Volunteerism - Our Heart and Soul

Under our proposed new structure, brigades will, in line with their capacity, play a greater role in local service delivery, with a direct line of sight from the Chief Officer
to groups and brigades. The Chief Officer will have direct control over resources in the field. In recognition of the critical role that groups play in building CFA capacity, their
role is being reviewed by the Chief Officer with a view to seeing them strengthened and reinvigorated.

Charter

The Country Fire Authority Amendment (Volunteer Charter) Act 2011 was passed in the Victorian Parliament in May 2011. This legislation acknowledges that volunteers
remain our core strength and signatories to the Charter are committed to ensuring volunteers are fully and fairly consulted on issues that affect them. It acknowledges that
we exist because of our volunteers, backed by the support of our operational and administrative career staff.

The Charter legislation details our commitment to open consultation with our volunteers and also through Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria.

Inquiry into Volunteerism

We were active in assisting the Independent Inquiry into the Effect of Arrangements on CFA Volunteers, led by retired County Court judge David Jones. The inquiry took independent submissions from volunteers and also conducted a number of community consultations around the State.

Our submission to the inquiry acknowledged our volunteers are “the heart and soul of what we do”. It covered the key themes of our history and context, organisational structure and culture, leadership, volunteers and volunteerism, engagement and
consultation, service delivery and capability and training for volunteers.

The inquiry was due to submit its report to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services in July 2011 and we will use its recommendations to set future directions and priorities.

It’s a real pleasure working alongside such a diverse group of people. I love it that the volunteers come from all walks of life.
Jacinta Ermacora, member Warrnambool brigade