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The joy of being a Junior leader

Given that Stuart Mill has about 40 residents. CFA volunteer Sheryn Lloyd wondered whether a Junior brigade would be sustainable.

“When we started the Junior brigade it was just my kids and their cousins,” Sheryn said, “but it just snowballed from there.

“They invited their friends and their friends invited others and now nearly five years on, my kids have graduated to seniors and we still have 12 new Junior members this year.

“The Junior leader role is extremely fluid,” Sheryn added. “It’s not a specific role you complete each week.“

Stuart Mill brigade trains with Beazleys Bridge brigade, which means they sometimes have more than 30 Junior members in one place.

“Barry Wiseman and Kevin Haynes, who are also both Junior leaders, train the Stuart Mill and the Beazley's Bridge running teams.

“Barry and Kevin have been with CFA for over 40 years and are amazing at teaching the kids,” Sheryn added.

“Barry said if we got the kids to start up a Stuart Mill team, he would train them. He gives a confidence to the kids that they sometimes don’t have in themselves.

“I’m truly passionate about inclusion. Sometimes with after-school activities, kids with learning difficulties or disabilities are left out. Football and netball, for example, can be selective as it’s all about your level or ability. But with CFA Juniors everyone can participate because it’s not all about how fast you can run or how high you can jump. There are so many activities the kids can be involved in.

“Heading up to the Wodonga State Championships in 2017, l was amazed by the level of abilities included in the competition teams.”

The Stuart Mill Juniors compete in the Junior Championships alongside the Beazley's Bridge brigade each year.

“A huge achievement for the Stuart Mill brigade was winning the 2017 11-13 years aggregate trophy at the State Championships. We also achieved the combined aggregate trophy with the 11-16 age group for that year as well. 

“I get a lot of joy out of seeing the kids progress and achieve. It’s amazing what a little support can do.”


This article has been republished from CFA's Brigade Magazine.  

About VFBV: VFBV is established under the Country Fire Authority Act and is the peak body for CFA Volunteers in Victoria. VFBV works tirelessly to represent, advocate and support CFA volunteers to the CFA Board and management, governments, ministers, members of parliament, councils, instrumentalities, business and the public. Our vision is for Strong Volunteerism, Embraced to Build Community Resilience for a Safer Victoria.

This article is part of our series celebrating women in CFA for International Women's Day.


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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.