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CFA and SES joint cultural awareness sessions
CFA and SES facilitators will work hand in hand to deliver a number of cultural awareness sessions to brigades and units right across the state.
The joint initiative aims to increase the cultural competency of our organisations by building our own understanding about the people in our community.
CFA Program Design and Community Development member Angela Cook said the sessions will arm participants with important information to target community groups and community members with information and advice that suits them.
“Understanding the make-up of your community can help tailor information and advice that suits. If people in the community have low English proficiency, it really helps to know the best ways to engage and what their risks will be, this way we can improve community safety,” she said.
Some people arriving in Victoria are coming from very difficult situations, living in refugee camps and escaping war and terror. It is important that CFA and SES brigades and units are welcoming and understanding of the needs of people from diverse cultures.
Angela says it’s important we know our community so we can provide the right information and support people to stay safe “Victoria is a culturally diverse state with close to 25% of residents being born overseas. People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities have varying levels of English skills and connection to emergency services.”
Recently, CFA and SES members teamed up to take part in a ‘Train the Trainers’ day that provided an important opportunity to improve awareness and understanding of local communities and prepare them to deliver the sessions to brigades and units.
CFA Volunteer Sustainability Team member for South West Region Tim Moodie said he’s looking forward to delivering the sessions to CFA brigades and emphasised the importance of knowing your community.
“It’s really important that we’re aware of our local community and how to interact, as to ensure the best service delivery so we can protect lives and property,” he said.
The information sessions are designed to run for 90 minutes and will include statistics of the cultural background of the community for discussion, guest speakers, scenarios that brigades and units may experience and tools on how to improve engagement within community.