Neville Goddard has been a volunteer member of Diamond Creek Fire Brigade as an operational firefighter for more than 30 years and a member of the CFA for over 35 years. Joining the Country Fire Authority (CFA) peer support program was a logical extension of Neville’s passion for volunteering, which was a natural part of life growing up in a small country town where there’s a culture of the local community supporting itself.
Neville had been a volunteer telephone counsellor with Personal Emergency Service/Crisis Line/Care Ring for many years and became aware of the CFA Peer Support program around the time the telephone counselling service ceased operating. The CFA Peer Support program has been an ideal way to bring together a passion for the CFA and a personal interest in mental health and wellbeing. CFA Peers are very clear that Peers are not counsellors, but the skills and attributes are transferable.
Neville also participates in Firefighter Stair Climbs to raise awareness about mental health generally with a focus on emergency services in particular; to raise funds for organisations that support mental health, again with a focus on the emergency services; and to emphasise the strong association between physical activity and mental health.
In December 2022, Neville gained employment with Neami National in a Peer Support Lead role at the Whittlesea Mental Health and Wellbeing Local Service, the appointment being largely on the back of the CFA Volunteer Peer Support Coordinator role.