Rural Fire Service Queensland welcomes new Advisory Committee

Minister for Fire and Disaster Recovery and Minister for Corrective Services The Honourable Nikki Boyd
  • Inaugural Rural Fire Service Advisory Committee established under new legislation.
  • Ten volunteer members including a representative of the Rural Fire Brigade Association of Queensland and a First Nations representative will join four RFSQ senior officers.
  • The committee will advise the Chief Officer on strategic priorities including operations, fleet and equipment, training and development, and membership.

More than 230 years of combined experience and expertise will help guide the work of the inaugural Rural Fire Service Advisory Committee.

The Committee includes volunteers from across Queensland to advise the Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) Chief Officer on matters relevant to rural fire brigades and volunteer members.

The inaugural Committee is made up of 10 volunteer members, Acting Chief Officer Ben Millington, South Eastern Region Deputy Chief Officer Karen Hodges AFSM, South Western Assistant Chief Officer Wayne Waltisbuhl and Central Area Manager Fiona Quirk.

The Rural Fire Service Advisory Committee will be the peak consultative committee working with the RFSQ Chief Officer.

The volunteers on the committee are:

  • Northern Region – Jim Besgrove AFSM from Rangewood Rural Fire Brigade, David McConnell from Tinaroo Rural Fire Brigade,
  • Central Region – Craig Smith from Aldershot Rural Fire Brigade, Colin Weeks from South Ulam Rural Fire Brigade,
  • South Western Region – Barbara Ryan from Ravensbourne/Perseverance Rural Fire Brigade, Sally Rowen from Broadwater Amiens Rural Fire Brigade,
  • South Eastern Region – Matthew Walker from Coomera Valley Rural Fire Brigade, Fabian Stangherlin from Greenbank Rural Fire Brigade
  • Also on the committee are Rural Fire Brigade Association Queensland representative Ian Pike AFSM from Federal Rural Fire Brigade and First Nations representative Chloe Swiney from Northern Region.

The appointment of members will be reviewed annually and a member will be able to serve for a maximum of two years.

The Committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting in early July.

As stated by the Minister for Fire and Disaster Recovery Nikki Boyd:

“Congratulations to all members of the Rural Fire Service Advisory Committee.

“The establishment of this committee is testament to, and true acknowledgement of, the integral role RFSQ volunteers have, as well as their enormous dedication to their communities.

“This committee will be an important mechanism for volunteers to have their voices heard and share their expertise to inform decisions across the service.

“Alongside the RFSQ management, these volunteers bring significant personal and professional experience to the committee. Their diverse experience covers the broad range of qualifications and capabilities within RFSQ which will be invaluable to the committee’s work.”

As stated by Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) Acting Chief Officer Ben Millington:

“I am extremely grateful for the interest shown by volunteers who nominated for this important role.

“The Committee will be a valued sounding board on matters regarding enhancing the capability, culture and operations of the RFSQ and championing key activities.

“The volunteers’ insights, experience and wisdom will help to inform the way forward for RFSQ and our services to Queensland communities.

“The committee’s membership captures more than 230 years of collective knowledge, expertise and wisdom which will be drawn on to guide decisions that enhance the operations and culture of the RFSQ.”

As stated by inaugural committee member Matthew Walker, Coomera Valley Rural Fire Brigade:

“It is an honour and privilege to be named as an inaugural member of the Rural Fire Service Advisory Committee.

“I am representative of the volunteers on the committee with many years of service to RFSQ and their communities.

“This is an important opportunity to bring what we know as the issues, challenges and opportunities to the table and enhance operations across the state. We want to contribute to building a strong organisation that is trusted and relied on by the community.”.

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