Mothers leading the next generation of CFA volunteers

Member News image Michelle and her boys


CFA is celebrating its incredible mums this Mother’s Day and Michelle Turnham said her kids inspired her to become a CFA volunteer. 


Michelle Turnham volunteers with Ararat Fire Brigade along with her husband Ash and son Bailey.  

Michelle said volunteering with CFA has given her fulfilment in so many ways she hadn’t expected and it’s given her an outlet. 

“I actually joined because of my kids who were CFA Juniors at the time, Michelle said. 

“When I started, I spent four years as a non-operational volunteer and then decided I would give firefighting a go and haven’t looked back since. 

“I have done so much more than I expected, I said I wouldn’t ever be more than a wildfire firefighter and now I have completed the low structure course and external breathing apparatus training.” 

Michelle said volunteering and being a busy working mother of three kids doesn’t come without its challenges. 

“We have a bit of a roster as a family that allows me to turn out,” she said.  

“My older boys can look after the youngest if we need and I have friends and family I can call on to support me.  

“It has instilled a sense of community in my kids. My eldest son Jaxon is in the process of joining now and Bailey continues to shine, he has really come out of his shell thanks to CFA. 

“I sometimes turn out alongside Bailey and I love that the dynamic is we are both firefighters working together at an incident, not mother and son. 

“Even my six-year-old is fire truck obsessed and loves ‘checking the tyres’ when he comes down to the station.” 

Kelly-Ann Ryan is the daughter of a former CFA volunteer and now a firefighter with St. Andrews Fire Brigade. Kelly’s mother Jenni was a huge inspiration to her growing up and why she is a volunteer today. 

“My mother was a volunteer at Upper Ferntree Gully and held the position of Secretary,” Kelly-Ann said.  

“Mum is incredibly strong, and I was in awe seeing her turn out when I was a kid, I wanted to be her. 

“Her community values have made a huge impact on me, she was so dedicated to the brigade she did everything from fundraising to supporting other communities on strike teams. 

“She is honestly my best friend; she would do anything for her daughters and grandchildren.” 

We want to thank all mothers today for giving their time to support CFA and their communities through volunteering. Happy Mother’s Day. 


  • Member News imageIn action
  • Member News image Kelly-Ann Ryan and her mum Jenni
Submitted by CFA Media