Western Australia lights up orange in support of SES volunteers

  • Community encouraged to wear orange for Wear Orange Wednesday (WOW Day)
  • Annual day of recognition pays thanks to all State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers
  • More than 50 buildings and landmarks across Western Australia to light up

Buildings and landmarks across Western Australia will light up orange tomorrow night to pay thanks to our devoted State Emergency Service volunteers who have kept the community safe from natural disasters and dangerous situations for 65 years.

Wear Orange Wednesday, or WOW Day, invites community members to wear a splash of orange tomorrow, 22 May 2024, in a nod to the iconic SES uniforms.

Optus Stadium, Matagarup Bridge, Parliament House and Kings Park are just some of the landmarks across Perth that will glow orange tomorrow in a show of gratitude.

Regional centres including Albany, Kalgoorlie, Broome and Kununurra will also light up to recognise local SES units.

Over the past year, nearly 2,000 SES volunteers have devoted more than 32,600 hours responding to incidents across the State, including the destructive Bunbury tornado on 10 May.

SES personnel are often first responders to storms, floods and cyclones and play a vital support role at other incidents, including searches for missing people, road crashes, vertical rescues and bushfires.

WOW Day in 2024 is especially significant as the SES is celebrating 65 years of protecting the WA community.

The SES was established in 1959 when just a handful of units existed across the metropolitan area. Today, there are 64 units, equipped with more than 430 response vehicles, covering all corners of the State.

Over the years, the SES in WA has responded to many major emergencies including the Meckering earthquake in 1968, which all but flattened the small Wheatbelt town, the Perth hailstorm in 2010, the tireless search for flight MH370 and record-breaking Kimberley floods in 2023.

Community members are encouraged to show their support for the SES this WOW Day by wearing orange, sharing words of thanks on social media and checking out the landmarks lighting up in their area using our interactive map.

As stated by Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson:

“This past year alone, nearly 2,000 SES volunteers have given more than 32,600 hours to assist across a wide range of incidents.

“Whether they’re preparing local communities for a cyclone, rescuing someone trapped in floodwaters or up a cliff face, or conducting a meticulous search for a missing person in deep bushland, SES volunteers are available 24/7 and ready to help.

“The selfless work of our SES volunteers was on display in recent weeks when a tornado tore through Bunbury damaging more than 200 homes.

“Fourteen SES units from Perth to Manjimup worked tirelessly over five days to repair the worst of the damage, responding to more than 130 requests for assistance, with local units continuing to support their communities as they recover from the devastating event.

“As the SES marks 65 years in WA, I’d encourage all community members to don their brightest orange tomorrow and say thank you to these incredible volunteers.”

As stated by Fire and Emergency Services Acting Commissioner Melissa Pexton:

“On WOW Day we encourage all Western Australians to take a moment to reflect on the enormous contribution the SES make and acknowledge our selfless volunteers for their unwavering commitment to community safety.

“These highly skilled volunteers are often first responders and drop everything when people need them most.

“Tomorrow, we want people all over the State to wear something orange to say thank you to the SES volunteers who have helped keep communities safe for 65 years.”

/Public Release. View in full here.