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Celebrating women in emergency services
International Women’s Day is fast approaching and women across North West Region who work or volunteer for emergency services will be celebrated with a special afternoon tea in Bendigo.
The theme is ‘Staying safe – making it happen’ and this free event at Lake Weeroona, at 2pm on Sunday 8 March, brings the whole community together to recognise the important role that women play in keeping our communities safe.
Special guests include Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett, Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley and Barfold resident Professor Elaine Murphy. Professor Murphy is a serving CFA volunteer and Black Saturday survivor. Her property and livestock were significantly impacted in the 2009 fires. Elaine was also a member of the Redesdale Community Recovery Committee, set up to support post-fire recovery.
"Women play a huge and often unrecognised role in responding to emergencies, and an even greater role in education and post-disaster recovery," says John Parker, Assistant Chief Officer SES North West Region. "We want to recognise and celebrate this and encourage women to consider emergency services as a vocation or volunteering alternative."
CFA Assistant Chief Officer Mike Wassing agrees. As an Ambassador for ‘Violence Prevention: it’s Everyone’s Business’ and Chair of the recently formed Violence Prevention Advisory Group for CFA North West Region, Mike understands the importance of gender equality in emergency services.
"There’s a well-documented link between gender equality, violence prevention and community safety," says Mike. "Family violence has no boundaries and affects all women from all walks of life. If we remain silent, we condone this violence. Emergency Services Organisations have a shared responsibility for emergency response, but we also have a shared responsibility to help create safer communities, particularly for women and girls."
This event is being organised by CFA in partnership with SES, DELWP, City of Greater Bendigo, Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Mount Alexander Shire Council. Councils are kindly providing transport to and from the event to ensure that as many people as possible can attend.