The South East Region Women’s Challenge Camp brought 50 women volunteers together to participate in a range of activities that showcased the dynamic skill development and training opportunities for women in CFA.
Women from brigades across the region were invited to test their fitness, build connections and understand each other’s experiences at CFA at the camp, held on 1-2 May at Camp Coonawarra in Glenaladale.
Regional Brigade Administration Support Officer Sandie Brown said this weekend was the third time the challenge had been held, with the idea borne out of women’s networks in districts 10 and 27.
“We wanted to challenge our women, give them a sense of camaraderie and provide a mentoring network, Sandie said.
“CFA is not just about going out and fighting fires; it’s about creating a whole new set of friendship circles.
“This weekend and women’s networks in general are really about women coming together and being able to build relationships to support one another.
“It’s about sharing experiences and having someone to really relate to.
“We also hope these camps will inspire more women to join CFA and perhaps take up more operational roles.”
Deputy Chief Officer Trevor Owen attended the weekend participating in a number of the events.
“There was a whole range of activities happening, including wellbeing, leadership, information about IMT roles and a panel discussion that included CEO Natalie MacDonald and Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp APM,” he said.
“There were also some more physical challenges – from archery to climbing walls and rope courses.
“The benefit of having women’s networks is about bringing women together and building their confidence to be able to enter into what has previously been a very male-dominated field.”
Golden Beach Fire Brigade Captain Paula Grosveld said there were a range of networks in place to support women in CFA.
“It’s really about letting them [our women members] know they aren’t alone,” Paula said.
“My aim is to be a good role model, to encourage and empower women to get involved.
“I’m really proud to be part of the Challenge Camp and I hope that some of the women who attended get some really relative and encouraging ideas to take back to their brigades.”
Congratulations to everyone involved with the South East Women’s Challenge camp.