News & Media

Vital Service: Sirima

  • Sirima, a Wattle Glen Member

By: CFA Media

Category: Community Safety, People

  10.38 AM 7 March, 2014

Location: District 13 News, General

Views: 2711

20 years after starting with CFA as an auxiliary member with the Wattle Glen brigade, Sirima, is well underway with her Minimum Skills training.

The dedicated member, one of the women being profiled this week as part of our ‘Celebrating CFA Women’ series, has a long, varied and intriguing involvement with CFA.

Over the past two years she has developed her operational awareness working in the Incident Control Centre at Kangaroo Ground. “I like that it is possible to predict the spread of the fire and being able to utilise the contingency plans we’ve put in place,” she says.

She describes the CFA as one of the most inclusive and accepting environments she’s worked in. “It doesn’t matter if you have a qualification, what your background or your skills are; you can find a niche at CFA, develop yourself and give back to the community.”

Sirima is an active member of a number of Sri Lankan Buddhist Temples throughout Melbourne, and helped the monks at the Bodhivana Monastery in Warburton during the 2009 fires.

Prompted by the prediction of another bad season in 2010, she approached the head monk at Rockbank Temple and asked that every Sri Lankan Temple across Victoria undertake a Power of the Truth chant at 7pm for seven days. On the seventh day it poured with rain, with Rockbank receiving the highest rainfall across the state.

Sirima also works within the Sri Lankan community undertaking fire education and preparation.

Volunteering her time since she was 10 years old; Sirima was an integral member of the YWCA in Sri Lanka, establishing a group to engage young women in social welfare activities which were fundamental in the development of women in the local community. She came rot Australia in 1974.

Asked why she is drawn to CFA, Sirima believes it is such a vital service. “It is absolutely necessary, in a country like this that we have people volunteering for CFA.”

On International Women’s Day, CFA is profiling women who represent the many and varied roles that CFA members play in their communities.

All the stories featured this week will be published in a special booklet titled Celebrating CFA Women which was launched on 7 March.

Last Updated: 08 March 2014