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Young and firey
A 21-year-old volunteer firefighter from Langwarrin is on a mission to encourage more young people to step up and join the CFA ranks.
Allie Guegan is one of 15 young volunteers across Australia who has been selected to attend an international conference in Queensland next month - hosted by the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE).
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to share my ideas and brainstorm ways to get more young people involved in volunteering,” she says.
The conference, to be held September 15-17, will see the group pitch their ideas to volunteers from around the world as well as Australian representatives in emergency services.
“To think our ideas could potentially influence various agencies across Australia and even the world is pretty incredible.”
Allie has been a volunteer at Langwarrin for the past two years and says the experience has been life changing.
“The feeling you get when you’re able to help someone or even possibly save their life - it’s difficult to put into words.”
Allie, who juggles a law degree with her volunteering responsibilities, was 18 years-old when she decided to follow in her father’s footsteps.
“I would see my dad go off to jobs and always quiz him about what he did and I decided I wanted to help too.”
During her time with the brigade Allie has been involved with the Hazelwood Mine fire; she’s been sent out with strike teams; and has attended various house fires in her community.
“Even when we go to simple jobs, it’s nice to know that people really appreciate what we do.”
With the encouragement of her Captain Sean Curtin, Allie attended a youth forum earlier this year where she was invited to share her thoughts and ideas with other young volunteers.
“Our job was to come up with ways to better engage young people with emergency service volunteering positions.”
The group was so impressive they were invited to the conference next month.
Allie has big ideas for CFA too - her goal is to create a Youth Council within the organisation.
“It would be a place for all young CFA members from across the state to come together to discuss ideas and support each other.”
Whatever the future holds for Allie, most would agree it’s looking very bright.