"This shared culture of fire sets us on a journey to learn how to better protect our communities and importantly, learn how to
better care for country."
Professor Uncle Henry Atkinson
Why this website?
This website was created to offer CFA members and members of the public, an opportunity to develop their understanding of Koori culture, heritage and history, as well as to explore ways in how we all can work together in Caring for Country. This website is also a means of demonstrating CFA’s commitment to engaging and building relationships with the Koori Community and we hope to do this by sharing the stories and experiences of our shared culture of fire.
The CFA Film "Culture of fire"
CFA’s Koori Inclusion Action Plan (KIAP) promotes inclusion of Aboriginal people and perspectives throughout everything we do. From volunteerism and employment to partnerships and service delivery by improving access and inclusion to services, programs, policies and procedures for the Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, also referred to as the Koori community.
The bedrock of this plan is an appreciation for the way the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in all their diversity, have Cared for Country for tens of thousands of years. CFA and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community share a culture of fire and have a strong link as custodians of the land and champions of the responsible use and management of fire.
Altogether there are 20 actions in the KIAP, including the delivery of a Koori cultural awareness opportunities for CFA staff and volunteers, updating CFA procedures to better Care for Country and protect cultural heritage sites and seeking ways to engage the Aboriginal community in planned burns.
The five year plan lasts till the end of 2019 and there are many benefits for CFA to implement the 20 actions in the plan. It will strengthen CFA’s diversity and culture and it will help us to learn and grow.
Note: As a Victorian organisation, the word ‘Koori’ is employed by CFA as a way to represent all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in Victoria. We are committed to working closely with Traditional Owners and to advancing inclusion and engagement with all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live in the state.
The CFA commissioned Aboriginal artist Emma Bamblett, of the Wemba Wemba clan, to create a painting that reflected the commitment and ongoing positive relationship the CFA has and wants to continue through their Koori Inclusion Action Plan. The painting is titled “Working Together” and you can read the artist’s story of this artwork and the meaning of the symbols here.
Digital copies of the artwork are also available for download (please ensure the name of the painting and artist are referenced each time it is used). The original painting is located at the CFA Headquarters reception foyer. Twenty copies of the painting are also displayed across the State of Victoria.
"WORKING TOGETHER" -
THE CFA PAINTING FOR THE KIAP
CFA and Victoria's Aboriginal community have something very special in common - Fire. From Lake Tyers in the east to Kerang in the west, this film explores this unique relationship. It demonstrates CFA's commitment to strengthening Aboriginal inclusion and engagement through intimate stories from both our Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members.
CFA has evolved from its informal beginnings in community-based fire brigades to become one of the world’s largest volunteer-based emergency service organisations.
We are wholly committed to the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery phases of emergency situations, providing a diverse range of risk reduction, fire suppression and incident management services to minimise the impact of fires and other emergencies on Victorian communities.
CFA provides statewide fire and related emergency coordination
Structural fire suppression
Transport-related fire suppression
Technical rescue, such as high angle, trench and mine operations
Hazardous materials transportation and storage incidents
Working with Forestry industry brigades
Other emergency activities including flood assistance.
CFA is also involved in a range of non-emergency activities
Community awareness, education and safety programs
Fire safety input planning for major community risks
Fire prevention and planning
Land use planning advice at municipal level
Technical services including building code-related inspections, post incident analysis and fire investigation.
Sustainable Fire Management
To find out more about CFA please visit our website.
ABOUT THE KIAP
the koori inclusion action plan
CFA Aboriginal Engagement Guidelines The aim of these guidelines is to help CFA members better engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. To improve knowledge and understanding and to improve awareness of the sensitivities that exist. These guidelines are part of CFA's commitment to the KIAP action plan.