Following on from its launch in February, CFA's Women’s Networking Group in Districts 22 and 23 have been planning activities to connect, support and upskill women.
The latest activity was two chainsaw courses, where women learned about using a chainsaw safely and how to maintain one.
The first course ran at the end of October in District 22, led by Volunteer Trainer Steve Larner and supported by Matt Harry, Ray Glendenning and Cara Disint.
The participants ranged from those who use a chainsaw regularly to novices, which meant the participants were able to help each other as needed.
The ability to learn in this supportive environment was a highlight for the women.
This was followed by a course in District 23 in November.
The women were trained by Volunteer Trainers Ray Glendenning and Steve Larner and supported by Jennie Glendenning and Mindy Keeley-J. Some of the women had never picked up a chainsaw prior to the day.
"This was an excellent opportunity to put theory into practice and to build connections with other women in CFA," Jessica Davison from Swanpool brigade said. "Thanks for a very valuable training day and an opportunity to build confidence and knowledge."
Another participant said, "A wonderful weekend of women, work and learning. Empowering and fun".
Another highlight for one of the participants was that it was "a confidence booster and opportunity to upskill. I can now contribute more to my brigade".
The District 23 and District 22 Women’s Networking Group continues to support our women volunteers across the two districts by having regular meetings and planning sessions. If you're interested in joining our group, please join our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/d23d22wng or contact Jess Skinner (D22) Jessica.Skinner@cfa.vic.gov.au or Michelle Critchley (D23) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Benalla volunteer Susie Mirabito demonstrating her new skills with the chainsaw
- Swanpool volunteer Jess Pianta
- Volunteer instructor Ray Glendenning giving participants a briefing