Why attend WAFA 2023
Curious as to why you should attend WAFA 2023 or send members of your organisation? Following our highly successful 2018 Conference in Wellington WAFA in conjunction with our partners produced a number of legacy documents. These documents include the conference report, outcomes statement and workshop evaluation they give you an overview of some of the topics discussed and learning outcomes and benefits you can expect from attending a WAFA Conference.
‘This WAFA Outcomes Statement is a considered and comprehensive capture of the discussion and conclusions from the 2018 WAFA Conference. I was pleased to be able to attend the Conference and hear firsthand the experiences and challenges facing women in fire services. I have absolutely no doubt, that women in fire services make these vital public institutions more effective, more reflective of the communities they serve and help create a safer work environment for all firefighters. Congratulations to WAFA in seizing the initiative and publishing the outcomes from WAFA 18, so we can all benefit from reading and acting on the considerations made at the time.’
Stuart Ellis, AM
‘We cannot ‘hope’ for change; we need to be deliberate in our actions to bring about the much needed change in equality and equity balance. Hiring and placing leaders who demonstrate this commitment to transform an old oppressive culture into a highly adaptable, high performance culture will need to have transformational Leadership as a core value and belief within each person and within each team. Transformational Leadership which will result in equity for many underrepresented groups will be messy and uncomfortable at first. Let’s just acknowledge from this point forward that we will have to become comfortable with some uncomfortable realities of our past.’
Chief of Fire and Aviation Management at Yosemite National Park
‘This document reflects the huge positivity I felt at the 2018 WAFA conference. It gives services across Australasia the opportunity to embrace the dedication and talent that women bring to firefighting I was completely overwhelmed by the women (& men) who attended the 2018 WAFA conference. This statement is testament to their commitment to supporting services to embrace a diverse and productive workforce to meet the challenges of the future.’
Deputy Chief Fire Officer at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
This Outcome Statement is a deep analysis of the 2018 WAFA Conference, collaboratively developed through a team approach, ably led by Naomi Bailey. The Outcome Statement considers not only what happened in the conference itself and the informal networking around it, but implications for the future. It captures the complexity facing women as they navigate a historically male domain, and the challenges of transforming the sector into one more reflective of our society and our times.
Dr Debra Parkinson
Adjunct Research Fellow, Monash University disaster Resilience Initiative
Manager of Research, Advocacy and Policy.
Women’s Health In the North and Women’s Health Goulburn North East
Reviews from Participants in 2018
LOOKING FORWARD HOW DO YOU BELIEVE THE WAFA CONFERENCE
WILL HELP YOUR CAREER?
Participants responded strongly giving the most detailed responses to this question. One
of the areas highlighted as helpful was a sense of validation of worth within the
workplace and what is possible, which was motivational.
“It has provided me with an insight and a newfound confidence that I can be me
in this industry.”
“Gave me a boost to motivate more women to join firefighting and even to
succeed in everyday life, gave myself a boost in confidence.”
“I have increased awareness of transformation issues and a better sense of my
own agency to champion and achieve change. My research direction and
theoretical approach have now been validated.”
For others, the conference had direct impact on their actions in relation to their careers:
“I am motivated to be heard and advance myself.”
“I have a clear objective. I have a meeting with my AM on the Monday after
getting back, with pathways advice and suggestions. I made the appointment
straight after Kelly Martins ‘Be Brave’ talk.”
“It has already influenced my career, as I had an opportunity to put my hand up
for a role that I am not a 100% fit for which I wouldn’t have done previously.”
There were also responses that outlined the contribution of the conference in relation to
increased networks and connections to support activities.
“I have made so many connections at WAFA and solidified the existing
relationships I already had. I know I have a group of women and men that I trust
to count on for advice and support in the coming years.”
“I am now contemplating having a career mentor. It has also been very positive
in terms of networking”.
“Hopefully with the connections I’ve made, I will be able to move closer to my