About Us

President Donna Wheatley

Don­na Wheat­ley — Pres­i­dent
Met­ro­pol­i­tan Fire Brigade, Melbourne

Don­na Wheat­ley is a Com­man­der with the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Fire Brigade (MFB) in Mel­bourne. With a pro­fes­sion­al back­ground in Gestalt Psy­chother­a­py, she was work­ing in fam­i­ly coun­selling and advo­ca­cy roles before she joined the oper­a­tional ranks of the MFB in 2003. She con­tin­ued work in pri­vate prac­tice and research for a num­ber of years as her fire­fight­ing career devel­oped. Mov­ing into lead­er­ship as an Offi­cer in 2008 the pos­si­bil­i­ties grew and engaged her aspi­ra­tions for progress with­in the ranks and devel­op­ing influ­ence with­in the cul­ture of MFB.

Over the 15 years of catch­ing trucks” there have been many oppor­tu­ni­ties to explore beyond the day to day of emer­gency response – as excit­ing and chal­leng­ing as some of these respons­es have been. Don­na has worked across many direc­torates at MFB includ­ing Oper­a­tions, Com­mu­ni­ty Resilience, Strat­e­gy and Inno­va­tion, Emer­gency Man­age­ment, the Office of the CEO and Train­ing. These years saw her pro­mote through the ranks; break­ing glass ceil­ings” along the way. An exu­ber­ant and opti­mistic com­mit­ment has deliv­ered many rewards for great effort, includ­ing vol­un­teer work in the employ­ee assis­tance pro­gram and numer­ous com­mu­ni­ty edu­ca­tion pro­grams. Vol­un­teer­ing out­side of MFB in Cam­bo­dia, Peru and the Philip­pines as well as ongo­ing local vol­un­teer roles, and tak­ing edu­ca­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties with the Aus­tralian Insti­tute of Police Man­age­ment (AIMP) and Lead­er­ship Vic­to­ria (Williamson’s Com­mu­ni­ty Lead­er­ship Pro­gram 2015) and exten­sive com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment activ­i­ties with MFB have all added depth to a colour­ful career.

The oppor­tu­ni­ty to men­tor both with­in the brigade and in the com­mu­ni­ty has been abun­dant and grat­i­fy­ing over the years of work­ing with MFB. Hav­ing start­ed out in the 90s employed in the cor­po­rate are­na of MFB, the increased expo­sure to var­i­ous facets of the organ­i­sa­tion has cre­at­ed ongo­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty to work with­in diverse posi­tions with myr­i­ad per­spec­tives on organ­i­sa­tion­al pri­or­i­ty – allow­ing a breadth to the reflec­tion that Don­na brings to her men­tor­ing and work roles. With a diverse ter­tiary edu­ca­tion, includ­ing a Bach­e­lor degree and numer­ous post grad­u­ate qual­i­fi­ca­tions, the thirst for learn­ing has nev­er been quenched. Don­na is grow­ing­ly dri­ven by the under­stand­ing that our great­est lessons come from life and some­times through the most unex­pect­ed teach­ers; with a deep com­mit­ment to explo­ration of the grow­ing edge”, life­long learn­ing is a ten­ant in the com­mit­ment of liv­ing a whole heart­ed life.