TODAY, Wednesday, June 9 is First Responder Day.
Our first responders - police, ambulance, fire brigade, rural fire service, state emergency service, marine rescue personnel and our surf lifesavers - they all play vital roles in our community.
And those vital roles have never been more important than what we have experienced over the past 12-18 months - bushfires, floods and then COVID-19.
Our first responders have been at the forefront of it all.
Where would we be without them?
First responders and ordinary people, just like us.
They have families, commitments, homes to go to at the end of their working day. They've got dinner to make, shopping to do, bills to pay.
But unlike us they dedicate every day to helping save others.
Whether it's the firefighters who battled the infernos that wrought havoc on our nation in 2020, the paramedics who respond every day to emergency situations, the marine rescue teams, police and lifesavers working to find missing persons in the water, or the SES men and women who leave their own families at home to ensure another family has a roof over their heads, we owe every one of them a huge debt of gratitude (as well as the families who support them through it all).
Yet many of Australia's 300,000 first responders receive little thanks for what they do.
We want to change that. So today on First Responder Day, if you see any of these incredible people just say two simple words: Thank you.
First responders in the past year alone have dealt with natural disasters like flooding, but also with the extra red tape and regulation around COVID-19, which has made their day-to-day work even more stressful and challenging.
Even during 'normal' years, first responders face risks that are unique to their roles.
First responders are the last people to advertise the work they do - but after the last 12 months, they really need to hear us say thanks.
Why not even go further - if you see them at the local coffee shop, shout them a coffee?
Or you can take to social media and post a message of thanks - Use the hashtag #ThankAFirstResponder and #PowerOfThanks to show your support.
But really we shouldn't have to wait for a specific day to thank our first responders - they are out there 365 days a year, 24 hours a day - any time you come across them a simple Thank You shout out would no doubt be much appreciated.
So from our team to all our wonderful first responders - Thank You!