(left to right): Katy Millard and Acting Deputy Chief Officer Gavin Thompson
Port Campbell Fire Brigade’s Katy Millard is a joint winner of the Chief Officer Emerging Leader Award with Eaglehawk Captain Kylie Davis, presented during this year’s 2022 Spirit of CFA Awards ceremony.
According to Katy, the award is recognition that what she's working to accomplish in her local area and the wider CFA community and is also in line with what CFA is aiming to achieve for the organisation.
“Winning this award gives me the confidence and encouragement to continue working to improve CFA for all members, both volunteers and staff, not just women,” Katy said.
“It also serves as a measure for the extra time and effort I put in to working with others to accomplish goals and make CFA a better place to volunteer. Unlike responding to fire calls and turning out, these extra things just can’t be measured.”
Katy said this award also builds on the confidence gained during her time with CFA.
“My journey with CFA started when I was in a cycling group with a member of Timboon brigade,” Katy said. “He saw value in me joining given my previous experience with Victoria Police.”
“After joining, I became aware that despite being encouraged to try new things, I was restricted from doing so because I’m female. I became really frustrated as a result, which had a negative impact on my confidence.
“This was very unfamiliar to me because, when I was a police officer, other officers supported and encouraged female officers.”
While at Timboon Fire Brigade, Katy was nominated for the Building Confident Leaders Program, a leadership program specifically aimed at emerging women leaders in District 6, where she learned to deal with her lack of confidence within CFA.
Using her newly acquired skills a few months into the leadership program, Katy received endorsement by her fellow brigade members by being elected as brigade captain.
Katy says the combination of being nominated for and elected as brigade captain along with the experience of the leadership program, gave her the confidence boost she needed to put her leadership skills to use. This confident leadership didn’t go unnoticed, with Katy then nominated for the CFA Women’s Advisory Council.
Deputy Chief Officer Rohan Luke, who nominated Katy for the Chief Officer Emerging Leader award said Katy played an active leadership role in the Women’s Advisory Committee as well as local diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“Katy has continued to forge new opportunities to enhance CFA culture through her experience, leadership and her balanced approach to discussion,” DCO Luke said.
“I look forward to her pursuing future opportunities such as district planning committee roles and state-based committees.”
- (left to right): Deputy Chief Officer Rohan Luke, Katy Millard and Acting Deputy Chief Officer Gavin Thompson