International Women's Day


Friday 8 March is International Women's Day.

It’s an important day to acknowledge and celebrate women and their critical role in our lives and community, including organisations like the NSW RFS.

There are plenty of notable examples of women doing amazing things every day in the NSW RFS. Whether it be the frontline during firefighting operations, behind the scenes in logistics and support, leading teams in the field or in the air, driving complex reform and change, or educating and supporting fellow members and their communities - NSW RFS women play a key role right across the organisation and importantly, right alongside their male counterparts.

However, the truth is, when compared to the broader community, women are still under-represented in the NSW RFS. While the rates of female membership are improving modestly, there’s still plenty of room for improvement for us to strike a better balance.

This is especially true in management and leadership, and this is one of the areas the sector is focusing on through initiatives like the AFAC Male Champions Of Change program.

All of us – regardless of gender or background – have a responsibility to ensure our organisation is more welcoming, inclusive and rewarding for women.

This International Women’s Day, I challenge all of our members to stop and think about how we can all make our organisation a better place through improving the recognition of women, supporting women in their work and advancement, and calling out those behaviours and actions which can so often be an obstacle.

A more welcoming and inclusive NSW RFS, which is diverse and reflective of our community, is a better NSW RFS.

Shane Fitzsimmons
Commissioner NSW Rural Fire Service

International Women's Day - Firefighter at NSW RFS Region North Exercise