Over the past four days, CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan, CFA’s new Chief Executive Officer Natalie MacDonald and Executive Director People, Culture and Safety Janelle Leonard have been meeting with volunteers across Victoria’s south east.
The trek across CFA’s South East region was the fourth leg of a regional tour which has already included visits to the North West, West and South West over the past three months.
“Meeting CFA volunteers has been a top priority of mine since starting in my role on 30 November,” CO Heffernan said.
CEO Natalie MacDonald also expressed her desire to meet and speak with volunteers across Victoria.
“It’s important we listen closely to our volunteers to understand how we can assist them in delivering the best possible service to their communities,” CEO MacDonald said.
This week, they visited brigades and district headquarters across the region to speak with volunteer members and staff.
They commenced the tour with a trip to Bemm River with a lunch to greet brigade members before travelling to Mallacoota to meet with local volunteers and visit fire-affected areas.
They both met with brigade members in Orbost, Bruthen, Westbury and Traralgon among other communities.
On Wednesday, Jason and Natalie had dinner with Trafalgar and Westbury to discuss areas of improvement for the organisation in the relevant response areas.
There was also an opportunity for them both to engage with District 27 staff and meet with senior volunteer leaders.
On Friday, CO Heffernan met with volunteers at Noble Park, Moorooduc, Clyde and Narre Warren alongside Deputy Chief Officer South East Region Trevor Owen.
“A highlight was being able to meet with many of the local firefighters who fought on the front line in some of Victoria’s worst fire-affected townships last bushfire season,” CO Heffernan said.
“It is grounding for me to be among our members and to listen to what matters most and share in their experiences.”
In the coming months, CO Heffernan will complete his final leg of the tour when he travels the North East region.
“I look forward to meeting with more of our members and hearing how we can make our CFA even stronger for the future.”