Wangaratta CFA history captured in new book

Member News image Authors David Salau, Graham Colson, Neil Brock, Jim Buchan, with CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan


Cane-handled fire beaters, pack horses carrying gallons of water and the introduction of fire trucks are just a few snippets of what you can discover about the history of CFA’s Wangaratta District in their recently published book of recollections.


The book, Make Tankers Ten – A History of the Wangaratta Fire Brigades Group was launched last night (29 March) by CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan at the Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre.

This biography of CFA brigades in north-east Victoria describes the development of cooperative firefighting in the community, the formation of the brigades and the creation of the Wangaratta Fire Brigades Group.

The book, which took 10 years to collate, includes the story of the infamous Tarrawingee tragedy that resulted in the death of 10 people and ultimately contributed to the formation of CFA.  

The individual stories of the 16 brigades that form the Wangaratta Group is detailed in the book, but goes further than recent history taking the reader back to the 1800s.

The finished product is a 236-page, large format, pictorial account that describes through words and images a large part of the social history that the community reflects on passionately to this day.

Wangaratta Group Officer Lachlan Gales said the book was driven by authors Neil Brock, Jim Buchan, Graham Colson and David Salau.

“Each of the authors have been active leaders in CFA for decades. Their diligent, forensic research over the past 10 years has resulted in an extraordinary historical record that will serve to inspire the generations of CFA firefighters to come,” he said.

Make Tankers Ten tells the story of how CFA has evolved from the determination of local people motivated to serve a greater good.

“To this day, we remain true to the values those before us created and that’s what makes CFA a world-class emergency service organisation that touches every part of the Victorian community.”


  • Member News imageCFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan speaks to crowd
  • Member News image CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan speaks to crowd
  • Member News image
  • Member News image Group Secretary Jennie Glendenning and Wangaratta Brigade Captain Jason Allisey
  • Graeme Norman (Tarrawingee Brigade), Ron Hooper (Greta Brigade) CFA Board Member Ross Coyle and Craig Hearson CFA Community Risk Program Advisor (Oxley Brigade)
Submitted by CFA Media