW SES members and the LGBTQIA+ community.

“Participating in the Mardi Gras parade is a public statement of our commitment to diversity and inclusion within the service,” Deputy Commissioner Platz said.

“The SES is a family – it has a sense of belonging enabling our volunteers to feel connected and valued as they serve our communities. We are so proud of our volunteers – come and join us!”

This was the 18th year the NSW SES has marched in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

NSW SES Randwick Unit volunteer Ben Tomkins took part in the parade, and said it was a chance for him to show he was proud to wear Orange and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.

“This is one night that we have to all come together and celebrate what would usually be seen as a potential difference, but tonight everyone has a collective goal to celebrate diversity,” Mr Tomkins said.

“Being able to represent my community, but also show how proud I am to be a part of this service is a great feeling.”

Deputy Commissioner Platz said the strong NSW SES turnout at this year’s Mardi Gras shows the future is looking bright orange.

“To see so many SES members wearing their orange uniforms, proudly celebrating who they are, really demonstrated the strength of diversity within our service,” Deputy Commissioner Platz said.

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500. In life threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

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