(left to right): Epping Fire Brigade's Robert Saitta, Liam Gallagher, Anthony Grubb and Phillip Aiello
Liam recently completed a master’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management and focused his dissertation on CFA’s challenges in overcoming a decline in volunteer firefighters.
The strategies offered by Liam through his research will be transformational for CFA and will assist in maintaining and growing our volunteer numbers in the face of social, organisational and environmental change.
Liam has also contributed to a research project in North West Region called Youth Voices Research project which focused on how CFA can attract, support, retain and train the younger generation of volunteers.
Liam is a role model for other volunteers and his contribution to his local community goes beyond CFA. Liam is also actively involved in the Whittlesea Reconciliation Group – a community-based committee that meets regularly to discuss issues, opportunities, initiatives and programs that impact Aboriginal people living in the City of Whittlesea.
Liam volunteers with Epping brigade and is an active leader within his brigade undertaking a variety of roles including 4th Lieutenant, training coordinator, communications officer and group delegate.
Liam joined Epping in 2016 after he completed high school. “I was looking to fill a void whilst doing an activity that would have a meaningful impact on the community that I lived in,” Liam said. “I had always seen the local CFA active within my area ever since I was a little kid. Despite having no prior firefighting experience, I decided to sign up, and it was one of the best decisions I have made in my life.
“My proudest achievement in CFA so far was when I was elected as 4th Lieutenant at my brigade. I had only been in the organisation for five years at that point, but the members had faith in me despite my age to elect me as a leader of their brigade.
“It was a very proud moment that was followed by lots of hard work in helping guide the brigade to meet the challenges of being a volunteer fire brigade in the 21st century. However, despite the many challenges the initiatives and outcomes that were achieved whilst I was in the leadership team have placed the brigade in a good position to meet the challenges in our local community.
“I have had many memorable moments with CFA. It’s one of the reasons I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey with the organisation so far. I can’t pinpoint a specific moment but in general its about meeting some of the most kind, caring and selfless people who you would never meet in any other organisation. In particular, the people of Epping brigade display those qualities every day and without their continued support I would not have achieved the level of success needed to win a Spirit of CFA Award. Those relationships will last a lifetime!”
Liam said winning the 2022 Spirit of CFA – Youth Award was an honour and privilege.
“For me it represents the organisation thanking me for my service and all the hard work I have put in, not only in responding to emergencies but in my commitment to my brigade, CFA and the community.
“It is a representation of the many, many hours of hard work and sacrifices that I have made to make the organisation that has given so much to me a better place for all.
“As I continue my journey with CFA, I would like to continue to focus on how the organisation can better position itself to overcome the issues of volunteer decline. With the increasing demand on CFA due to a changing climate, the need for volunteers to perform time-critical emergency response will only grow. I also see myself continuing to be an active firefighter, on the front line serving my community in their time of need.”
- Liam Gallagher with CEO Natalie MacDonald