The 2018 St. Patrick’s Day fires were devastating to the farmers and communities in western Victoria, including 60 of Fonterra’s farmers.
A review of the situation by Bostocks Creek CFA identified the types of equipment the crew needed to better tackle fires in the future – including a specialised ultra-light vehicle that will make accessing remote and steep areas easier.
Will Bredin, a volunteer firefighter for the Bostocks Creek CFA, says being part of the CFA is very important in contributing to the community.
“The most important thing about the CFA is that the members are local,” he says. “They’re part of the community and they know the area better than anyone else. The St. Pat’s Day fires demonstrated how essential that is.
“Our local members know the roads, the landscape, and where the water is. Their knowledge is crucial to the role the CFA plays – it’s all about members feeling empowered to help their community by having the best knowledge and experience in their local area.
“We are extremely grateful Fonterra could help contribute $10,000 in our efforts acquiring the vehicle we now have in our shed, which is a much needed in this part of Victoria.”
Jozzy Bevin, Fonterra Western Victoria Area Manager, was directly impacted by the fires with her farm located at Naroghid near Camperdown, so she understands the significant role the CFA plays in protecting the community.
“The St. Patrick’s Day fires reminded us just how important the CFA are to the community,” she says.
“We have over 60 farmer partners who were affected by the fires – my family and I included – so when we heard that the brigade was fundraising for a new vehicle to help prevent further tragedies, it only seemed right that Fonterra made a contribution to show our solidarity and support.
“It’s what we like to call Doing Good Together – we’re helping them, help others,” says Jozzy.
Fonterra’s donation will help future proof the brigade so that it can protect its surrounding communities including Cobden, Camperdown, Carpendeit, Jancourt, Glenfyne, Cobrico and Ecklin.
“The CFA’s priority is to protect lives and Fonterra is helping us do that,” says Will.