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On CFA's menu of top employers
To celebrate National Volunteer Week (13-19 May), CFA is saying “thanks a million” to its volunteers, families and employers for everything they do. This week we will feature a series of profile stories to highlight the great work and diversity of our volunteer members.
Terry Robins has been Captain of the Nhill Fire brigade for about six years and being a CFA volunteer has been no barrier for his employment at Luv-a-Duck where he’s worked for more than two decades.
These days he’s a maintenance manager at the Nhill plant of Luv-a-Duck. He says the flexibility he needs to run the fire brigade is due in part to the support of his employer.
“I’m lucky to be working for a business that’s been willing to allow me to turn out with the fire brigade during working hours, whether it’s a structure fire in town or a bushfire somewhere in the Wimmera,” he said.
Luv-a-Duck is one of Australia’s biggest duck meat growers and processors. The company has been operating since the 1960’s and was renamed Luv-A-Duck sometime in the 1980’s, according to Terry.
Two other CFA volunteer members of Nhill fire brigade also work for Luv-a-Duck. Communications officer, Paula Pereira, and firefighter, Armand Von Beneke are also allowed the same flexibility to attend fires and other emergencies as Captain Terry Robins.
Terry said local businesses should be encouraged to employ people who are CFA members.
“You know the day might come when a business might have a fire, and the people who put out that fire will be CFA members who have come away from another local business to attend the incident, so it can happen anywhere at any time," he said.
It’s a good way for local employers and companies to engage with and support their community."
Nhill Fire Brigade averages about 35 jobs a year, but this year they’ve been particularly busy according to Terry, attending a range of incidents from bushfires, to structural fires, and road accidents.
The town of Nhill is home to a large community of residents from parts of South-East Asia. Originally coming to Australia as refugees, the Karen community settled in Nhill in early 2010 to work at the Luv-a-Duck facility. In 2012, there were more than 100 Karen residents in the town.
The Nhill fire brigade recently held a welcome and information night for the ‘Karen’ community.
“We had about 35 people turn up for the evening and not long after, 12 Karen men have expressed interest in joining the fire brigade,” Terry said.
- Story by Darren Grevis-James