A little encouragement from her eager daughter was all it took to get Kim Tucker to join Colac Fire Brigade and become its new Junior Leader.
When her daughter was invited by a friend to join up to Colac Fire Brigade’s Junior’s program almost nine years ago as part of their running team, Kim Tucker had never considered joining the brigade let alone taking on a leadership role.
“When the brigade lost its inaugural Junior Leader, my daughter encouraged me and another mother to join so the program could continue,” Kim said.
“Within two years, I became an operational member.
“My favourite part of being a Junior Leader was watching the next generation of CFA learn skills, make friends and build their confidence.
“I really love watching the younger members take in new knowledge and skills and seeing how it gives them a different perspective. It provides a different way for them to figure out their interests and helps them learn how to react in time-critical situations.”
She said as much as the kids learn, she is also learning valuable things from being their leader.
“I really enjoy being involved with the young people. Their enthusiasm and keenness for everything is very uplifting,” Kim said.
“I’ve learned a lot of things from being a Junior Leader, and so much about myself. I’ve learned leadership, how to be better at conflict resolution and how to celebrate each person’s uniqueness. I think it’s made me a better parent too.”
Kim said that investing in our young members was vital for the longevity of brigades.
“I think the importance of volunteering is often lost on young people, so if we could encourage participation from an early age and teach them the importance of volunteering, it’s would be so beneficial,” Kim said
“The young members are the future of our brigades and the future of CFA. If we get them involved now it will only benefit us into the future.”
Kim said that a key thing that stands out for her with Colac Fire Brigade is the relationships they’ve formed with other brigades across the state.
“One of our main things is that we support our friends in other brigades,” Kim said. We’ve gone to demos that are a bit out of the way so we can support our friends that we’ve met at competitions.
“We help each other out; we build connections, and I think that is what’s really special.”
Kim's story is part of a series profiling Junior Leaders across the state. To find out more about our Juniors program, visit the CFA website.