On Saturday morning I was very privileged to attend the annual blessing of the emergency services fleet near the offices of the City of Whittlesea. This was a fantastic event brought on by the City of Whittlesea to acknowledge the work of volunteers and permanent emergency services workers in the police, in the State Emergency Services and, particularly, in the Country Fire Authority. I was joined there by my colleague and friend, Danielle Green, the state member for Yan Yean, and also a number of councillors including Councillor Sam Alessi, who in 1997 initiated this practice on behalf of the community, and Councillor Mary Lalios.
It was particularly important, as we go into what may be a difficult fire season in our part of the world, to acknowledge the work of those who have been contributing to fighting the fires in and around the Lancefield region, many of whom were there on Saturday.It was a privilege to acknowledge the contribution of our multicultural communities and the ecumenical nature of this blessing service, attended by many of no religious faith, such as me, and also those of many Christian denominations, the Ba'ath faith, the Sikhs and also the Muslim community. What we saw was the city of Whittlesea at its very best, acknowledging volunteers who do so much to keep our community safe and coming together in preparation and in harmony, looking to difficult times ahead with confidence that we will get through them.