Women in leadership


The increasing role of women in leadership functions has been highlighted recently, from brigade level to senior management.

Collage of the three women featured in article

First female Assistant Commissioner

The NSW RFS has appointed its first female Assistant Commissioner Ms Rebel Talbert, Director of Operational and Mitigation Services and long-standing volunteer, was appointed to the rank of Assistant Commissioner this month.

Assistant Commissioner Rebel Talbert

Ms Talbert commenced employment with the NSW RFS in 2003.In her current role Ms Talbert has led the development of the Service’s Rapid Aerial Response Teams (RART) program, increased the capability of Remote Area Firefighting Teams (RAFT) as well as tripling the capacity of Base Camps and enhancing the Heavy Plant Program to include over 3,000 items of plant on a call-when-needed basis. 

Ms Talbert has also led the enhancement of State Mitigation Support Services (SMSS) to assist volunteer brigades with preparation works for hazard reduction burns and provide logistics and operational support during major incidents.In 2010, Ms Rebel Talbert undertook a six month secondment to the Victorian Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner during the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. During this time she assisted the Federal Bush Fire Warnings Task Force in updating the Fire Danger Ratings scale and led the establishment of nationally consistent warning messages for bush fires.

Ms Rebel Talbert holds tertiary and post-graduate qualifications in emergency management and public communications. In 2013 Ms Talbert was awarded a Commissioner’s Commendation for Service. She has been a volunteer firefighter at the Kenthurst Brigade in The Hills District since 2002.

South West Slopes Zones appoints first female Captain

In September, Louise Livermore was elected Captain of the South West Slopes Support Brigade – the only current female Captain in the Zone.

Captain Louise Livermore

Louise shares her story:“To be the only female Captain in the South West Slopes Zone is a real privilege.“My hope is to see more women become involved in the NSW RFS and work their way up through the ranks. The opportunities are available to everyone and if you have a passion for something, just as I do for the NSW RFS, the sky is the limit.”

All female Hazard Reduction crew

In another first for the South West Slope Zones, an all female crew headed out to conduct hazard reductions at Milvale, near Stockinbingal last month.The experienced members have been discussing ways to involve more women in the Service and carried out a controlled burn in dry grass along the rail line.

Woman with fire hose

Contact Name: Jacqueline Murphy

Contact Phone: 87415480