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CFA celebrates Rural Women's Day
Yesterday (15 October) was International day of Rural Women, and CFA celebrated this great opportunity by highlighting the achievements of Gippsland volunteer Stephanie Montague.
CFA is the rural hub of many regional townships and communities, and Valencia Creek is a small community in Central Gippsland near Lake Glenmaggie.
Stephanie Montague from Valencia Creek Fire Brigade joined CFA when she was only 16 years old, growing up on a 60-acre farm with her brothers, who are also CFA members.
“It’s a bit of a family hobby, as dad’s the brigade captain too," Stephanie said.
“We all experienced the close call of the 2007 bushfires, and how near that fire got to the family farm. It was a very close call.
“I quickly realised how important CFA is in these small towns. Dad encouraged us to join, and I have had the opportunity to learn heaps of new skills.
“It is empowering to be able to help out others in need.
“I’ve gained so much during my time at CFA. The qualifications I gained have carried over to Department of Environment Land Water and Planning as a Seasonal Project Firefighter and a Forest Fire Fuel Management Officer in Heyfield.
“I’ve done that for eight years now, and met some great people along the way.”
Stephanie is the brigade treasurer and community safety coordinator as well as firefighter. CFA hopes she will become a Lieutenant or captain one day soon.
“I help out where needed in the brigade; I really enjoy it, even after all this time,” said Stephanie.
“Being a volunteer in CFA is unlike anything else, and offers people a chance to experience something so different from the normalities of day-to-day. I recommend it to anyone to join their local CFA brigade.”