News & Media

Digital storytelling – why we are part of CFA

  • Helen Kenney

By: CFA News

Category: People, Other

  10.32 AM 25 May, 2015

Location: District 12 News, General

Views: 3784

Have you ever wondered why people become CFA volunteers? The latest instalment in CFA’s digital storytelling project gives an insight into why our volunteers join and are passionate about being part of CFA.

In 2013, CFA teamed-up with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) to digitally produce the personal stories of 15 volunteers to create more awareness about CFA volunteers – what they do and why they do it.

This State-Government funded digital storytelling project involved volunteers taking part in a workshop, during which their stories were compiled. View the 2013 project videos here.

Given the success of this project, in 2014, CFA decided to continue the concept and again called for volunteers to come forward and tell their stories. Their videos were officially launched and screened last week as part of National Volunteer Week 2015.

Of the eight volunteers who took part, seven of them are female volunteers. All have powerful stories to tell about their journey into, and as part of, the CFA.

We will be posting their videos over the coming couple of weeks, starting with Helen Kenney OAM.

Helen is committed to her family (she is a mother of eight) and to her beloved St Andrews brigade and community.

Just this year her dedication and service to the communities of Nillumbik and St Andrews was recognised when she was awarded an OAM.

Helen speaks about her passion in one of the eight stories told in CFA’s latest Digital Story Telling workshop series.

Like many CFA members, her involvement is a family affair, starting with her dad, who was an apparatus officer at Kangaroo Ground CFA.

“Even as young children, we attended fires and motor vehicle accidents, often watching him use whatever he had on hand to cut open a vehicle to remove occupants,” Helen said.

Helen joined CFA in 1998 as an ERS operator, “vowing to never get on a truck as I had been through fires in the Yea area as a young child and never wanted to feel the heat or smells again”

However, she did, completing much of her wildfire training while pregnant with her youngest daughter. Helen became brigade Captain in 2007 and some of her own children have also joined CFA.

“Being a member has helped develop me into a person with deep love of CFA and my community,” Helen said.

“I have fulfilled many roles in CFA and as a woman and a mum, I am very proud of that.”

Speaking at the digital storytelling launch, CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said: “The concept of storytelling is very powerful. It passes on valuable knowledge to future generations and potentially to those young men and women who are considering joining CFA.”

Diana Ferguson - women in leadership roles

Tracey Mastropavlos - an unexpected journey

Jo Crockett - my brigade saved my life

Simon Roylance - from junior to career

Julie Mitchelson and Leanne Keenan - one brigade, two journeys 


Last Updated: 25 June 2015