Ensuring a strong volunteer workforce

Statement of Intent

The Country Fire Authority (CFA), Life Saving Victoria (LSV) and Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) provide essential services for Victorians through their roles in emergency management. It is important to acknowledge the unique and vital role that our volunteers play in preventing, responding to, and assisting our communities to recover from emergencies.

We are committed to leading vibrant, dynamic, and sustainable volunteer-based organisations that build on their proud history of service to Victoria. As leaders, we will continue to foster local partnerships within the communities we serve, to grow the number of volunteers from diverse cohorts, drive positive behaviours in our organisations and better represent the Victorian community. We strive to ensure we are welcoming, supportive, and inclusive, and give back to our volunteers, strengthening the role they play in helping others. 

We are committed to ensuring the strength of our volunteer workforces, so they are best placed to support the lives of individuals and communities. We recognise that attracting and retaining exemplary volunteers relies on providing a strong culture, healthy physical environment, quality equipment, clear policies and guidelines that promote physical and psychological safety, access to training and development opportunities, and fair and consistent recognition programs. Together, we will identify improvement opportunities for volunteer attraction, retention and engagement through a diversity and inclusion lens, utilising an approach reflective of the geographically dispersed nature of our volunteer workforces.  

We have agreed to a set of common behavioural standards that, in conjunction with our agency-specific activities, will continue to foster a positive workplace environment where all members across our sector are treated with dignity and respect. At a minimum, these standards include: 

  • acting with integrity at all times, 
  • being courteous, fair and respectful, 
  • being truthful, open and honest, and 
  • working cooperatively in inclusive teams with other members, officers, staff, visitors, each other and members of our community. 

These standards complement existing organisational values and codes of conduct in place across our agencies.  

As the CEOs of CFA, LSV and VICSES, together with the Emergency Management Commissioner and our respective boards, we are committed to working across our organisations to embed a culture that encourages all to speak up and create better, safer workplaces. We are committed to championing opportunities, calling out existing challenges and creating meaningful and lasting change through collaboration. We will also continue to increase the diversity of our volunteer workforces, providing essential services for Victorians in response to emergencies, in partnership with the community.

Natalie MacDonald
Chief Executive Officer
Country Fire Authority

Catherine Greaves 
Chief Executive Officer 
Life Saving Victoria

Stephen Griffin 
Chief Executive Officer 
Victoria State Emergency Service

Andrew Crisp 
Emergency Management Commissioner
Emergency Management Victoria

Download the Statement of Intent 

Ensuring a strong volunteer workforce (PDF 692KB)