Finding purpose through CFA

Member News image Kelly Liddell on scene


Five years after joining CFA in search of purpose following two family tragedies, Kelly Liddell has become lieutenant at Foster Fire Brigade.


In 2018, Kelly moved from Brisbane back to Foster to gain support from family after she became pregnant.  

In the most tragic turn of events, Kelly lost her son who was stillborn, and a month later her mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer.  

“Two or three days after my son’s funeral I took over as mum’s full-time carer,” Kelly said.  

“While I was her carer (she was able at this stage), I thought rather than sit here all day I need something to keep my mind busy. Especially after something so tragic, you need to find that purpose.  

“Mum thought it was awesome I joined up. We were always that family that got help from everyone else, so to give back again, it was kind of like paying it forward. 

“I used to get Christmas presents from the Smith Family, now when I can I like to help those organisations as well.” 

Kelly’s mum lost her brave battle with cancer in 2019.  

The brigade and broader CFA was hugely supportive of Kelly at the time.  

Five years after joining the brigade, Kelly is always on hand to help.  

“Everyone usually turns around and says ‘Kel will do it’, or I’ll say ‘if no one else will do it I will do it’,” she says.  

“If I can be there, I will be there. I don’t have a preference on jobs. I just get up and go.” 

And Kelly now has an extra helper on hand at the station in her son, Brooklyn, 3.  

“Ever since he was a baby, I would take him to the station, now he even helps wash the trucks, everyone there just loves him,” she said.  

“When Brooklyn sees me in uniform he says, ‘bye mummy, see you’. Only time I am allowed out the door without him.” 

Kelly joined the CFA following the 2018-19 bushfire season after seeing a recruitment campaign on television.  

“I thought ‘I reckon I can do that’. I have always been the kind of person that just goes throw a job at me, if I can’t do it, I will tell you.” 

Her message to other budding volunteers?  

“Honestly, why not? Even if it’s not the firefighting side of it, there’s the social side. So many other aspects people can get into. Whether it be back in the office at the station, or further up if you want to develop.” 

If you’re interested in joining CFA or learning more about volunteering, visit


Submitted by CFA media