Camaraderie and community: celebrating our SES volunteers on WOW Day


Suncorp Group prides itself on empowering its people to bring their whole selves to work – celebrating what makes them, them. This WOW Day 2024 (Wear Orange Wednesday), we say ‘thank you’ to our SES volunteers and share the story of Suncorp Group employee and volunteer, Simone Fraser.


Camaraderie and community: celebrating our SES volunteers on WOW Day

Committing her free time to a cause with meaning has always been a dream of Simone Fraser’s – she just didn’t know in what capacity. As fate would have it, it took just one morning at AAMI’s partnership launch with the New South Wales SES to convince her that becoming an SES volunteer was the opportunity she’d been searching for.

“I’ve always been someone who goes out of my way to help people and in my role at Suncorp, it is at my core,” Simone shared. “I’ve been involved in annual Wear Orange Wednesday celebrations in the office, but last year’s partnership launch event was the first opportunity to really be involved in the festivities as a whole and to get a better understanding of what it means to be a volunteer.”

The important work the SES undertakes across Australia isn’t unfamiliar territory for Simone, having worked for almost a decade in AAMI’s Claims department. But it was in 2022, when she was deployed to assist customers in the recovery hubs after the devastating floods in northern NSW, where she witnessed first-hand the work of the SES on the ground.

“Everyone (from Suncorp) who was deployed to help after that weather event really wanted to ensure we provided a human touch to the customer’s experience,” Simone said. “Our focus was always to make sure the customer had a voice and understood what was happening.

“Because I’d seen the positive impact the SES had made in the community, I contemplated joining,” Simone confessed. “The day of the partnership launch I had a chat with a colleague who is an active SES volunteer in our community. She filled me in on her experience so far, and mentioned they were recruiting for the next intake.

“That night I went home and told my husband I wanted to join the SES. He obviously felt the same way I did – because he signed up too!”

Suncorp Group proudly supports its people who dedicate their time as an SES volunteer, with options such as unlimited paid emergency response leave

Currently, 12 Suncorp Group employees are active SES volunteers across the SES network in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Now, having been a part of the Lake Macquarie SES volunteer unit for almost 12 months, Simone knows she’s tapped into something truly special; a position that supports her passion to help others and gives back to her community, too.

Simone Fraser, AAMI Customer Relationship Manager and SES volunteer

Learning about the people who have volunteered with the SES – some, for decades – learning about their skills and experiences outside of the SES and the time they have been involved, has been wonderful.

“I love the variety of people involved within our unit. We have people from a diverse range of backgrounds, and we are all there for the same reason; to help people. We all bring our strengths to the team and support each other.”

Managing full-time work, home life and volunteering isn’t easy, but Simone said she’s found a good balance.

“Admittedly, I have become a professional juggler,” Simone said. “I have three teenagers at home, but my family has always understood that when people are going through a natural disaster, they need support and they have never made me feel guilty for being away.

“Now that both my husband and I are SES members, my children are proud that we are out there helping people, and happy for us to complete training as needed – even if it is full days on the weekends.

Simone also credits the support of her colleagues and the wider Suncorp network.

Suncorp is very supportive of much-needed down time and looking after ourselves.

“When the devastating events unfolded in southern NSW, I spent 40 hours over four days at the unit tasking jobs, while my husband spent around 10 hours out with a crew over two days assisting on the ground. They are proud to tell their friends about what we do.”

“My very first requests for assistance as deputy duty officer came through as I was on my way home after being on site at a customer claim. I called my leader to let him know that I was going to be taking my laptop to my SES unit to complete my work but that I may be offline over the next day or so. I was told it was absolutely fine and that he totally supported me.

"The fact Suncorp is so forthcoming with leave and resources for volunteers, and that our team leaders are so understanding of how quickly we may be called on and deployed during an extreme weather event, makes it so much easier to find that balance.”

#Subscribe for Suncorp updates