News & Media

Changes to the executive structure

By: Frances Diver

Category: Other

  1.12 PM 23 September, 2016

Location: General

Views: 4236

The coming months will be an extremely busy time at CFA, and it is critical we have the best leadership structure in place to support everyone that makes up part of this remarkable and resilient organisation.

Firstly, to announce the Board this week extended the appointment of Steven Warrington as Chief Officer until May 31, 2017. This will ensure continuity at the senior level throughout the summer season and reflects the confidence the Board has in Steve in this role.

Establishing a solid foundation at headquarters with a clear structure of roles and responsibilities is vital to supporting our volunteers and career firefighters, as well as the many men and women in support roles at brigades around the state.

The changes to our executive leadership structure we are announcing today will deliver this for CFA.

These changes will create an executive team with clear accountabilities and appropriate resources.

The following changes to the CFA Executive Group will be effective from 3 October 2016:

Executive Team

Nigel McCormick, Chief Financial Officer, Bruce Russell, General Counsel and Lidija Ivanovski, Director of Communications and Government Relations will join the executive group and report directly to the CEO.

A new directorate will be established with a focus on volunteer sustainability, strategy and innovation as well as business intelligence and reporting.  The directorate is being created by combining the service delivery strategy team from Fire and Emergency Management with the Business and Performance Strategy team (excluding financial services) and the volunteerism team.  

 John Haynes will lead this directorate and his new title will be Executive Director Volunteers and Strategy. He will report directly to the CEO.

The Infrastructure Services Directorate retains their current functions with the addition of maintenance activities currently undertaken at the Regional Training Campuses now coming under the Infrastructure Services team and will be folded into the State wide maintenance program already in place for the organisation.  Anthony Ramsay who recently commenced with CFA will continue to lead this Directorate.

A new Deputy Chief Officer,Training position will be created with the Fire and Emergency Management to the lead operational training function and integrate a comprehensive learning approach across CFA. An expression of interest will be circulated shortly to fill the role in the short-term, while a merit selection process is undertaken to find a permanent appointment.

As a result of these changes, Phil Harbutt will transition to a senior leadership role reporting to John Haynes. Following a period of leave, Kate Harrap will return to her substantive position as Manager Volunteerism.

The People and Culture Directorate retain all of their functions as well as taking on responsibility for the Honours and Awards team. The Human Resources team are reviewing their service delivery model with a view to having a greater presence in Regions and Districts. Zemeel Saba will continue to lead this Directorate.

With the finalisation of the new Executive structure, all acting Executive Director roles have now been filled.  I would like to thank Phil, Kate and Emma for their support and achievements while fulfilling the Acting Executive Director positions.

 Fire and Emergency Services

I would also like to announce the creation of a new Fire and Emergency Management structure.  This involves the reconfiguration of teams that report to the Deputy Chief Officers into new specialist areas - Bushfire, Urban, Operational Safety & Service Delivery, and Community Safety.  

A new dedicated team is also being established for a fixed period to focus on Workforce Planning and Growth Programs that will be reporting into the Chief Officer.  This team will be responsible for implementation of the proposed Operational Enterprise Agreement and the Growth Programs, including support for the implementation of 350 firefighters.  Gary Cook will lead this team in the acting Deputy Chief Officer role in the short-term and ultimately a permanent appointment will be made through a merit selection process.

Whilst not a change in structure many of you will be aware Terry Hayes Executive Manager, Community Safety has announced he is stepping down from his current role effective end of September. Fortunately, Terry will continue with CFA on a work on a part-time basis with the new Volunteers and Strategy Directorate. An expression of interest was released yesterday to fill the Executive Manger Community Safety.

These changes have been carefully considered at the joint consultative committee.

Emma Fenby, Legal Counsel who is on secondment will continue to support CFA in the Office of the CEO.


CFA is committed to providing leadership clarity and member consultation, as part of this we will be undertaking consultation over the next two weeks on the proposed structure. Following this period, a confirmed CFA Executive structure will be implemented on 10 October 2016.

Members are encouraged to provide feedback via their Manager, Executive Director or ACO/DCO. In addition feedback can be provided via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. until Friday, October 7, 2016.

Last Updated: 28 September 2016