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VFBV Board

VFBV Board


Samantha Collins
State President

Samantha Collins first joined Bacchus Marsh Fire Brigade as a junior and since then has served as a firefighter and BMT member at Bacchus Marsh and Maryborough.

A secondary teacher and mother of three, she is also a volunteer lifesaver and developed a special program on the emergency services for year 9 students.

As a student, Samantha worked as a Project Firefighter for NRE and has since been a regular member of Strike Teams with her Brigade.

Samantha has a strong interest in the development of youth, volunteerism to serve coming generations and the broadening of volunteer roles in CFA.

Samantha joined the Board in October 2015, was elected State Vice President in 2017, and elected State President in June 2022.


Andy Cusack

Andy Cusack AFSM
State Vice President 

Living in a farming district in the state’s far South West, Andy Cusack joined the CFA initially to serve his local community. Since 1977, he has been a long serving Brigade Secretary, Lieutenant and Group Officer.

As the manager of a forest industry training organisation, Andy Cusack has a passion for operational training and worked on the development of training grounds as a member of the State Training Grounds Committee.

An endorsed Level Three Incident Controller, he has undertaken extensive intra and interstate deployments with CFA. The standout experiences of his CFA career include serving as a Strike Team Leader during the 2009 fires and working as an Operations Officer on deployment to Sydney in the early 2000s.

Andy Cusack’s wife and son are both dedicated CFA volunteers, and his ambition is for all volunteers to be properly respected for their skills and commitment, by CFA and the community.



Libby Hay

Libby grew up in country Western Australia, where her Dad was heavily involved in the local volunteer bushfire brigade. Having always had an awareness of how important volunteer fire brigades are to local rural and regional communities, life came full circle a few years ago when she joined the Barwon Heads Fire Brigade as an operational member. Barwon Heads is a classification 4 Brigade located in District 7.  

Libby is also the Brigade’s community safety coordinator and a member of the Bellarine Group Community Safety Committee.

Libby’s professional background is in strategic communications with many years’ experience working in the private sector. It is this expertise she is looking forward to bringing to the Board of the VFBV.


Graeme Jilbert

Graeme Jilbert
Board Member

Graeme has been a CFA member for 45 years, serving in a number of brigade roles including Lieutenant and Secretary.  He is the current Chair of the CFA and Brigades Donations Fund and has served as a Deputy Group Officer in his local area.

In his other profession , Graeme runs a family-owned plumbing and gas fitting business, and in the community he has served ten years on the Swan Hill Primary School Council as President and is a member of Lower Murray Water Customer Consultation Committee.

Graeme is a second generation CFA volunteer and has passed on the family tradition.  His father was a past President of the VUFBA, one of the associations that merged to form VFBV, and one of Graeme’s sons is a Lieutenant with the Swan Hill Fire Brigade.

Graeme is appointed to the Board as one of the State Council delegates.  


Coming Soon

Bill Maltby
Board Member 

Competitions brought Bill Maltby to the CFA as a junior when his father was a volunteer at Taradale. 

Since then he has been a competitor, an official and in recent years a member of the Urban Competitions and Rules Committee.

He has clocked up 35 years’ service as a CFA volunteer, fighting the Ash Wednesday and Black Saturday fires, and becoming Captain of the Castlemaine Fire Brigade.

With 10 years services on the Castlemaine City Council, Bill was the City’s youngest Mayor at the age of 26.

He was a Vice President of the Victorian Urban Fire Brigades Association when the two associations merged to form VFBV, and has served as VFBV’s Vice President (Urban).

Bill Maltby says it is vital that the right decisions are made on integrated brigades; making the best use of volunteers to keep them skilled and engaged, while supporting them with staff wherever needed, including through seasonal and day manning.


Howard Smith
Board Member

Howard a CFA volunteer for over 40 years, has been a VFBV State Councillor since 2014 and a Brigade delegate to District Council 24 for 35 years.

A qualified L2 Incident Controller and qualified Situation Officer, Howard as the former Brigade Captain led a small rural fire brigade in its endeavours to obtain a Class 3 Brigade status with a growing township and a large freight, distribution, warehouse and logistics hub on the outskirts.

Now retired, Howard feels he has the time to commit and contribute at the Board level, in representing and advocating for volunteers on VFBV’s priority issues under the current environment.

Howard is appointed to the VFBV Board as one of the State Council delegates.


Mandy Straw 
Board Member 

Mandy is an active CFA volunteer with 25 years’ experience.   Mandy is a member of  Gazette Fire Brigade in District 5, having previously also been a member of Toolern Vale Fire Brigade in District 14.  Mandy is currently the 1st Deputy Group Officer for the Mount Rouse Group and the Chair of the District 5 Health, Safety and Environment Committee.

Mandy is also an endorsed Strike Team Leader and holds both Bushfire and Structure firefighting qualifications and is involved in the District 14 Incident Management Team training forums.

Outside of CFA, Mandy is a registered nurse with post graduate certificates in Agricultural Health and Medicine and Remote Area Health, and is currently undertaking further study to become a Nurse Practitioner.  Mandy is also a member of the Gazette Land Action Group and has previously been a volunteer Ambulance Community Officer and a Landcare President. 



Greg Walcott
Board Member

Greg has a wealth of CFA experience and has been an active firefighter for 47 years. He has served as Captain and 1st Lieutenant of the Telangatuk Fire Brigade in District 17 as well as Group roles with the Jilpanger Group. Greg has recently moved to District 5, where he intends on transferring to the Wangoom Fire Brigade. He is currently serving on the District 5 DPC as a member of the District 5 HQ Brigade.

Greg has a long history with the Association, having previously served as District Council President and State Councillor of the then Region 17 for the Rural Association (VRFBA), and is currently the VFBV State Councillor for District 5 along with Malcolm Bishop.

In addition to his extensive Association and CFA history, Greg also brings a wealth of knowledge from the private sector (mining and agriculture) as well as considerable community leadership experience in a range of organisations. Greg also has extensive Board experience, having served as a Director with the South West Institute of TAFE, and is a current sitting Board member for the Western District Health Service, as well as serving on the Board of the National Centre for Farmer Health.



Darren Wallace
Board Member

Darren first joined the Trafalgar fire brigade to help out the competition team and has remained a valuable operational firefighter since 1991. Holding positions of Captain, Lieutenant and Secretary at brigade level and Deputy Group Officer within Baw Baw Group.

A qualified Mapping Officer, Staging Area Manager and Sector Commander, Darren sees his future with CFA as a mentor to help develop the future CFA leaders and in working within Incident Management Teams.

Darren’s professional background is in Surveying and Geographical Information Systems within the public sector primarily focussed on Asset Management and life cycle costs.

Darren is an experienced Local Government Councillor at Baw Baw Shire and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course, skills he intends to bring to the VFBV Board table.


Danielle Watkins 
Board Member 

Danielle started as a CFA member with the Beaconsfield Fire Brigade in District 8 and is a now a member of the Warragul Fire Brigade in District 9. 

Danielle is passionate about diversity and inclusion within CFA and is the Chair of the South East Region’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and is currently establishing the Districts 9 an 27 Women’s network as well as putting together a women’s running team to compete in the rural championships.

As a qualified Speech Pathologist, Danielle, works with children and members of the community with disabilities in her own practice.  Danielle also has a passion of sport and sailing and has been a national and international sailing judge at major competitions including the 2016 Rio Paralympics.



Read 91485 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 November 2023 16:25
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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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