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Message from Michael Wootten
For the past 14 years I have been fortunate to work for an organisation that demonstrates each and every day how our volunteers, supported by our staff, make a positive difference in their communities. I am inspired by the commitment and dedication of our people to serving this state in so many ways.
So it’s with sadness that I recently learnt of my unsuccessful application for the role of CEO at CFA, and will therefore depart CFA. This is a matter that I’ve discussed with the Acting Chair, and I believe it’s the right approach at this time.
I have always been proud to tell people I work for the Country Fire Authority and I will look back at my years here as the best in my working career. I can honestly say that I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to CFA.
The reason I have loved working at CFA has been the people – underpinned primarily by our volunteers - who are at the heart of the organisation. We couldn’t exist without them and this State would be the poorer without the selfless dedication to service displayed each and every day.
It’s been a pleasure to serve you as an Executive Director and more recently as the CEO in the pursuit of our mission.
During my time at CFA, we have endured significant challenges, such as Black Saturday and the subsequent Royal Commission. We have been the subject of many inquiries and reviews and will continue to be, nevertheless I have been proud to be part of an organisation that’s been able to critically look at itself and find ways to improve and become stronger for the benefit of not only our own people, but for the people of this State.
We have always been, and will continue to be, leaders in our communities and collaborative partners in the emergency services sector more generally, and I am exceedingly proud of our many achievements in the face of the challenges and uncertainty. Change however is a constant, and I am sure the future will be faced with the same determination and assurance as we have provided in the past.
I want to thank the Executive Leadership Team for their unconditional support, as well as the encouragement and guidance I have received from former Chair Claire Higgins and the CFA Board. I also want to thank the people with whom I have worked closely, for their loyalty and devotion to service. I leave CFA with a significant sense of appreciation and fondness.
I will be finishing at CFA on Friday, 6 November.