Katy Millard, captain of Port Campbell
CFA is celebrating its thousands of volunteers this week as part of National Volunteer Week (May 16-22).
Port Campbell Brigade Captain Katy Millard certainly has a reason to celebrate her dedication to volunteerism this week. Katy is not only the first woman captain of her brigade, but also the first woman captain in her whole District.
Katy was a police officer for Victoria Police for 15 years until she moved to Port Campbell where she decided to live on a dairy farm. She is a mother of three and also volunteers with Life Saving Victoria.
Katy said she enjoys volunteering as it gives her the opportunity to use her life skills.
“The experience I’ve learnt from volunteering benefits my community and it also challenges me and gives me the chance to develop new skills,” she said.
Katy said she also enjoys being a first responder for incidents in her community.
“It gives me the same feeling I had when I was a police officer, as I’m tackling similar issues and continuing to help people.”
During COVID lockdowns, Katy said she wanted to be more involved in the community and the brigade to help with people’s mental health.
“It was great to be able to be there for my community and assist those in need,” she said.
Katy joined CFA in 2016 when she was a stay-at-home mum and a cycling buddy suggested she join. Katy has worked hard to climb the brigade ranks to become captain.
She also attended the Building Confident Leaders Program, which is a designed leadership program specifically aimed at emerging female leaders for women in District 6, where she learnt to deal with her lack of confidence. Katy is also a member of CFA’s Women’s Advisory Committee.
Katy said there are three female members at Port Campbell out of a total of 25 members and she would like to encourage more women to volunteer.
“It would be great to see a bigger female presence in the brigade,” she said.
“We’re a close-knit community and very welcoming to anyone who would like to join. There’s a role for everyone – you don’t have to be on the back of a fire truck to be a CFA volunteer."
Katy is also a judge for this year’s Spirit of CFA Awards and says it’s an absolute honour.
“I am so proud to be a judge for these Awards. It’s a privilege to be asked.”
This year’s theme for National Volunteer Week is ‘Better Together’ which holds true to CFA.
CFA is one of the world’s largest volunteer emergency services with 54,000 volunteers and more than 1,200 brigades across Victoria.
Find out more about volunteering with CFA at https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/volunteer-careers/volunteers