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Meet Jessica from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services


Jessica Eadie is a volunteer and staff member with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), currently working as a Bushfire Safety Officer. 

“I studied graphic design and animation in South Africa, so my intention was to follow my animation dreams and do that for a living, but I ended up immigrating to Australia in 2010 with my parents and brother,” Jess said. 

“We lived in a bushfire-risk area and the local Rural Fire Service (RFS) brigade held a bushfire awareness day, which Mum and I decided to attend because we didn’t know anything about bushfires. 

“There I met one of my good friends and the people who helped spur on my excitement and love for the RFS and QFES. I was significantly depressed from my move, and the people and volunteering helped me assimilate more quickly into Australia.” 

In March this year Jess attended the Women in Fire Training Exchange South Africa (WTREX SA), a 12-day exchange program focused on prescribed burning in the wildlands and mountainsides of Western Cape. 

“I got so much out of the exchange,” Jess said. “I fell in love with my old country again. I hate to admit, when I left South Africa in 2010, I was glad to be rid of it and had only been back once since moving to Australia. 

“The training team shared so much of their experience and delivered great training packages in fire investigation, prescribed burn planning, mental health in crisis, leadership and so on. 

“I was surrounded by so many intelligent, powerful, strong women who, as time went on, became better leaders, more confident – absolute powerhouses!”

Jess was Highly Commended in this year’s International Women’s Day Awards for her contributions to gender equality at QFES. 

“I work extremely hard to empower the women around me and show that just because we are women, it doesn’t mean we can be limited in our roles and opportunities. I take opportunities or make them happen, like the WTREX program.”

Jess recently became a UNIQ You advisor and will be available online shortly.

“I think this is a great opportunity to represent the RFS and promote what I do within this organisation, and to demonstrate to young women there is a career pathway for them in QFES. 

“This is a way to encourage women to pursue jobs in industries that are underrepresented by women, and it gives them tools to access strong positive female role models in a safe way. It is so hard to find mentors and role models sometimes.  

“We need to do better in empowering women, from when they are young. Change takes time, so we need to start early. 

“What it involves is me giving time to young women, to empower, promote, share skills and knowledge. I look forward to being able to have real conversations, sharing and showing to these young ladies that anything is possible with the right mindset and support.”

Her advice to someone considering joining QFES? 

“Take up every opportunity you can. This job is rewarding in so many ways. But if there are none, seek them out and ask for the opportunities. 

“You are the driver of your own destiny – you get to choose where you want to be and if it means sticking your head out and being a little uncomfortable to achieve amazing things, do it anyway.”