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Wednesday, 08 June 2016 00:00

Consider a Role with VFBV

VFBV is established under Victorian law, the Country Fire Authority Act, to represent the volunteers on all matters that affect their welfare and efficiency.

VFBV is made up of CFA volunteers – from individual members of Brigades, through their elected District Councils and State Councillors, to the VFBV Board. 

There are lots of roles for volunteers who want to contribute;

  • Brigade Delegate – the ideal role for the younger member building their skills or the older member who is retiring from turning out but still wants to contribute
  • District Council executive member
  • Joint Committee member
  • State Councillor
  • Subject Matter Expert for Joint Committees
  • VFBV Board Member
  • Nominee to the CFA Board

All of these roles can be greatly rewarding, and former CFA Chair Claire Higgins recently offered great encouragement and an insight into the role of a Board Member, in a story in the March edition of FireWise.

From FireWise, March 2016


By former CFA Chair Claire Higgins

I’ve missed being part of CFA since my resignation in September last year, so when Andrew Ford made contact with me recently to ask me to write this article, I jumped at the chance to make a contribution.

I was part of CFA for eight years. During this time I was fortunate to work with a number of volunteers who put their hand up to be part of the CFA Board, helping to ensure it has the necessary strong volunteer expertise, knowledge and an understanding of CFA volunteerism.

Whilst from very different walks of life, their contribution was always to promote volunteerism, represent their communities, and work for the best interests of CFA and the Victorian community.

When I think of the volunteer representatives I have worked with over the years on the Board, amongst others, I think of current board member Ross Coyle – a farmer and businessman, Michael Tudball – an executive at a municipal council, James Holyman – an executive within government, John Schurink – a former senior manager with Ambulance Victoria and executive member of ESTA, Paul Denham – with an expertise in project management and construction, Frank Zeigler – a businessman where safety is a core part of his business, and Peter Marke – with experience in community banking.

Each of the volunteer representatives came to the Board table with their experience, and they all came with a desire to work as a team, challenge the status quo and build a better CFA.

One thing that has struck me over time has been the lack of women. It’s a surprise because over the eight years I have come across many women CFA volunteers who are as ably skilled to contribute to the CFA Board. For example, as Board Chair, I met with a lady who was a volunteer, who in her day job, worked in the local health service. When I posed the question to her about putting her hand up to be part of the VFBV Board, or indeed the CFA Board, she was surprised that I thought that she would have the skill.

My message is, don’t underestimate your skill and your value. VFBV wants to build a pool of people that they can mentor and develop so that they can present a true representation of the depth of CFA volunteers – particularly women.

The CFA Board needs to be able to represent its community. VFBV and volunteers give the CFA the best opportunity to do this.

So from all walks of life, put your hand up, be bold, you won’t regret the journey on which you embark. You will be both challenged and rewarded for the experience.

I know Andrew Ford is keen to hear from interested prospective CFA and VFBV Board nominees, so please feel free to contact him at the VFBV office.




Published in VFBV News
Monday, 25 February 2013 00:00

Our Structure


The diagram below illustrates the overall structure of VFBV and process links between key VFBV forums plus the links and inputs to decision making levels of CFA Management. In simplest terms the roles of the three levels can be described as follows:

Board – Governance, strategic direction, policy and oversight;

State Council – is the operating level, key advisory forum and State wide representation;

District Councils – allow local level input and the local operating level

The VFBV CEO and staff secretariat provide overall coordination, management, advice and support to the Association at each level.

VFBV Structure

You can download a copy of the VFBV Constitution at the bottom of this page.

The roles of the three key levels of VFBV are:

Role of VFBV Board

  • Governing body, responsible and accountable for the control of the business affairs, performance and governance of the Association;
  • Determine policy and direction for the Association;
  • Determine VFBV policy on matters referred by CEO or State Council;
  • Appoint the CEO and monitor the CEO’s performance;
  • Ensure the VFBV’s financial affairs are effectively managed and controlled;
  • Ensure adherence to the Association’s Statement of Purposes;
  • Ensure internal communication and consultative processes effectively engage membership;

Role of VFBV State Council

  • Provide a forum for expression of views from Regional Councils and ensure issues raised by Regional Councils are addressed in a timely and satisfactory manner;
  • Consider matters referred to it by VFBV Board and CEO and make recommendations on action to be taken;
  • Elect State Council Executive Committee;
  • Select representatives to VFBV/CFA Joint Committees;
  • Manage process for selection of VFBV Board members;
  • Make recommendation to VFBV Board for CFA Board nominations;
  • Provide guidance to VFBV representatives on CFA/VFBV Joint Committees and be a conduit between VFBV Board and Regional Councils;
  • Advise VFBV Board on the business affairs of the Association.

Role of District Councils

  • Provide a forum for affiliated brigades to express volunteer concerns/views;
  • Help brigades resolve matters of concern at local level;
  • Provide volunteer leadership and represent volunteers at CFA Regional level;
  • Provide a conduit for communication and information flow between VFBV Board, State Council and brigades;
  • Refer matters that cannot be resolved at local level to VFBV State Council or CEO.


Published in About
CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.


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