Women With Flair


 As fire season starts early this year, a new program in the area saw twenty local women embark on a two day course in Wellington.

View the Wellington Times story

Community safety officer for the RFS Orana Team, Kennedy Tourle said that "Women with Flair", a program generously supported by Dubbo South Rotary, had been designed to educate and empower women to help them respond in the event of a bushfire.

20 women took part in the Wellington Women with Flair workshop.


"With bushfires unfortunately women, children and the elderly have the highest level of fatalities identified. They are in the area of community demographic who are going to be carers ," she said, which is why she set about modelling a program similar to South Australia's Fiery Women.

"Preparing to make a plan is not a plan."

"There's an element of complacency that it's not going to happen to me because nothing has happened for the last 20 years."

Local participant Marion Trounce said that everyone went away from the course feeling positive, empowered and with a much better understanding of themselves and appropriate responses should a fire threaten them.

A practical activity took the form of priming and starting a small motor for pumping water; everyone now knows the steps, so if an emergency should occur, the basic procedure is now known.

"The second day encouraged participants to consider activities that could be done to make their properties safer, plan making and evacuation procedures. A specific plan was not completed on the day but all participants are now aware of the procedures required to make a paper plan, and physical plans such as packing evacuation containers, correct clothing for stay and fight and ground preparation should conditions occur. Practical suggestions were also given for storage of important documents, and the digital cloud is seen as a very practical option."

"'Women with Flair' was not about what you should do, the workshops are about what you can do to optimize your own situation, they encourage you to constantly evaluate your own situation and most importantly to recognize your ' trigger' and be able and ready to act."

Participant Vicky Parkes said she felt everyone should do the course.

"Especially women who are at home, when the men are off with a fire they know how to cope," she said.

"It is a fantastic program and it should be well supported."

There were women participating from Curra Creek, Wuuluman, Walmer, Spicers Creek, Stuart Town and Ponto, the facilitator for the day was Allyson Cox assisted by Kennedy Tourle Community Safety Officer with Orana Rural Fire.

Ms Tourle said it was a rewarding feeling knowing that for the fourth program in the region, women had walked away from the course feeling empowered.

The next program is this Friday and Saturday in Dubbo.

Depending on numbers a bus may run from Wellington to Dubbo. To find out more you can contact Kennedy Tourle on 6881 3900 or 0419 988 437.