A Culture of Fire takes out Innovation Award

CFA is the joint winner of the Innovation Award in the Volunteering Victoria State Awards held on 20 December.


Harold Montgomery, Bryan Suckling, Elaine Hamilton, Michelle McLean and Kerry Laurie accepting the award yesterday

The Volunteering Victoria State Awards provide the opportunity to showcase remarkable leadership and impact of Victoria’s innovative volunteering programs, creative leaders of volunteers and diverse volunteer-involving organisations.

In its fifth year, Volunteering Victoria State Awards had some high-quality entrants in the Innovation category, including Eastern Palliative Care and Solve Disability Solutions, and CFA shared the award with Golden Square Pool in Bendigo.

CFA’s Koori Inclusion Project, “A Culture of Fire”, involved a team of 30 CFA volunteers, staff and local Traditional Owners, led by District 20, travelling to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The project gave the CFA people an opportunity to learn about traditional burning practices, biodiversity, protection of sacred sites, indigenous culture and ancient ways to care for country.

"Our awards are the leading recognition for excellence in Victoria's volunteer leadership,” CEO Volunteering Victoria Scott Miller said.

“Volunteering Victoria congratulates the CFA on winning the Innovation Award for a unique program that created a strong connection between the CFA and Traditional Owners and has enabled volunteers to learn and share vital knowledge with their own communities." 

Project Coordinator Regional BASO Elaine Hamilton, Commander Bryan Suckling and Captain of Wyuna Fire Brigade Harold Montgomery were present to accept the award, along with CFA Board Deputy Chair Michelle McLean and CFA Volunteer Sustainability Manager Kerry Laurie.

“This award recognises how significant it is for our people to work closely with our Traditional Owners to carry out initiatives,” Elaine said.

“The project was a great learning and relationship-building opportunity for our people, and we’re hoping to further develop our knowledge and relationships in this area in future.”

Author: Daisy Cleland