International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to tell you a little about a group of women here in District 24 who are a great example of how to #BeBoldForChange ……
On the 29th March 2015, District 24 held a women’s training and networking day called ‘Make it Happen’. The training day lead to the “Championing Women in Brigades” workshop held on the 21st of June 2015 and the D24 Women’s Reference Group (WRG) was consequently identified by participants as a priority following this workshop.
The inaugural meeting of the D24 WRG was held on the 9th of August 2016 and includes women from across the District brigades as well as a staff representative from the D24 office.
Since its first meeting the group has begun implementing a number of initiatives including a district wide participation survey and the development of feminine hygiene kits.
The participation survey aims to look at current participation levels among female members in D24 and what they want to be achieving during their time as a CFA volunteer. The survey has received a fantastic response with over 100 women in the District engaging and providing some excellent feedback that will guide the actions of the WRG going forwards.
In addition to the survey the WRG has, in conjunction with a number of women in the Wodonga Group brigades, developed feminine hygiene kits which will be placed on all appliances and within all fire stations in the District. The kits will ensure that women in the District are able to turn out to any incident in whatever capacity needed and feel confident that they won’t get caught out without essential supplies. This initiative has received fantastic support from CFA Headquarters and has the potential to be rolled out across all CFA Districts in the state.
The current success of the WRG wouldn’t be possible without the support and endorsement of the District Operations Manager, Paul King, and the District Planning Committee (DPC). The DPC, at their November 2016 meeting, made a constitutional change that allows the WRG to elect a representative to vote on their behalf at DPC meetings. This bold change will ensure that, for the first time in D24, there will always be a female voice on the DPC. This representative will be able to not only advocate on behalf of the other women in the District, but to provide a female perspective on issues that affect all CFA members.
The D24 WRG is already being used as a catalyst in other districts and we hope that it will provide inspiration for some bold change throughout CFA! #BeBoldForChange