When SGWN Committee Member Tina Milne attended the Suffrage Day celebration breakfast in September, she was not expecting to be empowered to change her career.

Naomi Ferguson, IRD Commissioner was the guest speaker on the day and she spoke about challenging ourselves and our work environments. That advice had an impact on Tina. The words from Naomi's speech that particularly resonated with her were, "When women apply for a job, they will only apply if they feel qualified to do so. When men apply for a job, if they like the look of it, they will apply regardless of their qualifications.”

Grabbing the bull by the horns, Tina soon found a job opportunity that came up which she 'liked the look of,' applied for it, and was shocked when she was eventually offered the position.

Tina says, "I have been working in health for my entire career,  first as a registered nurse within hospital and community settings and, for the last 17 years, within Corrections.  It was when my role as a Welfare Coordinator/Wellness Advisor came along that I found a hat that fits me perfectly.

Taking on the next adventure

My new adventure is still within the realms of wellness, but instead of a Coordinator/Advisor I am now facilitating psychological wellbeing workshops to the volunteers within the Fire and Emergency Service."

As a Committee Member of SGWN, Tina says "it is interesting to note that in the last 75 years 3% of all career firefighters and 15% of volunteer firefighters are women. Incredibly, that means only one woman is assigned to a station or crew."

Fire and Emergency outlined its objective to have more diversity in firefighters in 2019, with recruitment campaigns revised to capture more interest from women. Careers in the service offer much more diverse options than just firefighting. The region's Te Ihu Women’s Advisory Network has hosted several events to help engage interest in the careers available.

In 1981, Anne Barry became the Commonwealth’s first female professional fire fighter. Recently, she gave a presentation to some of the female leaders at the National Women’s Network at National headquarters. She told attendees, “One thing I’ve always believed in is to fight for what you believe is right and never give up.”

Tina says she is looking forward to meeting many inspirational women in her new role and encourages others to attend SGWN events because... "you never know where they will lead you!"

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