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Where am I and what hat am I wearing today?

Every time I write a CEO blog, I use the same phrases about being busier than we ever have been before and I think I’m starting to sound like a broken record.


While this is still 100% true, and our last month since I last wrote a CEO Blog has been one of our busiest on record, I decided to ask all of our senior staff to come to our senior team meeting last week prepared with one sentence to describe the previous month. They didn’t know that this was purely so I could garner inspiration for a different way to describe how busy our last month was which resulted in some very colourful descriptions but the one that resonated with me the most came from our Assistant Curator Ella who summed it up perfectly – “where am I?”


Not only have I felt all over the place but it’s hard to remember what hat I’m wearing each day or in fact each hour!


In the last month we’ve finished up at the Easter Show and Hawkesbury Show where our heritage and admin staff are required to work in a retail capacity to facilitate sales at our pop-up shop and they must also put their best foot forward as our leading engagement staff to promote the Museum and drive visitation back to the Museum.



Our team have also been on site for the official opening of the renovated Wentworth Falls Fire Station, and we hosted a visit from the AFAC Fleet group. Thus, the team went from leaving their desks behind to attend the various shows to being absent from their desks to don their office attire and represent the Museum and all of the heritage work we do as part of our role as official heritage partner to FRNSW.

AFAC Fleet ground visit the Museum of Fire, April 2024.
Junior Caretaker's Day, 22 April 2024.

Also, in the Museum during the school holidays were lots of vacation care visits and also social group visits which our team skillfully guided and facilitated the visits of to ensure all guests had a great time while at the Museum!


Rounding out the activities for the last month was our Junior Caretaker’s Day which once again took our heritage team away from their desks as they donned gloves and spent a day in the sunshine promoting Earth Day. This is now the third year that the program has been run which was inaugurated after a small grant from the Jane Goodall Foundation, Roots and Shoots back in 2020. To learn more about the day visit the event page.


Saturday 4th May was St. Florian's Day and I joined Fire and Rescue personnel, along with our Curator Ben, at No. 1 City of Sydney for a ceremony paying tribute to those firefighters & civilians who have gone above and beyond to help those in need.


While most people know about St. Florian's Day, many people don't know much about who St. Florian was or why he is acknowledged today. St. Florian is the patron Saint of Firefighters so today, just as we do every day, we pay tribute to firefighters past and present who serve to protect the community; but do you know the story of the man himself?


Born around 250 AD in what is now Austria, at the time it was a Roman city, he made his way up through the ranks of the Roman army. As part of his duties, he was responsible for organising fire brigades, specifically for the creation of an elite group of firefighters established from the ranks of the military. It is important to remember that Rome was still reeling from the impacts of the Great Fire that had occurred in 64AD. Living at a time when Christians were persecuted by the ancient Romans, Florian was sentenced to be burned at the stake when it was discovered he was supporting Christians in his area. Unafraid, he told the soldiers sent to execute him that he wasn’t scared of the fire so apprehensive of his words the soldiers drowned him instead. In 1184, Florian became the patron saint of Poland and has since become the Patron Saint of Firefighters, chimney sweeps and brewers.



The activities don’t stop as we enter May though! First up is FRNSW Open Day which is even bigger than ever at the Museum! If you’ve attended Open Day in the past then what we have on offer this year will blow your socks off! Check it out and plan your visit!


Fire Engine rides are also being held this month on Sunday 26th May.



Our volunteers will be getting back out and about with our fire engine parade fleet on Saturday 1 June 202 and we are asking YOU to help us pick our parade route! Would you like a drive-by or visit from our team? Follow this link to nominate your location or site. Are you a school or community group that would love to have a 30 minute visit from our vintage fire engines? Get your nomination in before Sunday 19 May to be considered!


While all suggestions are welcome there is a limit to how far the parade can travel and space for parking/turning around multiple vehicles will also be considered. At least two locations will be selected if reasonably feasible to attend each on the same day. This event is weather dependent so may be cancelled up to 24 hours before the event if adverse conditions are expected.


Our heritage team have lots of projects on the go at the moment and we need your help! We are currently seeking photographs and stories for an upcoming CFU exhibit as well as copies of old graduation programs. If you can help or know someone who can help please contact the Heritage Team by emailing heritage@museumoffire.com.au



I can’t finish this blog without sharing a sneak peek of a social media post we’ll be sharing tomorrow! On Wednesday 8 May we will join in celebrating #ReceptionistsDay

Front of House Co-Ordinator Cameron S. and Executive Assistant to the CEO Kate working hard at their desk!

While we don’t have dedicated receptionists, we do have staff who work diligently behind our reception desk in our admin office as part of their daily duties. We thought we'd help you put faces to the names you mostly speak with when you call the Museum. Say Hi to Kate (Executive Assistant to the CEO) & Cameron S. (Front of House Co-Ordinator). They’ve had their work cut out for them lately as we grapple with phone line difficulties, but they’ve handled it like troopers and are busy answering and returning your calls as quickly as they can as well as answering online inquiries. Our office would not function without them!


-Blog by CEO Belinda McMartin

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