Natalie makes brigade history

Member News image Photo courtesy of Star News Group, Pakenham Gazette


Three weeks ago, Natalie Morgan made history at the Pakenham Fire Brigade, being named the first ever female Lieutenant since the brigade’s inception.


After being nominated by another brigade member for the role, Natalie was successfully voted in by her peers to become the new 4th Lieutenant of Pakenham Fire Brigade.

Hailing from Sydney, New South Wales, Natalie has lived in Melbourne since 2016 and was motivated to get involved in the local brigade following the 2019/20 bushfires.

Having been surrounded by firefighters her whole life, she finally decided to join her grandfather, father, uncle and sister in giving firefighting a go she joined as an operational firefighter in February 2021 at the Pakenham Fire Brigade.

The 30-year-old said being raised by a father involved in firefighting gave her a slight edge in knowing what to expect during her CFA journey.

“I spent a lot of time at the fire station on weekend and I have lots of memories listening to the scanner as a kid,” she said.

“By 10 years old I knew the entire phonetic alphabet by listening to the radio.”

Natalie said it was hard to watch Australian communities endure the devastating impacts of the 2019/20 fires and having no way to help.

“It was so hard to watch, I just felt so unhelpful as it unfolded.”

“I had just finished my involvement in the local Scouts, which took up a lot of my time, so I decided I’d take the opportunity to make the switch to CFA.”

According to Natalie, the brigade was super welcoming and quelled any nervousness she had about starting as a volunteer firefighter.

“So many members of the brigade were there to help me when I wasn’t feeling confident,” Natalie added.

“They’d throw in an extra training session if I felt I needed it and I could always ask questions, no matter how silly they may have been.

“There was never a point that I felt I wasn’t supported by the brigade.”

No matter how much experience she gains, Natalie believes there will always be something new to learn at CFA.

“I will always be learning something new at CFA – that’s the great thing about being involved in a volunteer fire brigade,” she said.

“I believe anyone interested in giving back to their community or learning a new skill should give CFA a go.

“No matter the outcome, there’s always something to learn from a new experience. It can be daunting, but the brigade will always help you to succeed and will give you tasks that are right for you.

“I have so much experience around me at the Pakenham Fire Brigade and I know that whenever I have questions, I will be gently guided through the process.”

She said being voted in was an “absolute shock” but was happy to take on the role all in stride.

Being a part of the brigade’s history as the first female Lieutenant is something Natalie said she takes great pride in and wants to use it to show other women, particularly in her community, that they should step up, not shy away, from leadership roles.

“I work in a male-dominated industry and am also navigating my volunteer role with CFA, which is historically male-dominated,” she said.

“It is important other women feel motivated in these spaces and are comfortable enough to step forward and give CFA a go – there’s a role for everyone at CFA and anyone can have a crack.”

Looking forward, Natalie wants to get a lot more out of CFA than just fighting fires.

“I’m excited to continue working with people with different skills and experiences,” she said.

“I’m keen to get more active in the community and show people what CFA is all about and demonstrate we can help people out in more ways than one.

“This role will be a test for me to develop my leadership skills which I can apply to my professional and personal life.

“Knowing that I’m contributing to the community means everything to me and if I can change one person’s life by motivating them to take a step in the right direction, then I’ve done my job.”


  • Member News imagePhoto courtesy of Star News Group, Pakenham Gazette
  • Member News image Photo courtesy of Star News Group, Pakenham Gazette
Submitted by CFA Media