In 1979, the Athenree Brigade proposed a remit to the rules at the 100th UFBA Conference which was passed to allow women to be accepted and recognised for operational service. This year marks 35 years since the service of women has been recognised by the UFBA.
An increasing number of women have now completed 25 years service and are being awarded Gold Star medals. In the month ahead we see presentations for Ellen Houpapa from Te Kuiti Volunteer Fire Brigade, June Moody from Clinton Volunteer Fire Brigade and Penny Walker from Featherston Volunteer Fire Brigade. Congratulations to you all.
Women are now firmly established within the Fire Service, thanks to Annie Barry’s fight to join back in the ‘70s. Annie from Auckland led the way for women, fighting her case after being rejected for her desired career as a professional firefighter.
Annie took her case to the Equal Opportunities Commission, to the Human Rights Commission and even to Members of Parliament, winning and being accepted for the recruitment course in 1981. She sailed through the exams and went on to have a successful 20-year career.
There are now approximately 50 female career firefighters and 1,146 female volunteer firefighters.
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