Sheryl Batrouney was the only female firefighter at Axe Creek when she joined.
Sheryl Batrouney has been a CFA member for 18 years. She's a third generation CFA volunteer, and third Lieutenant at Axe Creek Fire Brigade.
When Sheryl transferred to Axe Creek six years ago, she was the only female firefighter at the brigade.
This didn’t phase her on the truck, but broader representation and gender equality isn’t something one person can achieve on their own.
“Being a woman has never stopped me, but it’s up to everyone to remove the gender lens and realise women are just as capable of being on a truck, being leaders and helping their communities as men," Sheryl said.
Outside volunteering, her professional life is centred around equality. In her last job she worked in the homelessness sector and saw the disparity of access to support and services for those living on the streets.
She now works for an organisation that gives women access to courses to gain employment in trades and aged care.
To 'break the bias’ into the future, Sheryl said it started with support networks.
“To ensure we see more women in leadership positions for our next generation, there needs to be greater encouragement, support and mentoring for women.”
Sheryl is excited to have another female operational member recently join the brigade, who is now completing her General Firefighter training and will be ready to join the team on the fireground mid-year.