The objectives of the Council as set out in its Constitution are to:

Assist the Volunteer Fire Brigade Entities and foster the interests of volunteer fire fighters in Australia through the sharing of information and networking

Act as an advocate for its Members on issues that the Members agree are best resolved at the national level

Identify issues which may, as a consequence of national policy formation, impact directly or indirectly upon the membership of Volunteer Fire Brigade entities

With the consent of its Members, make comments and representations to AFAC or to any other entity considered necessary on issues affecting volunteer fire fighters

Appoint a delegate to the AEMVF and work with that body on issues affecting volunteer fire-fighters

At the request of a Member, make representations on issues impacting volunteer fire fighters represented by that Member, in the State or Territory from which the Member is derived, provided that where there is more than one Member in a State or Territory, all Members from that State or Territory must agree to the representations being made

Carry out any other function consistent with the objectives of the Council

Message from the chairperson

It’s an absolute pleasure and honour, however very humbling to be recently elected to the Chair role of CAVFA at the Brisbane AGM in August 2023. 

Sincere thanks to outgoing Chair Dave Gossage for his diligence and passion demonstrated over his time leading CAVFA. I’m sure he won’t be a stranger to CAVFA into the future.

The challenges facing volunteers and the emergency management sector have never been more complex than now. CAVFA in my view is in a perfect position to provide two main aspects:

  • Collaboration of the States’ and Territories’ Fire Associations
  • First hand perspectives to Government and other emergency management sector agencies via the reach that CAVFA members have.

CAVFA is comprised of 11 Australian State and Territory Fire Associations, our over-riding aim is to assist volunteer fire fighters and operational support volunteers to protect their communities, representative of nearly 200,000 volunteers.

Member associations of CAVFA include:

  • ACT Volunteer Brigades Association
  • Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades of WA
  • NSW Rural Fire Service Association
  • NT Bushfire Volunteers Association
  • Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland
  • Queensland Auxiliary Firefighters Association
  • SA Country Fire Service Volunteers Association
  • Tasmanian Retained Volunteer Firefighters Association
  • Tasmanian Volunteer Fire Brigades Association
  • Volunteer Fire Brigades of Victoria
  • WA Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services Association

The Council is again fortunate to have close relationships within the sector: an MOU with the Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC), with active involvement in four AFAC working groups, namely Learning and Development, Rural and Land Management, Volunteer Management Technical Group and Work, Health and Safety Technical Group; and affiliate membership of Bush Fire & Natural Hazards CRC. We look forward to continued collaboration across our meetings.

 In addition, the Council has re-signed the MOU with the National SES Volunteer Association, again an opportunity to align with national emergency sector platforms and agendas, as emergency agencies face similar matters. 

CAVFA also met with Minister for Emergency Management Senator Murray Watt’s advisor to discuss a number of matters with the intent of having a face to face with Senator Watt in the near future. Some of the matters included:

  • State and Territory-based inconsistencies regarding Presumptive Legislation Cancers and PTSD
  • Spontaneous Volunteering
  • Discussion Paper – Alternative Commonwealth Capabilities for Crisis Response

A really exciting aspect is the draft CAVFA strategic plan which is well underway, undertaken at the Brisbane AGM. This will provide the framework for our way forward, and will be shared widely in coming months for further refinement.

I am looking forward to working with you all, over the coming period, to build and enhance the work that CAVFA can do for all stakeholders.

Andrew Taylor AFSM ESM
Chairperson – CAVFA