Cashmore Fire Brigade has elected its first woman captain. Regina Punton joined the brigade in 2017 and was named captain at a recent brigade election.
Having her first taste of volunteering with St John Ambulance, it was her father who encouraged her to sign up with CFA.
“Prior to being at CFA I was a volunteer with St John Ambulance. I did that for many years, so I’ve always been interested in volunteering,” Regina said.
“The jobs at St John were few and far between, so CFA felt like something I could be more involved with. My dad had also been a member at Cashmore brigade for more than 18 years, so he was a huge inspiration for me to join.”
A natural leader, Regina said her day job as a teacher provides her with skills that help her in her role as captain.
“I absolutely love to lead and support others through their goals and aspirations; I always have. As a teacher I find that really complements my role as captain as I’m leading people in both capacities.”
Regina said she encourages everyone to not only get involved with CFA, but also their brigade management team (BMT).
“You never know what experience will come out of joining CFA and what you’re going to learn or where it’s going to take you, so I would really encourage people to take every opportunity they can,” Regina said.
“This includes joining your BMT. It may be scary, but you’ve got a team for a reason and they’re there to support you. Although having a role might feel quite overwhelming, you’ve got your whole brigade there to help you along. You don’t have to know it all, but you’ve got to be willing to take it on and learn from those around you.”
Regina also said that she would recommend more young women get involved with their local brigade.
“There are so many different opportunities that we have as women to expand our skills within CFA. We also bring our own skills and I think that’s really special.”
A highlight for Regina during her time at CFA has been the people she has met.
“I’ve been able to interact with and learn from so many amazing people – especially my dad. He’s given me a lot of his time and support to enhance my skills. The support from other members of the brigade has been incredible and enables me and our other younger members to feel like we are capable and can take charge.”
Regina said that the significance of being Cashmore brigade’s first woman captain is not lost on her, but she knows her brigade is behind her.
“I’m nervous, but I’ve had strong role models in the past who’ve shown me you don’t have to know it all and you’re allowed to ask for help,” Regina said.
“My brigade is behind me and we’re all going to get through whatever challenges and opportunities we face. My brigade is not just me as a captain; it’s the brigade as a whole, together.”
Regina believed that growth was her main goal as captain. “I want to grow within myself, but I also want to support my brigade, my BMT and any new members to reach their goals in CFA.
“I want to ensure it’s a positive and supportive environment and we achieve success together.”
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