News & Media

Voices Around the Campfire

By: Therese Morris

Category: People

  6.05 PM 15 October, 2013

Location: District 12 News, General

Views: 2815

The CFA is integral to the cultural landscape of our local communities. Brigade members have solid relationships with their diverse community and are highly connected to a diverse range of local organisations and agencies.  

This was brilliantly demonstrated on Sunday 6 October at the annual Voices Around the Campfire event, when Broadford brigade members turned out in force to support their local Aboriginal community.

Organised by a group of community volunteers the event showcased local Aboriginal culture through cultural craft workshops, storytelling and education activities. Each year, the CFA is invited to attend.

“These events are really important to us” said local Aboriginal elder Larry Walsh. “They celebrate our culture and show that there is real, authentic cooperation in our community.

“We also live on fire country, so we need to know how to look after ourselves and our community and this is why the CFA is really important to us,” Larry said. “My wife and daughter were both members of the Broadford brigade and we still have strong connections with local members.”

Brigade Captain Jamie Atkins said that events like this are one of the many ways that the brigade supports the local Aboriginal community. "I’m happy to hear that the CFA is developing the Koori Inclusion Action Plan. I’m sure CFA will one day make a real difference in our community, particularly for our Koori youth” he said.

Jamie learned about the Koori Inclusion Action Plan from Engaging Diverse Communities Project Coordinator, Debra Salvagno who is travelling around the state documenting engagement between the CFA and local Aboriginal communities.

"Today was an example of the many inspiring and unpublicised associations between CFA members and the Aboriginal community” Debra said. ”It really shows the variety of ways  CFA volunteers are contributing to more connected, stronger and safer communities”.

The big red truck was, as usual, a major attraction for the littlies. But Broadford brigade Community Education Officer, Gaybrielle Burgess, added a surprise. Kids were decked out with all the gear, just like the big fire-fighters and got to have their photos taken on the truck as they pretended to be fire fighters. It was a proud moment when they could take their photo home with them. 

Gaybrielle also spoke passionately about the importance of the Fire Safe Kids program that is delivered around the area.

“Fire Safe Kids helps kids spread fire safety messages to families and parents. It is part of creating the next generation of fire safe champions in our communities” she said.

The brigade’s commitment to community safety is absolute; ”We’re holding a Street Corner Meeting from 1pm on Saturday 19 October and the whole community is invited to come and see the amazing things that we do here in Broadford’ Gaybrielle said.

The brigade also does it’s best to provide ASLAN interpreters and interpreters for CALD communities.

"The Broadford brigade’s commitment to the diversity in their community is an inspiration and today was a vibrant example" Deb Salvagno said. "They just get it - the CFA is the community! All strength to our wonderful volunteers."

For more information visit the Broadford brigade Facebook Page.

For more information about the Engaging Diverse Communities Project visit Brigades Online

Last Updated: 16 October 2013