News & Media

Community Engagement State Forum 2016 wrap up

  • Emergency Services Minister James Merlino opening the State Forum
  • Listening to opening addresses
  • From the Chiefs session
  • MCs extraordinaire!
  • Community resilience panel discussion
  • Brigade/Unit Initiatives posters
  • Indoor displays
  • Outdoor displays
  • Guest speaker, Kevin Sheedy
  • Volunteer Reference Group
  • Breakout session
  • Ryan's Q&A session

By: Darlene Pentland

Category: Community Safety

  4.18 PM 25 October, 2016

Location: CFA HQ News, General

Views: 1133

The CFA-SES Community Engagement and Hazard Awareness State Forum has come and gone again for this year. With 98% of surveyed attendees rating the overall event as ‘good’ to ‘excellent’, the State Forum was a great success!

“Really enjoyed the weekend - informative & fun, a good mix of the two. Well organised, seemed to flow really well!”

“Great venue. Presenters well prepared.”

The State Forum, held in early August, was hosted at Mantra Lorne. Around 350 CFA members – volunteers and staff – from all Regions were in attendance. They were joined by around 100 SES members; together with 50 guests from sector partners: Emergency Management Victoria, DELWP, St Johns Ambulance, Neighbourhood Houses Victoria and Red Cross. The theme of ‘Working together for safer communities’ was well and truly demonstrated at this State Forum.

Over the two days of the State Forum more than 45 different breakout sessions, keynotes, workshops and presentations were delivered. Attendees heard the latest developments in resilience, behaviour change, and community engagement practices from CFA volunteers and staff, sector partners and other industry experts. CFA volunteer April Himmelreich ‘Creative Engagement’ and CFA staffer Ryan Vander horst’s ‘Social Media Q&A’ sessions both rated in the top 5 most popular sessions at this year’s State Forum.

With an aim of bringing community safety leaders together to build networks and share local engagement initiatives, the State Forum delivered!  Attendees shared information at Regional breakout sessions and attended grassroots sessions delivered by members from Macclesfield FB, The Basin FB, Diamond Creek FB, Tawonga FB, Clunes FB, Stonyford FB and Selby FB. Several Brigades also submitted Brigade Initiative posters outlining community safety activities and initiatives delivered to their local areas.  

Across the weekend, the indoor ‘trade booths’ and outdoor vehicle displays were very popular. Attendees were able to gain the latest information on programs, products and initiatives on offer in CFA; and see first-hand our newest trucks and tankers. The outdoor display also proved popular with local families dropping by throughout the weekend.  

For those who could not make the State Forum, there were still opportunities to be involved. A Facebook group was set up to share information before, during and after the State Forum. Key sessions were live streamed and recorded. Sessions including both keynote addresses (Dr Brian Cook and Assoc Prof Jennie Oxley); our special guest speaker, AFL football legend, Kevin Sheedy; the ‘What is community resilience?’ panel discussion; and ‘From the Chiefs’ session are still available to be viewed via 

Since 2011 the annual State Forum has brought together CFA members who participate in or are interested in community safety, education and engagement. Be sure to check out CFA News and Media early next year for details on how to nominate to attend the 2017 State Forum.

If you would like more information, contact the Member Engagement team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 03 9262 8982.


CFA-SES Community Engagement & Hazard Awareness State Forum 2016

Proudly supported by IGA

Brought to you by the CFA Member Engagement Volunteer Reference Group


Photo credits: Blair Dellemijn & Diane Lawson

Last Updated: 25 October 2016