Promoting and Celebrating Women in Firefighting


The objectives of WAFA are:

  1. To facilitate and support women in taking an active role in defining and shaping the role of women in the firefighting and emergency services industries by promoting the expectations of and contribution by women to the sector.
  2. To provide a vehicle for women, in conjunction with their colleagues in the industry, to:
    • Foster and promote increased understanding and awareness of the contribution and capabilities that women bring to the firefighting and emergency management sector;
    • Create opportunities for frank exchange and discussion of the challenges, issues and opportunities for women in the sector;
    • Facilitate change through solutions and actions cooperatively developed with our colleagues in the sector; and
    • Generate opportunities for the development of knowledge and practical experience in roles of leadership and management.


In 2005, the inaugural Australasian Women in Firefighting Forum (WIFF 2005) was held at the Holiday Inn, Sydney Airport.

Three resolutions were made at this Forum:

  1. A report on the Forum was to be presented to the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC) - completed in 2006;
  2. Another Conference was to be held - Women in Firefighting 2006 was held at Darling Harbour in Sydney in June 2006; and
  3. A professional association was to be established for women in the Australasian firefighting industry.

Consequently, Woman and Firefighting Australasia was incorporated in November 2007.

Since this time the WAFA have been focussing on working as an association and promoting women in firefighting. The conference in 2006 was held in Sydney.

Conferences have since been held in the Yarra Valley in 2010, in Adelaide in 2012 and in Canberra in 2014. These locations were chosen to celebrate the unique experiences of women in these areas and ensure the organisation was available to as many people as possible.

Like many organisations, WAFA is wholly run by volunteers. In 2012 WAFA celebrated two of our most passionate contributers by awarding life membership to Dr Merilyn Childs and Barbara Lewis. A presentation was made at the 2012 conference dinner where both Merylin and Barbara were present to accept.

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WAFA Gender Balance Overview

Posted on 2 December 2015

The Gender Balance Overview of Australasian Firefighters 2015 is a WAFA initiative to establish the current state of... play for all Fire Agencies within Australasia....  

As a base we hope it will encourage Agencies to set statistical objectives for gender balance and, in turn, improve all diversity reporting.

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