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Tuesday, 12 September 2017
Page: 10138

Mrs SUDMALIS (Gilmore) (16:22): In Gilmore we have a unique federally funded training opportunity for our young people. It's been happening for many years, and I'm hoping it continues for many years to come. This Shoalhaven Youth Volunteering Initiative, called SYVI, provides year 10 students from public and private schools with the opportunity to undertake accredited training with the Rural Fire Service whilst contributing to their local community through participation with a volunteer emergency agency. I'm constantly told by employers and community members about the skills they expect from our young people when they leave school. Schools provide students with reading, writing and maths—hopefully—whereas the SYVI project covers many more areas of value, particularly communication and teamwork. This project allows students to attend accredited training at a local RFS facility and over five full days learn to work as a team, learn to use their initiative, be mentored by experienced RFS personnel and volunteers, and experience the value of their volunteering in their local community.

Following the successful completion of their training, students are presented with two certificates—their accredited bushfire certificate from the RFS and a certificate from the RDA—recognising their participation in a volunteer project. These two documents become part of the student's CV and are very prized by local employers. The training is provided at no cost to these students, many of whom go on to become full-time volunteers with their local RFS brigades, and some go further in working in local emergencies. For many years the project has consistently met its KPIs and been delivered with the RDA on time and within budget. It's unfortunate that many students have to be turned away from this successful initiative, as it's always oversubscribed.

Many local schools, such as Nowra High and Ulladulla High, encourage their students to participate in this program, which I'm truly proud of. Students from these two schools will soon be getting their certificates. Congratulations to the RFS teams and also the students from Nowra: Annalise Young, Zane Wilson, Sean Tunks, Gemma Thompson, Nathan Simpson, Amy Selby, Hayden Robert Goodwin, Coby La Faber, Tilla Kennedy, Mitchell Kanhapaa, Cara Haupt, Lucy Freeman-Sear, Zaid Forrester, Ethan Fisher, Lachlan Dixon, Adele Crossland-Webb, Blake Croker, Emelia Collison-Gates, Alicia Collison-Gates, Jazmin Braid, Stewart Bowe, Jared Baraguin and Alex Adams.

Congratulations also to Ulladulla High School students Tayla Aderson-Phillips, James Andriske, Vanessa Bellingham, Antonia Benley, Jan Boone, Meg Buchanan, Melanie Clare, Jed Collis, Lachlan Congram, Ruby Craig, Shannon Craig, Matisse Cross, Angel Dale, Nikki Dark, Brie Ebsworth, Lachlan Emslie, Georgia Evan, Claudia Floyd, Thalia Fowler, Mia Garrick, Jess Henderson, Siena Jackson, Megan Jeffers, Ruby Kenny, Ave Lewand-Parsons, Imogene Lewis, Cooper McCarthy, Katie McLaren, Shannon Meredith, Georgia Nugent, Ashlee O'Callaghan, Harry Pascoe, Meirah Patterson, Brittany Peters, Zali Pullinger, Olivia Reed, Liam Sansom, Jonah Smith, Parvinder Singh, Chelsea Stephens, Grace Thomson, Jack Walsh, Noah Toghill, Hannah Webb, Jasmine Whitburn, Scott Wilford, Lane Wilson, Serena Wong and Tyler Woods. (Time expired)