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VSP update #2 October
The Volunteer Support Program (VSP) team hit the ground running in June, and has been out talking to and drawing on the experience of our members across the state, scoping a number of projects that will improve support available to CFA volunteers and brigades.
Your input and experience as volunteers is vital to the success of the program, so I encourage you to take part if you or your brigades are asked to participate.
The State Government launched the program as part of the Volunteer Support Package announced in October 2010.
There are three main streams in the program:
- Volunteer Sustainability,
- Volunteer Development and
- Volunteer Support.
Within each stream there are a number of separate projects.
Below are some of the initiatives already being delivered.
Chief Officer's Leadership Development Program Pilot
A new leadership development program, hosted by Chief Officer Euan Ferguson, will be held over the next 12 months for 20 volunteers across the state. Across three weekends, the program aims to enhance and broaden members' understanding, capability and confidence as CFA leaders, enabling participants to inform future organisational directions as well as implement new leadership methods within their brigades.
Engaging Diverse Communities Tools
Members may also refer to the Engaging Diverse Communities web pages at Brigades Online, which contain additional resources and strategies. Go to Brigades Online>Community>Community Development> Engaging Diverse Communities.
Recruitment, retention and recognition
Several pilot projects are underway with six groups, 33 brigades, District 9 Youth Retention and the Dandenong Ranges Feeding Group. Specific support includes trialling innovative products for attracting new volunteers and recognising current members.
CFA Leadership Community of Practice
A very successful inaugural Leadership Community of Practice meeting was held in Bendigo in mid-September. Eighteen members from across the state had an opportunity to share information and experiences with the group and learn from each other. The aim of Leadership Community of Practice is to help shape the direction of leadership development in CFA. Plans are underway for future meetings.
The Engaging Diverse Communities Project team is looking for people interested in establishing a CFA diversity network. The network would give interested CFA members a deeper understanding of the issues facing diverse communities, practical skills and knowledge needed to engage with diverse communities, and help create welcoming environments in brigades. So far, 58 brigades have expressed interest in joining up.
A phone app has been developed to help members find psychological health and safety information easily. The app is currently being tested and when this is completed information about the app will be made available to all members via Brigades Online and other publications.
Members of VSP continue to work closely with volunteers to ensure the delivery of sustainable support with permanent resources and tools in place in 2014, to help brigades do what they do best - protecting lives and property.