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CFA is talking inclusion and diversity
A handful of likeminded CFA staff from HQ and across the state have formed an Inclusion and Diversity Working Group.
"It seemed that there were quite a few departments working in the space of Inclusion and Diversity and it was common sense that we should get together and work together," said Angela Cook, one of the Group's initiators.
The group aims to guide and enhance inclusion and diversity in CFA, primarily focusing on brigades. The role of the group is to encourage and support greater understanding and cooperation for diversity and inclusion within brigades and districts. Members from Communities and Communication, Fire and Emergency Management, People and Culture and Operational Training and Volunteerism form the Working Group. Importantly, it's not just people from HQ; there are representatives from each region, too.
By honouring the Victorian Charter of Human Rights, the group focuses on the following areas of inclusion and diversity: gender, ethnicity and culture, aged and youth, disability, social disadvantage, and sexual preference.
Given the breadth of inclusion and diversity issues and opportunities, for the remainder of 2014-15 financial year the group has chosen to focus on a few specific areas. The implementation of CFA’s Koori Inclusion Action Plan will be front and centre and will include organising the delivery of the Koori Cultural Awareness program for districts and brigades with large Koori communities.
The group will also help to spread the word about the updated CFA Access and Inclusion Guidelines and other tools to support inclusion and diversity within CFA.
"We want to make it easy for brigades and CFA members to understand the diversity of the community in their patch and to support them with the tools and resources they need to better engage with their community," said Brigade Sustainability Project Manager Ali Martin.
Supporting inclusive activities and events within brigades and districts will also be a key focus of the group. Cultural Diversity Week runs from 14 to 22 March and the group will look at ways for CFA to get involved and celebrate our culturally and linguistically diverse community.
Reconciliation Week at the end of May will also be a focus for CFA and those brigades with a large Koori community.
The Gay and Lesbian Pride march is a wonderful community event held on 1 February. It will see CFA marching in uniform with family and supporters for the first time and celebrating the diversity of our membership.