More than 45 female CFA members attended South East Region’s first Women’s Training Day held Sunday 13 October at the West Sale Training Complex.
A great day was had by all, with the women attending to develop new skills and share existing ones and to network with other women from CFA. These women came from 26 brigades within the South East Region of the state.
A round robin set up including a live car fire, minimum skills drills and a BA familiarisation exercise meant there was something for everyone.
A Question and Answer panel featuring Commander Jessica Walsh, Instructor Amber Holland and Instructor Neil Thompson included information about IMT roles and information on leadership opportunities.
The South East Region Inclusion and Fairness Council was also in attendance, providing a short presentation by the Chair Paul Webster.
Paul spoke about the Council’s work and the important focus CFA has in encouraging additional women firefighters as part of its Inclusion and Fairness priorities. A presentation from the Volunteer Sustainability Team and entrapment drills concluded the day.
“The day has followed on from successful women’s training days and events held in other regions, and provides equitable opportunities for networking and skills maintenance for women,” Lead Learning and Development in South East Region Bonnie Healey explained.
“It is not about excluding men, we had plenty of men there on the day helping out. It’s about providing a welcoming place for those who women choose to participate. We know some people will opt out and that’s okay, it’s just about respecting everyone’s preferences.”
Anna Alfirenko, South East Region Manager Learning and Development said they had received fantastic feedback from the attendees, and would look at making this an annual activity.
“We just want to thank everyone involved in the day, particularly the volunteers who have given up their time to attend,” she said.
Photos courtesy Paul Webster