News & Media

Creating Our Future Together - Assistant Chief Officer appointments

By: Mick Bourke

  11.00 AM 5 August, 2014

Views: 4934

Our extensive recruitment process to appoint five Assistant Chief Officers (ACOs) is now complete.

The ACOs will be our new regional leaders, responsible for the delivery of fire and emergency management services spanning planning, prevention, preparedness, response and operational recovery. They will lead the consolidation of the new regions and the new way of working under the revised service delivery model.

Each ACO is accountable for the management of resources in their region and the districts; the development and delivery of the CFA business plan; and implementation of the Chief Officer's priorities. They will provide leadership and direction to enable the efficient and effective delivery of CFA services.

The Chief Officer will receive the advice and support of the ACOs to strategically develop CFA and Victorian emergency management capability.

We are extremely pleased to announce the following appointments.


Assistant Chief Officer South West - Bob Barry AFSM

Bob is currently the Regional Director for Barwon South West and has also served as Regional Commander Barwon South West and as Operations Manager Region 7 from 1995 to 2010.

He has extensive experience and proven performance in emergency management at State, regional and district levels, providing strong and effective leadership to an integrated workforce. He has also demonstrated strategic management capability at both regional and State levels.

His experience with change management through the successful integration of two CFA regions will be advantageous in leading the transition to the new service delivery model.

We look forward to Bob continuing the good work in the South West.


Assistant Chief Officer North East - Garry Cook

Garry is currently the Regional Manager of Ambulance Victoria in the Hume region.

He has extensive leadership and management experience in the health and emergency services sectors with more than 11 years at CFA prior to 2007. During those years his roles ranged from managing the Integrated Municipal Fire Management Planning project to serving as both Operations Manager and Acting Area Manager in Hume.

Garry has broad knowledge of strategic and business planning and has established strong emergency management relationships across the emergency services. He has directed major change reform and has the ability to lead both the consolidation of regions and the implementation of the new service delivery model.

It's a pleasure to welcome Garry back to CFA.


Assistant Chief Officer North West - Mike Wassing

Mike is currently the Acting Regional Director of Loddon Mallee with more than 25 years' experience in fire and emergency management. He has extensive experience leading the management and coordination of responses to major emergencies within an all-hazards environment.

Mike has  served as theRegional Commander of Loddon Mallee; the Acting Deputy Chief Officer in the roles of State Operations and Emergency Management Planning; the Operations Manager of the Command and Control Project; the Deputy Emergency Services Commissioner (Policy and Planning); and the Assistant Deputy Commissioner (Manager Operational Liaison and Planning).

He has strong leadership and interpersonal skills and the ability to mentor and coach others through the transition to the new service delivery model.

We look forward to Mike continuing his good work and leading the consolidated North West Region.


Assistant Chief Officer South East - Trevor Owen

Trevor is currently the Operations Manager of Southern Metropolitan Region. He has over 20 years' experience in fire and emergency management with proven performance in Fire and Emergency Management (F&EM) strategies and practices.

His previous roles have included Acting Regional Commander/Regional Controller and Operations Manager at Southern Metropolitan Region  and Officer in Charge - Operations Officer at Dandenong Fire Brigade.

Trevor has extensive experience with complex command and control and a proven track record as a leader of both volunteers and staff.

We welcome Trevor to the executive team at CFA and look forward to him leading the consolidated South East Region.


Assistant Chief Officer West - Peter O'Keefe

Peter is currently Acting Regional Director Hume Region. He has more than 20 years' experience in CFA including Acting Deputy Chief Officer in the roles of State Operations and Emergency Management Planning, Operations Manager Hume and Operations Officer North East Area.

As Hume Regional Commander, Peter ensured CFA met its emergency management responsibilities.

He has led the management and coordination of response to major emergencies within an all-hazards environment. He has performed the roles of Incident Controller, Regional Controller (Fire and Flood), Regional Agency Commander and State Agency Commander; and displayed sound leadership of brigades, groups and districts.

We welcome Peter to the executive team at CFA and look forward to him leading the West Region.


We warmly congratulate Bob, Garry, Mike, Trevor and Peter on their appointments and anticipate them starting work in their roles in the middle of September.

CFA thanks Peter Schmidt, Greg Esnouf, Dave Baker and Mark Potter for their significant contributions to their respective regions and wish Alan Davies and Don Kelly well on their retirement.

Further updates will be provided over the coming weeks on the Creating Our Future Together design process, and the transition to the new service delivery model.



Euan Ferguson                                                                      Mick Bourke

Chief Officer                                                                          Chief Executive

Last Updated: 10 December 2015