CFA celebrates young volunteers for Youth Day

Member News image Brock Cust from Red Cliffs Fire Brigade is one of thousands of young CFA members


A Bannockburn firefighter will celebrate her 17th birthday on International Youth Day, as CFA celebrates the thousands of young volunteers who play invaluable roles in their brigades across Victoria.


Ainsley Robinson joined the junior ranks as an 11-year-old, following in the footsteps of several family members, and said she was particularly inspired by her mother who is the captain of Bannockburn Fire Brigade.

“My mum had moved up in the ranks and it was inspiring to see her and some of the other women in the brigade,” said Ainsley.

“I wanted to be part of that strong female part of the brigade, it inspired me to step up into becoming an active member."

Ainsley has now completed the General Firefighter program and become a senior firefighter, and is managing Year 12 school commitments, as well as taking on a leadership role with the brigade’s current junior program.

Like Ainsley, Brock Cust from Red Cliffs Fire Brigade has also transitioned from juniors into the senior ranks.

At 19 years of age, Brock not only turns out as a firefighter, but is also part of the Brigade Management Team.

“I was junior captain for a few years which helped a lot with my team building and leadership capabilities.

“It meant that I was comfortable to throw my name in the ring for the Brigade Management Team at the next elections and I’m still in the Communications Officer role now.”

Jenna Schampers, a 17-year-old from Ararat Fire Brigade, said she has gained valuable life skills from her time with CFA.

“I used to be a really shy person but being part of CFA has taught me to get out of my bubble and interact with different people.

“It meant that when I was completing my General Firefighter [training] with some teammates from juniors, we were able to support each other all the way through that.”

Ainsley, Brock and Jenna are among the 5,550 CFA members aged between 11 and 24 years old who are being celebrated as part of International Youth Day.

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said the United Nations initiative is a great opportunity to recognise the valuable contribution of younger members.

“We are so fortunate to have such dedicated young people among our ranks,” said CO Heffernan.

“From our youngest members who take part in junior running teams, to our young leaders who give back to their brigades and communities, CFA has a strong contingent of future firefighters.”

CFA’s Junior Volunteer Development Program is run for those aged between 11 and 15 years, with juniors undertaking practical firefighting drills, and taking part in fire brigade competitions and championships.

“The Junior Program helps children develop fire safety awareness, as well providing valuable life skills such as leadership, teamwork, and communication,” said CO Heffernan.

“It is also a fantastic way for younger people to meet new friends and develop positive community-oriented values.”

“We also have many senior firefighters, some who have come through the Junior Program, while others join their brigade as a young adult.

“I am proud of our young members, and their contribution to CFA.”


  • Member News imageAinsley Robinson from Bannockburn Fire Brigade
  • Member News image Ainsley Robinson from Bannockburn Fire Brigade
  • Member News image Jenna Schampers from Ararat Fire Brigade
  • Member News image Jenna Schampers from Ararat Fire Brigade
  • Member News image Brock Cust from Red Cliffs Fire Brigade
Submitted by CFA Media