In 2014, 19-year-old Megan Kilppel found herself wanting to volunteer and give back to the community.
“I’d finished Year 12 the year before, and was working at the supermarket. I wanted to give back so I joined Cobram Fire Brigade,” she said.
Megan wasn’t sure exactly what to expect on joining as a volunteer. What she discovered on arrival was a supportive environment, that helped her build important life skills.
“I had a lot of self-doubt and never thought I could succeed in such a way,” Megan said.
“But the brigade - management and all the members - took me in with open arms. They encouraged me to take on responsibilities within the brigade and today I’m Secretary of the brigade. Their continuous encouragement made things like this possible.”
Megan says one of the greatest benefits of being a member of the CFA was the life-long friendships she has made.
“Not just here with Cobram Fire Brigade, but with surrounding brigade members I’ve been on strike teams with,” she said.
“What I’ve loved during my time is being able to help with our junior brigade members, and working on community events like our annual show or open days. I think what I love most is when kids get to climb in our vehicle. They always have a big smile on their faces.”
Megan draws on her family and work colleagues to support her volunteering.
“Actually, shortly after I joined, my brother joined also, so we support each other. My jobs is at the local supermarket. I was a shy girl - a not-really-talking-to people person. Volunteering with the CFA has given me confidence to use my communication and people skills in life and in the workplace.
“I wish I had joined sooner when I found out you could join at 16. The skills are so valuable. I think working as a volunteer helps young people in the workplace.”