Why Girls on Fire?

With a focus on confidence-building programs centred on safety, teamwork, respect and inclusion, Girls on Fire inspire young people to take ownership of their role as a positive force for change within the community. As well as increasing diversity representation and inclusion in the fire and emergency sectors, and greater visibility of Indigenous culture’s rich contribution to Australian bushfire and natural disaster management.  

How we do it 

Girls on Fire runs a series of school programsurban girls fire campscultural inclusion campscommunity engagement and advocacy activities throughout the calendar year. 

We work with valued partners across the education, employment and justice system. We also engage with remote, regional and metropolitan communities and the emergency services sector. Drawing on volunteers from emergency services, youth-related sectors,
all kinds of service-based volunteers, and even past camp participants, Girls on Fire brings virtual, in-person and residential camps to regional, remote and urban Australia.

Evidence-based and practical approach

In 2015, founder Bronnie Mackintosh’s was a recipient of the Churchill Fellowship award. Her aim was to promote and increase numbers of women and ethnically diverse people in Australian Fire Agencies. This amazing opportunity saw Bronnie visit multiple countries and learn from other fire services about female recruitment strategies. 

Whether meeting the challenges posed by austerity to better enable community outreach, bridging the diversity gap through reflecting diverse cultures, or introducing new skills to the firefighting and disaster management, women were playing a vital role in strengthening their fire services. 

It was also during this tour where Bronnie experienced the benefit of American girls fire camps firsthand. 

From here, Girls on Fire has worked with Monash University to study, articulate and grow our approach to education in 2018. Matching theoretical works with practical application, Monash’s participation included measuring participant learning and responses, attending camps, and investigating educational outcomes. 

Girls on Fire welcomed Monash University as our research partner in 2022. 

Throughout 2022, Girls on Fire worked Dr Karen Lambert from the School of Curriculum Teaching and inclusive Education in the Faculty of Education, Monash University to grow our capabilities with the Girls on Fire programs.