Community Engagement

Girls on Fire activates our approach to community engagement through a variety of different relationships, activities and general outreach and education.

Broadly, this breaks down into a focus on:

Developing and managing partnerships

We work with partners across fire and emergency, business and volunteering, professional and youth networks, government departments, private businesses and more. Girls on Fire believes in inter-agency operability and support. That’s why we bring agencies together to meet, collaborate and educate as part of our mentoring and volunteer programs.

We couldn’t do what we do without the input, effort and relationship with the following agencies:

Fire & Rescue NSW

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is one of the world’s largest urban fire and rescue services and is the busiest in Australia. Our overriding purpose is to enhance community safety, quality of life, and confidence by minimising the impact of hazards and emergency incidents on the people, property, environment and economy of NSW.

Bronnie is a proud advocate for Fire & Rescue NSW and gives thanks for their enduring support throughout her own professional career and the Girls on Fire journey.

The NSW Rural Fire Service

The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is the lead combat agency for bush fires in NSW. Working closely with other agencies, the RFS respond to a range of emergencies including structure fires, motor vehicle accidents and storms that occur within rural fire districts. The NSW RFS is widely acknowledged as the largest volunteer fire service in the world.

Girls on Fire values and respects the abilities of this mighty fire service in keeping local communities safe and their ability to connect and enable communities in a proactive and intelligent way.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

NSW National Parks (NPWS) adopts a strategic approach to managing fires in parks and reserves including research, planning, hazard reduction, rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts. NSW is one of the most bushfire-prone areas in the world due to climate, weather systems, vegetation and terrain.

As masters of working with the natural landscape in preparedness and prevention, NPWS is a core component in tailoring Girls on Fire education to the environment makeup of this wide brown land.

Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service (Airservices Australia)

As Australia’s dedicated aviation firefighters, Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service provide aviation rescue firefighting services at 27 of Australia’s busiest airports, operating a fleet of more than 100 of the largest fire fighting vehicles in the country. This includes rescuing people and property from an aircraft crash or fire and other fires and emergencies at airports.

These specialists in one of the most volatile firefighting fields add premium crisis skills and knowledge to the Girls on Fire roster.  The Aviation firefighters also lead the physical training components of the Girls on Fire Program.

Forestry Corporation

Forestry Corporation is responsible for managing over 2 million hectares of Planted and Native forests in NSW. Forestry Corporation has the responsibility to prevent and suppress bushfires in all State Forests and assist with fire suppression across the rest of the State.

Utilising hard-fought skills and the best bush management practices as part of their firefighting arsenal, Forestry Corporation bring a wealth of expertise in managing Australian bushfires. 

The NSW State Emergency Service

NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is an emergency and rescue service dedicated to assisting the community. A volunteer-based organisation that provides emergency assistance to the people of NSW 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, the SES are there for Australians during some of their toughest times. These include floods, road accident rescue, vertical rescue, bush search and rescue, and more.

SES help round out the Girls on Fire experience by sharing their mastery of rescue, disaster and search skills with the participants.

vra rescue nsw logo

VRA Rescue NSW

When the community unites, great things happen. A committed team of volunteers who actively participate in rescue scenarios, VRA are engaged in road Crash Rescue, General Land Rescue, Vertical Rescue and just about any type of specialist rescue encountered by Emergency Service personnel. The VRA also includes Communications, Cave Rescue and Ski Patrols.

Girls on Fire are excited to include these “when the chips are down” volunteers and their unique insight and wisdom to our programs. 

chubb logo

Chubb Fire and Security

As a well known entity in security, Chubb is a recognisable brand all Australians know and trust. However, Chubb is much more than security. Chubb installs and services fire protection systems across Australia, provides training and supplies firefighting products.

In their relationship with Girls on Fire, Chubb are a valued supplier of equipment and support to make our camps as realistic and fire safe as possible by training on the equipment Chubb provides. 

Enabling communities through participation

As a part of choosing which areas Girls on Fire should hold camps and programs, we actively seek communities where fire and emergency skills may benefit in the recovery process after major disasters. For example, the NAB Foundation have funded programs to support Mogo, Tathra and other disaster areas with resilience and recovery.

We also work with Indigenous communities on a regular basis to promote inclusion, opportunity and resilience as part and parcel of our commitment.

This includes (but is not limited to) individual contributions from amazing Indigenous leaders such as:

Brewarrina’s Burra McHughes – Qld Rural Fire Service

Peter Jensen – Firefighter with FRNSW & Aboriginal Engagement Lead with Western Sydney Airport

Luke Russell – Firefighter with FRNSW & Cultural Burning facilitator

And is reflected in the art of Kamilaroi designer Jodie Herden who created our Indigenous logo for this year’s Reconciliation program theme – Be Brave, Make Change.

Improving community enablement

Girls on Fire believe in the power of education and research to create a strong foundation for the programs we provide. This is why we choose to work with fellowship and research opportunities to increase our ability to create meaningful, evidence-based programs.

This includes but is not limited to:

Monash University

Girls on Fire is working with Monash University’s School of Curriculum, Teaching and Inclusive Education in the Faculty of Education and senior lecturer, Dr Karen Lambert, to measure the impact of the Girls Fire & Resilience Program. This includes its ability to increase or improve knowledge of fire and emergency safety and services, self-efficacy and self-confidence within participants, resiliency on an individual and community level, the perceived competence to pursue career or volunteer service roles, and perceptions of social connection and belonging tied to community engagement.

Monash University is also sponsoring Girls on Fire facilitators to study a Certificate in Mental Health as part of their support of the NAB Social Impact program.

Accepting and utilising support mechanisms

Girls on Fire walk the walk when it comes to giving help and receiving it.

Girls on Fire welcomes and acknowledges the support of key financial, infrastructure and support role partners as part of developing and furthering the Girls on Fire experience.

Our current development partners include:

nab foundation logo

NAB Foundation

Girls on Fire is a proud recipient of NAB Foundation Community Grants program. The current program supports Australians before and after natural disasters. The Community Grants program will fund the roll out of a greater number Girls Fire & Resilience Programs in areas impacted by the 2019 and 2020 bushfires and at risk from natural disaster generally.

The NAB Foundations commitment to Girls on Fire has given us both the means and the confidence to reach out to all kinds of communities at camp level and with other program development.

a group of smiling people stand under a tree

Australian Business Volunteers (ABV)

With 40 years’ experience across Australia, Asia and Pacific, Australian Business Volunteers (ABV) is focussed on programs that produce outcomes, positive stories of change for the small businesses and not-for-profits that our Skilled Business Professionals and staff support through transferring Australian business know-how and experience.

ABV has been instrumental in the evolution of Girls on Fire from part-time program to fully fledged incorporated association providing firefighting and resilience programs for girls and young women.

Our training and education partners

NSW Department of Education (DET) and Regional Industry Education Partnerships (RIEP)

What began as a pilot test in 2021 to help increase the visibility of fire and emergency services with school leavers in a virtual format is now being expanded throughout NSW. 

This partnership model has now been expanded to include relationships with the education and training sectors. 

RIEP have arranged for a one day schools workshop to be rolled out throughout NSW over the next four months. For dates and information, please head to our Schools Program page. 

Without community efforts, Girls on Fire would not be flourishing today. 

To meet more of the wonderful individuals, fellowships and organisations that contribute to the Girls on Fire journey, please check out our Friends page. 

To discuss engaging Girls on Fire engaging with your community, please get in touch.