CFA members from across South West Region came together on the eve of National Volunteer Week to share their thoughts and experiences for the Volunteer Forum.
South West Region held its third forum on Sunday 16 May.
Hosted in Warrnambool, this year’s theme of ‘honour the past, celebrate the present, embrace the future’ allowed CFA members to share their initiatives to support brigades developing CFA into the future.
South West Region Deputy Chief Officer Rohan Luke opened the forum.
“We have an enormous amount of expertise and experience with us today,” Rohan said. “I’d like to thank you all for being here today and I’m looking forward to hearing the variety of volunteering initiatives happening across the region.”
Guest speaker Rachael Robertson presented about leading an expedition to Antarctica, and provided several practical takeaways for members explaining why respect trumps harmony.
Rachael Robertson led an expedition to Antarctica and was responsible for the welfare and safety of the 18 members of her team for an entire year. She will share how she led and inspired her team through the long, tough Antarctic year.
Rachael’s story was described by volunteers in attendance as “amazing”, “brilliant” and “inspiring”.
The audience welcomed CFA Chief Executive Officer Natalie MacDonald who discussed her vision for CFA and answered questions from the audience.
Natalie’s session was followed by an afternoon Q&A panel with numerous leaders from across CFA engaging with volunteers and answering questions on a variety of topics including diversity, wellbeing, brigade sustainability, vehicle design, community safety and training.
CFA Q&A Panel included Chief Executive Officer, Natalie MacDonald, Deputy Chief Officer, Volunteers & Capability Peter O’Keefe, Deputy Chief Officer, South West Region Rohan Luke, Manager Learning & Development, South West Region Sharon Linke, Manager Community Safety, South West Region James Haley and VFBV Board Member Libby Burnett.
Volunteer Sustainability Team Member Tim Moodie said feedback showed the day was well received by volunteers.
“Members appreciated the opportunity to learn some new ideas, meet some new people, and be heard by key decision makers within CFA,” Tim said.
“We thank all those that took time out of their Sunday, many of whom travelled a long distance, for attending the South West Region Volunteer Forum.”