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Chief's Leadership Program
A special leadership program developed and run by CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson has brought together a mixture of 20 seasoned and potential leaders from around the state for an intensive weekend of study, reflection and discussion.
Each of the twenty CFA districts had the opportuity to nominate one volunteer member from their ranks.
What makes this course unique is that it isn't just a one-off expereince but takes place over an extended timeframe, allowing the participants to track their own growth and development over the course of a year. In the months between the weekend gatherings, they must complete ‘missions’ linked to their daily lives and are challenged to stick to principles and lessons learnt.
Euan said that this initiative was about building up a network of current and future leaders who are confident not only in their role as a leader of a teams, but in themselves as people.
The focus for the 20 students was on understanding one's own values as a path to leading ethically and with foresight, respect and humility.
‘Putting yourself out of your comfort zone’ and ‘putting yourself in a position to learn’ were themes of the weekend, which included non-traditional exercises like meditation.
Euan, who brought along his personal collection of leadership books also urged participants to read and understand the quotes and writings of great historical leaders like Shackleton and Tsung Tzu.
District 23 member Lachlan Gales said that while he’d been fortunate in his CFA career to undertake other leadership courses, this one offered a rare chance for extended focus, and also opened his eyes to just how different brigades are around the State.
“The experience around the table was as considerable as it was varied,” he said. “I had some great conversations that left me slightly in awe of the diversity of the brigades that comprise CFA as well as the mix of personalities and motivations of my colleagues.
“Although I’ve been a member for 25 years, I’m realising my perceptions of our organisation are based very much on my experience in the north east."
Lachlan said that the first session had got him thinking through not only personal goals but what he could bring back to his brigade and Group.
“The challenge now is to make it a reality,” he said.
Read Lachlan's personal account of the leadership program here.
Watch a video blog from Sandon Allen, at 18 years of age one of the youngest participants on the course.
- Guest Speaker Major Matina Jewel (Retired), pictured here with the Chief Officer, spoke to the group to share inspirational insights into her time in the military.
- The Chief Officer’s Leadership Development Program is run though the Volunteer Support Program, a 12 month program developed in conjunction with the VFBV (Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria) in response to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission and Jones Inquiry.