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I hope everyone had a great break, I certainly did.
I had the opportunity to visit my surrogate Aussie Family for an international Christmas day with over 20 nations represented, and I'm also proud to say that my two kids brought some great grades home from school! I enjoyed catching up with everyone at the CFA headquarters break up and was inspired by the positive attitudes of each person I spoke with.
The break gave me a chance to reflect on the last 12 extraordinary months and get prepared for 2011.
Much of the last two years have been spent responding and reacting to the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. It's exciting that we can focus more on proactive action and make plans without having to wait for any reports to be handed down.
A highlight for me in 2010 was seeing our Wildfire Management Overlays being placed in local planning provisions as a direct result of evidence given in the Royal Commission. This means that all future development in high-risk bushfire areas will have to meet fire services objectives.
Some of the key challenges for me in 2010 included giving evidence in the Royal Commission on some of the work we didn't do well, as well as the loss of loved ones.
While I'm grateful for the Christmas break, it's good to be getting back into it. Our Home Bushfire Site Assessments are ramping up, CFA volunteers are continuing to make a phenomenal contribution to the FireReady Roadshow and I'm really glad to return to the great bunch of people I work with.