Jenny Ashby & Associates Pty Ltd
Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board, Melbourne
The Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board Case
Study The cultural change of an organisation.
Fire Safety is a concern for all people living in Australia,
one of the most fire prone areas of the world. The Metropolitan
Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFESB) has a Fire Safety Education
Strategy for people of non-English speaking backgrounds (1997)
to better communicate fire safety messages to ethnic communities
In October 1999, the Australian Multicultural Foundation (AMF)
commenced a Partnership Project with the MFESB's Community Education
The Project involved:
An audit of the organisation in relation to the Strategy's implementation
(this comprised internal interviews / workshops and external
focus groups - Muslim women, ethnic elderly club's representatives,
and ethnic leaders from the Eritrean, Turkish, Spanish &
Arabic speaking communities)
Developing a Communications Strategy
Employment of a Multicultural Liaison Officer (part time for
six months) in the Community Education Department to assist with
implementing Audit findings.
As part of the Project the AMF Project Team (Hass Dellal and
Jenny Ashby) have briefed the Board, Executive, Middle Management
and operational staff on the Audit Report Findings. This has
provided a framework within which the MFESB has endorsed an Access
and Equity Policy and commenced working on a Cultural Diversity
Bionote: Jenny Ashby
In 1990, Jenny Ashby began working as an Ethnic Advocacy Officer
within the Home and Community Care Program with a specific brief
to establish Consumer Forums for the elderly, with particular
emphasis on participation by older people from non-English speaking
backgrounds. This work is documented in "Together we decide:
a manual for consulting with elderly people", 1992.
Jenny's work in local government has included developing the
Multicultural Policy for Fitzroy City Council; developing the
Access and Equity Policy for Brimbank City Council; developing
business networks with Traders Associations and Chambers of Commerce;
and facilitating workplace change as a Compulsory Competitive
Tendering Training Co-ordinator at the City of Sunshine.
Since 1996, Jenny Ashby has operated a consultancy service
undertaking over 35 projects with local government; community
organisations (including Migrant Resource Centres); public sector
organisations (such as The Royal Women's Hospital); and the Commonwealth
Department of Health and Aged Care. She has done significant
work in the area of consumer feedback and consultation; Community
needs analysis, and auditing local Council on the implementation
of Access and Equity Policies.
She currently works as a consultant with the Australian Multicultural
Foundation, particularly on the partnership project involving
workplace / organisational change with the Melbourne Fire and
Emergency Services Board in Melbourne.
Bionote: Sharon Landers
Sharon Landers has had a varied career focused on education spanning
the last twenty years. With a Bachelor and Masters of Education,
Sharon started her career by teaching English and French in a
number of metropolitan and country high schools and adult centres.
Sharon joined the Community Education Department of the Metropolitan
Fire Brigade in 1993 on secondment from the Education Department
and subsequently took on full time employment as the Brigade's
Public Education Officer.
Sharon has responsibility for the Brigade's highly successful
FIRE ED, Primary Schools Fire Safety Education Program, which
sees firefighters visiting over 600 primary schools and 70,000
children annually and RETIRE ED, a program which involves retired
firefighters promoting fire safety among retired groups.
In 1997, Sharon wrote the Brigade's "Fire Safety Education
Strategy for People of Non-English Speaking Backgrounds".
She oversaw the development of "Flames, Better English Through
Fire Safety", a joint educational initiative between the
MFB and Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES) and has
been the Brigade's Project Manager for Safe at Home, a joint
initiative of the MFB and the Royal Children's Hospital Safety
Sharon has been promoting fire safety for people of non-English
speaking backgrounds throughout the Brigade for the past five
years by organising cultural awareness training for firefighters,
supporting the Brigade's NAATI Language Aides, organising activities
and lectures for various multicultural groups and representing
the Brigade at numerous multicultural networks.
Sharon is also a member of the Executive of the Victorian
Safe Communities Network, the Australian Injury Prevention Network
and the Australasian Evaluation Society.
30 min paper