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Faces of CFA: Maddison Spiteri
What binds CFA members is the common goal to protect lives and property, but you’re a diverse bunch. Every member has a story and Faces of CFA introduces you to just some of those stories.
Maddison Spiteri, Boneo Fire Brigade
What are your CFA roles?
I am a Junior leader.
When did you join the brigade?
I joined the Juniors in 2013 at the age of 13.
Why did you join the Juniors program?
To be a part of a family that helps make a difference and serve the community.
I had tried other activities but never fully enjoyed them. I had a couple of friends at the time who suggested I tag along on a Monday night to try it out and I never turned back after that. I felt right at home and found it a great place to meet new people. After being part of the Juniors for a year, I become captain of the Juniors.
What is the most satisfying aspect of working with the Juniors?
Having been a Junior myself, I’ve been able to build a bond with those kids that’s hard to find elsewhere. The most satisfying aspect of working with the Juniors would have to be that they teach me just as much as I teach them. There isn’t a single moment with those kids where I’m not learning something new. To see them laughing, smiling and working together as a team is the most satisfying feeling.
What do you hope to achieve as a leader?
I hope to follow in the steps of those who were my leaders. I hope to achieve an environment where these kids are free to be who they are, where they know they’re always welcome, and to help them grow up knowing that they can make a difference. I hope to build memories for the Juniors to look back on and for them to grow up into either the best firefighters or people with the skills to work in a team.
Who have been your mentors in the brigade and what difference have they made to you?
I have had a few mentors over the years at Boneo.
The person who has made the biggest difference to my life would have to be my Junior leader Cheryl-Anne Smith. She welcomed me with open arms. She gave me a place to be myself and a sense of belonging; a place where no voice was too small.
I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her guidance over the years. I will forever be thankful for her and her hard work. If Cheryl was to read this, I would love to thank her for always being there and for building something that is still making a difference to me and those Juniors.
Now that I am a Junior leader myself, I hope I can follow in her footsteps and build a relationship with the kids like I have built with her.
Each and every person at Boneo has made a difference to me in one way or another. I would like to thank them all for being so accepting and letting me be a part of their family.
Describe the culture of your brigade
Boneo is just like an extended family.
We are all welcoming and fun loving but, when it coemes down to business, we all come together to get the job done. It’s an environment where everyone’s opinions are listened to and no question is too silly. We are a family that services the community the best way we know and always welcomes new faces.
Thanks to Keith Pakenham for photos.