News & Media

Women step up to take the lead

By: Debra Salvagno

Category: People, Training & Recruitment

  10.23 AM 11 November, 2016

Location: District 18 News, General

Views: 2069

Two women from CFA District 18 have taken the next step in their leadership journey, having recently completed the Business and Professional Women (BPW) Swan Hill ‘Stepping up to Leadership’ program.

Swan Hill Fire Brigade Treasurer Peta Lindsay and Regional BASO Bec McDonald were recognised in a formal graduation ceremony on Wednesday night, where participants shared their experience of the program with BPW members, community and family.

Peta, who is a mother of two young children, works at a local secondary school and has a husband who runs his own business, said she joined the program because initially she saw it as something she could ‘do for herself’.

“I really felt that this would be an opportunity to learn a bit about myself and grow as a leader. There are some fascinating women that live within our community and it’s been eye-opening and pleasing to see these people share their experiences in such an honest format.”

“In life, it’s really up to me to challenge myself. It’s up to me to make myself happy, nobody else is able to do that for me and if I’m in a situation where I’m not happy, or not enjoying it, then it’s really up to me to make the difference and change that environment.”

BPW takes action for women's equality – at work, on boards and in leadership. Members support and actively promote personal development, provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience and lobby on issues affecting women.

Regional BASO Bec McDonald, who is based out of Swan Hill, said these opportunities are invaluable for regional women who are looking to give back to their local communities.

“I’ve been blessed to have strong, experienced women as leaders in our office and across the broader Region. It’s important as a young person in the emergency services to have role models and mentors who can guide us along our own journey.”

“This program has given me the skills and confidence to step up as a leader in both my professional and personal life – hopefully one day I can be as accomplished as those who inspire me now.”

The program was funded through a Creating Inspiring Rural Community Leadership & Engagement (CIRCLE) grant, which was developed by Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), with the support of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.

CIRCLE seeks to create capacity and enhance community leadership in rural and remote communities, tapping into local ingenuity and resources to reality-test ideas and put them into practice, learning along the way, as well as celebrating and sharing success stories.

Visit the BPW Swan Hill website at to read more about local initiatives and how to join, or go to to learn about the FRRR and their grants program.

Congratulations to Bec and Peta.

Last Updated: 11 November 2016