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Three Kings, OH&S, State Champs, Good Friday Appeal
Last weekend saw the annual Warrandyte Festival which was kicked off by a street parade on Saturday morning (led by the ‘King" or "Queen" of the Festival). This year there were three "Kings": Bernie Ezbury (Warrandyte Captain); Rohan Thornton (North Warrandyte Captain); Greg Kennedy (South Warrandyte Captain). This was a great example of the esteem that CFA (and our leadership) is held in the community. Well done to everyone involved in the leadership of these three brigades.
Is Occupational Health, Safety And Welfare At The Top Of Your Agenda?:
"Safety First!" means that OHSW needs to be at the forefront of everything we do. This includes routine business. It is a great idea to put OHSW at the top of the agenda of your meetings - be they administrative, operational, at Brigade, Group or higher levels - in fact every time we meet. It is an opportunity to check if there are issues that need to be attended to or followed up either during or after the meeting. I will be insisting this approach at meetings I am involved in from now on. You should consider this too.
In the last four weeks we have seen the State Urban Junior Championships at Horsham; the Senior Urban Championships at Mooroopna; and the State Rural Senior and Junior Championships at Colac. Unfortunately, our commitment to flood operations in the north east and in Gippsland meant the CFA commitment to parts of the State Urban Seniors had to be scaled back. Notwithstanding this, I offer my congratulations thanks to all who participated and my sincere thanks to those involved in organising the events. Each of these events went exceptionally well due to superb planning and teamwork. Championships are a very important part of the CFA calendar. They form part of the culture and spirit of CFA and they have a strong future. Well done to all!
Thank You For Supporting The Good Friday Appeal:
Easter at CFA isn't just about hot cross buns and chocolate eggs. For many of our members it's also about standing on street corners rattling tins and fundraising for a very worthy cause - the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal. CFA brigades have been helping collect money now for over 60 years, with CFA collections totalling over$21 million so far. This is an absolutely amazing achievement which shows the heart, the community spirit and the dedication of generations of CFA members. Thank you to all our members who are supporting the Appeal this year - Good Friday Appeal organisers couldn't do it without you! Stay safe out there. If you haven't watched our thank you video already, please make sure you do. Click here to view
A Word On The Importance Of Your Community Hall:
Kristin and I have the privilege of joining with many CFA communities across Victoria to celebrate the wonderful milestones and achievements of CFA brigades and members. Often these are held at the local community hall. In CFA, we talk about community resilience and how this is measured. In my view, one of the indicators of community - its resilience and its pride of place, is the community hall. In recent weeks we attended CFA awards functions at Valencia Creek Hall and at Narbethong Hall. At Valencia Creek the brigade Lieutenant was also the Chair of the hall committee. Photos of the grandfathers of many present - many of whom are the patriarchs of Gippsland, hung from the walls as a reminder of our heritage. Valencia Creek was a wonderful celebration of commitment to community, local leadership and team achievement. At Narbethong we met many survivors from Black Saturday who were celebrating as a brigade in the brand new hall. The rustic barn-like exterior gives way to an inspiring use of local timbers at every level inside. Curved walls defined by vertical ash flitches against a backdrop of dark curtains evoked an image of the Mountain Ash regrowth we had just driven through over the Black Spur. The mood was positive - a reassuring sign that this community was making great steps into a new and optimistic future. The CFA is a vital core to that future. The Valencia Creek and Narbethong celebrations were special moments we will treasure.
"To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
- Anatole France