- Local Champion
One of Victoria’s most innovative and supportive community members, Patricia Bigham is a proud volunteer who has dedicated her career to serving her community through ﬁre safety awareness and wellbeing.
After the devastating Ash Wednesday fires in 1983, Patricia and her colleagues coordinated plans to implement a welfare support system in the Country Fire Authority (CFA).
Recognising the gap in support for those who were affected by the traumatic events surrounding the fires, Patricia and her colleagues developed a welfare system, CFA’s first Peer Support Program. Today, Patricia continues to be the driving force behind the training and development of the Peer Support Program, which now exists in every district across Victoria.
As the first female volunteer member to her district, Patricia overcame the challenges of a male dominated environment and helped create a district which now boasts the highest number of females within the CFA. After serving 35 years, Patricia was awarded a CFA Life Membership for her valued service.
Patricia’s selfless contributions add considerable value to her local community, which is evident throughout her work and continual engagement within the district. In 2008, Patricia was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal for outstanding service to her community, brigade and the CFA.
She has created a safe, respectful environment where individuals can feel confident to discuss their concerns within the workplace. Patricia’s commitment to mentoring and supporting her colleagues is a direct result of her strong will and enthusiasm. Her vision and devotion to the community has played a major role in the establishment of effective peer support programs.
Reviewed 30 September 2019