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Gaining lifelong skills while helping others

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Inspired by her Dad, CFA Group Training Officer Hannah Morris started volunteering as a junior firefighter with Hawkesdale Fire Brigade back in high school in 2008.

Gaining lifelong skills while helping others

Hannah Morris at Kirkstall

“I guess I always had exposure to CFA volunteering via my Dad, there was always history there,” she said.

“It was a great opportunity learn new skills and give back to the community.”

After finishing her training with the juniors at Hawkesdale, Hannah joined her Dad as a volunteer at Spring Creek for 12 months, before moving to Kirkstall fire brigade.

Today Hannah is a Group Training Officer for Belfast Group, known for her enthusiasm to deliver meaningful training to the troops.

“I think the amount of support and encouragement you get from members, management and staff is incredible,” she said.

“If there’s a particular path you really want to go down, to finesse a particular skill, they’ll encourage you and provide opportunities to do that.

“In my case I found it was training. I spent about two years as a brigade training officer and then took on the Group Training Officer role.

“While it is challenging at times it is also very rewarding. When you organise a training day, and people not only show up but get something meaningful in terms of skills out of it, that’s really rewarding.”

Incredibly, Hannah finds time between the CFA, her work as a nutritionist for a stock feed business, and her personal life, to volunteer for the SES, where she is Deputy Controller of the Port Fairy unit.

“Both organisations have given me so much confidence, people skills, that have helped in my personal and work life. You learn things like management skills that really help,” she said.

In fact Hannah knows that the work, life, balance for a volunteer can be a challenge and likes to support others to achieve a healthy balance through her training role.

“I like helping the other members to get motivated to come along to training, that it’s going to be something useful for them and a good use of their time – as well as giving back to the community. I try to organise meaningful training.”

But as much as Hannah enjoys giving back to the community herself, she also counts the friendships she has made as one of the benefits back of volunteering.

“You’re able to use your training and skills in life – when you can go out and help someone it is the best reward. But the friendships also – it’s like an extended family you create,” she said.

“I’d encourage anyone who wants to give back to their community to think about volunteering.”