Tuesday, September 6th 2022
Snowy Mountains Grammar students participating in the Girls on Fire camp in Jindabyne last week.
Girls on Fire, an incorporated not-for-profit association teaching firefighting and disaster management skills to teenage girls, conducted one of their many camps in Jindabyne on Friday September 2.
Snowy Mountains Grammar School (SMGS) students gathered at the Jindabyne Fire and Rescue Station and worked in teams to build communication skills in an emergency.
These camps promote volunteering and vocational pathways in emergency services while fostering teamwork, resilience and community connection.
Made possible by the NSW Government under the Regional Industry Education Partnerships (RIEP), a scheme designed to connect local industry with school communities, the Girls on Fire camps aim to provide practical experience and insight into life with emergency services.
All while developing skills that can transform each individual girl’s perspective on their community, working in a team and their own personal capability and contribution to society.
Geared to girls aged 15 to 19, each RIEP camp places girls in emergency simulations while teaching both practical theoretical fundamentals related to fire prevention, preparedness and disaster management in a supportive environment.
These evidence-based camps include a focus on cultural inclusiveness and feature a range of techniques in Indigenous fire practice, disaster management in regional settings and promote community-activation in the face of natural disaster.
SMGS students Marli Dixon, Ebony Scott, Frankie Dennis and Zara Bourke had a great time at the camp saying they worked on their team building skills and really connected as friends and young women.
“We have learnt lots of new skills and even if we decide this isn’t a career path we want we have learnt fire skills for everyday use and how we can help in an emergency,” said Frankie.
“We have also worked on our confidence when faced with an emergency situation so knowing how to cope with the emotions is really good,” said Zara.
All girls agreed the camp taught them valuable life lessons and enjoyed the activities including putting out a fire with the fire hose and different extinguisher types and of course wearing fire gear and touring the fire trucks.
SMGS Careers Adviser Emma Smith said her highlight of the camp was watching all the girls work together, stepping out of their comfort zones and challenging themselves to try something they would probably have never done before.
Each workshop is presented face-to-face by Girls on Fire Founder Bronnie Mackintosh and a team of facilitators from collaborating agencies.
“RIEP is developing real opportunities for meaningful employment for young women right across the state of New South Wales with Girls on Fire. We’re working with various RIEP offices to demonstrate a pathway to employment that doesn’t involve leaving the local area or heading away from regional Australia to study for years at a time.
And that’s really powerful for regions that often find their youth leaving never to return due to a lack of education and employment opportunities,” said Bronnie.
The RIEP-enabled Girls Fire and Resilience Program has already created a splash in the Central Coast, New England, Northern Tablelands, Central West, Far West and Riverina. Limited spaces remain for the Illawarra, Hunter and Southeast NSW.
To find out more and register your interest, head to www.girlsonfire.com.au/events