Author: Mick Holton

Scientist investigating Australia’s past says Indigenous cultural burning key to controlling bushfires

Nestled beside one of Melbourne’s busiest roads, sits the Bolin Bolin Billabong — a site of immense cultural significance for the traditional owners, the Wurundjeri people.

Part of a once-vast wetland that flowed into the Yarra River, it’s known to them as Birrarung.

It used to be rich in native foods such as waterfowl, fish, eels and plants.

For associate professor in earth sciences and Wiradjuri man Michael Shawn Fletcher, it’s still rich — in priceless data.

His scientific analysis of this muddy waterhole gives an extraordinary window into the past.

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2021 Peer Support Training Opportunity

RED Friday Peer Support Team Training is available for up to fifteen NSW RFS Volunteer Firefighters (fully sponsored by RED Friday).

RED Friday has created a program schedule specifically for NSW RFS Volunteers.

Note: You don’t have to be a member of the VFFA to participate.

The primary focus of the program is the development of the skills needed to provide a reliable internal support system at a Brigade level and a crisis response plan (external support programs) as needed.

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Potential opportunities for improved town and city bushfire protection across Australia

An indepth study by John O’Donnell looks back on all the major house and structure losses associated with major fires and distills the recommendations from these fires into 24 key principles in regards to town and city bushfire protection.
You can download your copy from the story.

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Leadership styles on volunteer firefighter mental health and wellbeing – Research Study

Project title

Exploring the influence of leadership styles on volunteer firefighter mental health and wellbeing.

What does the research involve?

This study seeks to explore the impacts of COVID-19 on volunteer firefighter’s mental health and wellbeing. Specifically, the researchers are interested in whether these changes influence firefighter burnout and engagement in the workplace, and what factors foster positive outcomes during these uncertain and turbulent times. Factors which may improve volunteer firefighter mental health include resilience and exposure to leadership from supervisors.

If you consent to participate in this study, you will complete a brief questionnaire taking approximately 10–15 minutes. The survey begins by asking for your basic demographic information, before moving on to a range of validated scales. For each of these scales, you will respond by indicating how well certain statements describe your current circumstances.


Ashley McCuaig-Walton is a postgraduate student studying psychology at Monash University.

What are the benefits?

The benefits for firefighters who participate in this study include being able to contribute to new and practical research on firefighter mental health and wellbeing from a well-established university. As a small additional incentive, participants who complete the survey would also have the opportunity to enter a draw to win one of four $50 e-gift vouchers. Firefighters who take part in this study also can receive a copy of the results and a summary of the key findings from the study if requested.

How do I get involved?

The online survey has now closed and we thank everyone who participated.

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Understanding Post Trauma Outcomes

As a volunteer firefighter, you may have experienced exposure to many stressful events while carrying out your duties. These stressful events, such as working on dangerous and unpredictable firegrounds during bushfire threats, can have an impact on the way we feel. The ways in which people experience and process their involvement in such events affect many aspects of their lives.

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