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Update from Steve Smith ACO Inclusion & Fairness
A month into my role as Assistant Chief Officer - Inclusion and Fairness, I’ve been pleasantly surprised in discovering all the work being done across regions and the membership which fits into our larger purpose, to be an inclusive CFA.
One of my first tasks was to gain an appreciation of the various projects delivered across CFA relating to Inclusion and Fairness. I have been overwhelmed by the level of interest and importance being placed on ensuring CFA is an inclusive and fair organisation, and would like to thank and acknowledge the work that has been initiated at brigade and district level.
The Rural Challenge project led by Macedon Ranges Shire Council involving several brigades in District 2, is a great example of one of these initiatives.
This was an important opportunity for members to contribute to discussion on various topics including awareness around family violence, safety and planning to develop equity action plans within participating brigades. Municipalities see organisations like CFA as being instrumental in leading change in communities and playing a mentoring role for positive change.
To ensure CFA planning is informed by local input, a State Inclusion and Fairness Advisory Council has been established to provide advice to the CFA Board regarding organisational priorities for Inclusion and Fairness. The State Council consists of a broad representation of our membership to ensure our planning is informed by a diverse spectrum of experiences. This concept will soon be further complimented through the introduction of Regional Inclusion and Fairness Councils to enable planning and support to be tailored to local needs. The development of an Inclusion and Fairness Advisory Council to field discussion on strategy around inclusion at CFA is a first step in developing a framework and a clear plan so more people can be involved in the work of the Inclusion and Fairness program.
Local input into shaping our culture is critical to embedding Inclusion and Fairness as a key principal that underpins our core values. To ensure this occurs, I am actively seeking opportunities to attend local meetings and forums to provide information, and more importantly listen to what our members view as the key components of an inclusive and fair culture, and what leadership and support they require to make it occur.
I will continue to bring you updates specific to Inclusion and Fairness on a regular basis.