Following his Dad’s advice, Josh Mabon joined the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action and Forest Fire Management Victoria as a seasonal Project Firefighter just 2 weeks after finishing his VCE.

It was intended as a stopgap while he decided what he wanted to do with himself. Fourteen years later, Josh is still here – and so is his dad!

Josh’s current role as Workcentre Operations Coordinator in Rushworth involves job planning, training, identifying firewood collection areas, forest works as well as building a great team culture.

“To be a workcentre coordinator at just 27, has been a great experience, I learnt a lot and learnt quickly,” says Josh.

Working with his Dad during an emergency was a special experience. Their taskforce trip away to Wood Points involved assessing hazardous trees, fire suppression track clearing, off siding machinery working on the fire line and all the ‘fun stuff’. Josh has attended every major flood and fire event since he started in 2010.

During his first year as a firefighter, there wasn’t a fire emergency, but there was a flood.

“My first flood emergency in Rochester was an eye-opener to the extent of damage nature can cause”
Josh Mabon, Workcentre Operations Coordinator

The Harrietville fires in 2013 had a terrible impact. “We lost 2 firefighters,” recalls Josh. “Despite the strict safety measures we follow, this incident made me realise how dangerous our job can actually be, and how undervalued we are as an organisation with the great work we do.”

Josh is a part of DEECA’s Peer Support program, a confidential service offered by volunteering staff trained in Psychological First Aid to support our people across all businesses, regions and work centres.

“As a leader, I enjoy seeing people have the confidence to develop themselves and have a crack at something new. Sharing knowledge and upskilling those around you is one of the most rewarding aspects of working in a leadership role,” said Josh.

With 14 years under his belt, Josh is looking forward to more challenges and rewards in future.

“I enjoy the variety of work, the people I work with and visiting remote places in Victoria,” he said.

"I’m currently working on gaining accreditation as a Planned Burns Operation Officer (PBOO) and as a Sector Commander to be able to lead taskforces that play a crucial part in decision-making and tactical fire response.”

Join our ranks as Project Firefighters for the 2024/25 season

Forest Fire Management Victoria is recruiting Project Firefighters for the 2024/25 season from 4-28 July 2024.

This is your chance to make a profound impact, protect our communities, and preserve the beauty of our natural landscapes.

Recruitment window

4 to 28 July 2024


Open to all, with designated positions available for Aboriginal applicants, affirming our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

For more information on the roles and responsibilities, and to join this fulfilling journey, please visit Firefighting & employment.

More Our People, Their Stories

Discover more about the inspiring journeys and tales of our team who 'down tools' to play an important role in bushfire suppression and prevention activities, including planned burning.

Our People, Their Stories invites you to explore these impactful stories and the dynamic nature of firefighting.

Page last updated: 25/06/24