News & Media

Welcome to new members, organisational change, TPP research

By: Kerry Murphy

  11.00 AM 14 May, 2012

Views: 7117

A number of new members of the executive and Fire and Emergency management teams come to CFA not only with extensive experience in the emergency services sector but, more specifically, a strong and committed background in volunteerism.

We welcome Fran Boyd as Executive Director People and Culture and David Spokes as Executive Director Performance and Strategy. Mark Sullivan, the new Executive Director Communities and Communication, has more than 25 years' experience in the NSW police force and the Rural Fire Service.

This now completes the Executive Leadership Team working alongside Chief Executive Officer Mick Bourke, Chief Officer Euan Ferguson, Executive Director Business Services Michael Wootten and Executive Director Operational Training & Volunteerism Lex De Man.

The Fire and Emergency Management team is now complete with the appointment of Terry Hayes as Executive Manager of Community Capability, Joe Buffone as Deputy Chief Officer Readiness and Response and Alen Slijepcevic as Deputy Chief Officer Capability and Infrastructure.

Joe is currently the Deputy Commissioner at the Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner and has been a CFA volunteer for the past 10 years. He has led a number of highly strategic responses to events such as the 2009 Victorian bushfires and the floods of 2010-11.

Alen is currently Assistant Chief Fire Officer - Capability with the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE). For seven years he coordinated all Forestry Tasmania firefighting activities in single and multi-agency environments and was a key contributor to the Victorian Bushfire Strategy, with specific responsibility for the workforce and capability elements of the project.

We now have the team in place as we continue through the process of organisational change, ready to face future challenges at full strength.

Gippsland Regional Director Mark Reid addressed the May Board meeting held in Sale. We listened with great interest to his local take on regional growth and the mounting service pressures on our brigades.

He spoke about how vital it is to take a common sense approach to the creation of One CFA: it's not an abstract ideal but something we build from the ground up, member by member and brigade by brigade.

Mark is a passionate advocate for what his region calls the Kitchen Table Index. The initiative is about staff getting off the phone and out from behind a computer to engage our people in their own backyards. CFA members appreciate our business being conducted using straight talk. Gippsland Region works on the principle that talking over a cuppa in an environment that's comfortable for members can lead to more open conversations. Early intervention through informal face-to-face conversations rather than paperwork can help brigades tackle conflict before it escalates.

It's a back-to-basics approach that's working well.

Recent Township Protection Plan (TPP) evaluation research was well received by the Board. While the plans have broadly tested well with communities, the request to increase specific local content including bushfire history means there is still plenty of fine tuning required. A strong preference also emerged for local experts or champions to endorse the material. With 49 per cent of respondents willing to participate in the creation of their local TPP, these evolving documents will give the community the opportunity to actively partner with their local council and meet CFA halfway as we all confront risk.

The Board was advised by the CEO that the Independent Fiskville Investigation has now completed more than 300 interviews. It remains on track to release its final report by 30 June.

Last Updated: 10 December 2015