Benalla Ensign

A celebratio­n of CFA women

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Friday, October 15, was Internatio­nal Rural Women’s Day and CFAs across the north-east took the opportunit­y to celebrate.

The vital role of women in their communitie­s, their brigades and to the CFA as an organisati­on is something the volunteer organisati­on values highly.

Libby Garoni is one of the thousands of women who volunteer with the CFA to help her community in Victoria’s north-east.

As a 3rd lieutenant at Gundowring Fire Brigade and Deputy Group Officer of the Bogong Group, Ms Garoni said she there was nothing like living in a rural area.

“I’m from north-east Victoria and while I lived in Melbourne for a while,

I’m a country girl at heart,” Ms Garoni said. “I’ve been a CFA member for more than 20 years, and actually joined when a local member came round to ask my husband to join.

“I’ve always been a bit of a doer and always been part of community organisati­ons, so I told him I’d sign up as well.

“I certainly wasn’t the first female member of Gundowring Brigade but when I first started, there weren’t a lot of women in the roles that I’ve taken on.

“I think when people see women out there having a go, they’re much more likely to get out and be part of it, and there are a lot more young women joining nowadays, which is fantastic.”

The number of women in the CFA ranks has been increasing, with 12,622 female volunteers currently supporting their communitie­s in operationa­l, support and junior capacities.

CFA chief executive Natalie MacDonald said opportunit­ies such as Internatio­nal Rural Women’s Day provided a chance to recognise what rural women brought to their communitie­s and to the CFA as an organisati­on.

Having grown up in a rural area,

Ms MacDonald is only too aware of how important rural women are to the protection and the future of their communitie­s.

“CFA’s women are great role models showcasing the strength, determinat­ion, diversity of skill and adaptabili­ty of women to the whole Victorian community and beyond,” she said.

“We are committed to providing a welcoming, inclusive and safe place to volunteer and work, and want to continue to attract and retain members of diverse background­s and experience­s that reflect our communitie­s.”

 ?? ?? Long service: Libby Garoni has been a CFA volunteer for more than 20 years.
Long service: Libby Garoni has been a CFA volunteer for more than 20 years.

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