CFA celebrates its amazing women on International Women's Day 2024

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This International Women’s Day (IWD) CFA acknowledges and celebrates our women members who are part of the 1,200+ brigades that protect Victorian communities each and every day.


With this year’s theme of Inspire Inclusion we recognise the contribution of CFA’s women who make up 23 per cent of our volunteer base, including 18 per cent in brigade leadership roles.

This year we shine a light on some of these volunteers including Langwarrin Fire Brigade volunteer Sarah Goode who said she inspires others by working hard to provide an environment where all volunteers are welcomed and supported.

“I try to inspire people everyone I meet by recruiting them to be part of our organisation because we just get so much out of the CFA,” Sarah said.

“There is so much we get to learn and so many different communities we help, as well as the many different people we work with. You give so much, but you also get so much back.”

Katy Millard, Captain of Port Campbell Fire Brigade, and a member of CFA’s Women’s Advisory Committee, says she inspires others by setting an example.

“I’m the first female captain at my brigade and my brigade has been around for 70 years,” Katy said.

“I’m a really inclusive person so I like to listen to what people have got to say. Everyone has something of value to offer so I like to include everybody in conversations and everyone’s opinions – there is always an answer and way to achieve something – you just need to listen to what everyone has to say.”

IWD is a chance to recognise the steps taken, acknowledge the work we have to do and celebrate the contributions that women make to society globally.

Locally, North West Region Brigade Support Officer Beth Taylor was named the winner of the Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award at yesterday’s Emergency Services Foundation IWD event. Beth was given the award for her outstanding leadership and tireless efforts to raise awareness of, and address, the need for equity, diversity and inclusion within CFA and the wider community.

CFA’s Women’s Advisory Committee was also highly commended in the Women’s Equality Initiative Award section for amplifying the voices of women across CFA, supporting them to share their experiences and encouraging solutions to improve the volunteer experience.

CFA CEO Natalie MacDonald said Beth’s award and the commendation were great achievements that highlighted CFA’s commitment to improving the volunteer experience for its women members.

“Over recent years, a number of programs have been implemented to ensure all members feel they have the ability and opportunity to thrive – including through our Women’s Advisory Committee, many women’s reference groups and networks, women-only training days and women leadership programs,” Natalie said.

“Inclusion has many facets and we continue to work on different programs and initiatives with the vision that no one is restricted by a lack of opportunities to be involved or empowered to undertake their important role within CFA.”

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said he remains focused on fostering an environment where women are able to reach their potential.

“Our recent volunteer recruitment campaign saw 31 per cent of applications received from women, and 60 per cent of these were for operational roles which was very promising,” Jason said.

In CFA women make up more than 12,000 roles within CFA including more than 4,470 in operational volunteer roles, more than 7,300 in non-operational volunteer roles and another 396 in CFA’s Junior program.

Together, we can work together for a more inclusive world for all. To find out more about International Women’s Day, click here.


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Submitted by CFA media