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D15 celebrates National Volunteer Week with comedy
District 15 hosted a successful event to thank volunteers during National Volunteer Week.
The event was held on Monday 11 May 2015 in the form of a comedy night which was fitting given the theme of National Volunteer Week this year is 'live happy give happy'.
Over 600 volunteers from the 63 brigades across District 15, plus SES volunteers from Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh and Hepburn Units and volunteers from 15 other organisations, attended the night.
Volunteers were treated to a 90-minute comedy show with comedians Dave O’Neil, Jeff Green, Geraldine Hickey and Ethan Cavanagh.
Mayors and Councillors from local municipalities, Members of Parliament, CFA and SES support staff as well as recruits from the latest recruit course also attended the thank you event to recognise our volunteers for making a difference in the lives of people every day.
As well as the comedians, volunteers were treated to a feast of accents - in what could start off as a line for a joke – A Scotsman (OO Malcolm Bruce) a Croatian (DCO Alen Slijepcevic) and a Dutchman (VFBV President Hans Van Hamond) walk into a theatre to meet an Englishman (comedian Jeff Green).
Operations Officer Malcolm Bruce, who was the MC for the night, got the bagpipes out to warm up the crowd. He unfortunately told some dad jokes during the night, but with his Scottish accent he nailed the welcome to country pronunciation of the Wadawurrung and the Dja Dja Wurrung people.
Operations Manager Gavin Hope said this event was a great opportunity for CFA to thank the many volunteers who help make our communities stronger, and let them know their efforts and commitment are appreciated. It’s also an appropriate time to encourage more people to get involved and thanked the volunteers from other agencies for the work they also undertake in the community. Not to be outshone by OO Bruce, Gavin too decided the time was right for a dad joke.
DCO Alen Slijepcevic spoke about National Volunteer Week and about the Volunteerism Strategy 2015-2020. “The Volunteerism Strategy aims to ensure the future capability of community-based volunteer emergency services and recognises the value that our volunteers bring to Victorian communities,” he said.
“The strategy affirms the commitment of CFA in ensuring that our volunteer-based service is able to thrive into the future.”
VFBV President Hans Van Hamond made a speech on the night mentioning the role that agencies that work with Emergency Management Victoria have and the EMV consultative forum that aims to have a volunteer voice to Government on Volunteer issues. He also read out the 'Spirit of CFA' poem that Hans said could easily be 'Spirit of Volunteers'.
We hope our speakers are not reconsidering their careers with a move into the comedy scene, We are sure they would do sensationally well based on last Monday night's performances, but they are appreciated in their current roles.
Feedback from the evening has been overwhelmingly positive with many volunteers sending in emails, phoning reception and commenting on the D15 Facebook page about how much they enjoyed the night.
D15 apologises to the Volunteer Compensation team for any claims arising out of Monday’s thank you event due to prolonged belly laughing.