CFA women thrive on leadership program

Member News image 2024 Ready to Lead CFA Graduates and Sponsors


A group of 22 CFA women participated in the 2024 Life Saving Victoria (LSV) Ready to Lead program, which ran from from April to June.


Women volunteers and staff, all aspiring leaders, participated in the annual program. It provides women from emergency services agencies the opportunity to explore their potential as leaders.

The program focuses on empowering women and teaching practical tools to apply to current real-life situations. The program also enables the forging of valuable relationships with fellow participants, as well as wonderful connectors who facilitate and support their leadership journeys.

This year's program brought together women from across the sector including: Life Saving Victoria (LSV), Victoria SES, Ambulance Victoria, Fire Rescue Victoria and CFA.

Ilona Goswell from Milawa Fire Brigade in the north-east reflected on the program.

“The concept of a multi-agency approach to deliver a leadership program for emergency services is fundamental to holistic learning and shared experience," Ilona said.

“Although the program was short, sharp and mostly online, it provided me with a plethora of lessons that I can reflect upon and further explore in terms of my leadership journey.

“The knowledge gained to fully understand my strengths to leverage, and development needs, will undoubtedly assist me to be an effective leader now and in the future.

"I gained insights into the benefits of working with people with opposite traits, and that they will provide a greater perspective for any decision-making situation and in turn, a better outcome."

Val Conduit from People and Culture, said participating in the program has allowed her to approach the future with an attitude of “it’s a brave new world out there and just watch us flourish".

At the graduation ceremony, held at LSV's Port Melbourne offices, she said she was humbled to be accepted into the program and has benefitted from the inter-agency connectedness of the group.

Val encourages CFA women to take the opportunity to participate in leadership development programs such as Ready to Lead.


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Submitted by Tracey Ruse