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From the CEO – Support available for all members
It’s been an extremely difficult few weeks for all our members who were fortunate to know, work with and share a friendship with Mildura Senior Station Officer Damien Burke. Although he had not been with CFA long, he made a huge impact on those around him.
An enormous contingent of firefighters from both CFA and MFB paid tribute to both Damien’s life of service and his mateship in a very emotional fire services send-off last week.
My thoughts and sympathies are with Damien Burke’s family, friends and colleagues. He was much loved personally and hugely respected professionally.
During the past few days, we have read and listened to media reports about the psychological impact emergency service work can have on those on the front line. I know as a former police officer how hard it can be to attend such horrific incidents day in and day out, and being a firefighter is no different.
We know that the safety of our members is not just about their physical health but also about their mental health.
CFA continues working to provide members with the tools, resources and information they need to take care of not just themselves but each other. This is being done in many ways, including increasing awareness of psychological health and safety in CFA and providing education and training for members to proactively manage mental health and wellbeing.
We will continue to keep you informed of these mental health and wellbeing initiatives for CFA members. In the meantime, I want to remind all our members of the support services we offer.
Peer Support Program –trained members offering support and advice – contact your local Peer Coordinator
Member Assistance Program – a 24-hour counselling service – 1300 795 711
Chaplaincy Program – offering 24-hour pastoral care – 1800 337 068
HeadsUP online toolkit - information and advice on managing mental health and relationship issues – www.cfa.vic.gov.au/headsup
Executive Leadership Team
As some of you are aware, last week Margareth Thomas, our Acting Executive Director, People and Culture, announced she will be leaving CFA.
After almost two years with CFA, Margareth has decided to use her leadership experience and background in psychology to pursue a new career path.
Mark Sullivan, Executive Director, Communication and Legal Services, has also informed me he will be leaving CFA for an exciting opportunity in NSW.
Both Mark and Margareth have contributed significantly to making CFA a stronger organisation and I wish them both well for the future.
We will begin the search for candidates for both roles in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, I’d like to remind you there is still time to provide your views about CFA’s future as we develop the Red Paper – our 10-year plan for CFA.
Given the overwhelming response to the Red Paper feedback, we are extending our consultation phase. As well as being able to respond via email, we will be holding workshops, roundtables and other consultation activities during the next two months.
More information about the Red Paper can be found here.