For Sue Jack – first female Captain of the Reefton Fire Brigade – helping the community is a value that she takes into every hour of every day.
Alongside her work at the fire brigade, spanning nearly 14 years, and volunteer roles in the community, Sue is Council’s Recovery Centre and Outreach Coordinator.
Having been elected to the position of captain by her peers, Sue said she hopes her captaincy would inspire more females to take up leadership positions
“CFA is a great way to meet people, see places, and be part of your community and to assist your community,” she said
“There’s connectedness and camaraderie, and you can always call on somebody if you’re in trouble.”
“To see women in any leadership roles in the Upper Yarra is really good and there’s now three female captains in that region. For us to stand up and be counted and have an acceptance that we’re in a leadership role is really good and is role-modelling for other women,” she said.
Drawing on her knowledge in emergency management, Sue has overseen Council’s outreach program, which saw the team connect with nearly 500 storm impacted residents.
Like her volunteer roles at CFA and Red Cross, Sue said a big part of the outreach was focused on finding out how Council can improve recovery response, particularly toward our most vulnerable community members
“The experience I’ve learnt from volunteering at CFA and Red Cross benefits my community and it also challenges me and gives me the chance to develop new skills which I can then use in my role at Council,” she said.
“This role at Council gives me the same opportunities to use those skills, as I’m tackling similar issues and continuing to help people.”
Mayor Jim Child acknowledged Sue’s accomplishment and said over 70 percent of council staff live in the Yarra Ranges.
“At Yarra Ranges Council we appreciate the dedication that our staff invest in their jobs to positively help the community, and it’s no surprise that many staff volunteer or contribute to their community in their personal lives too.”
“Often we don’t hear or share the personal triumphs of our staff as much as we really should, but this is a impressive achievement by Sue and is another great example of how so many of our staff are working for their community while being part of that community too.