Bursting through the smoke ceiling at writer's group

Vivien Thomson. Photo: SMH.

Vivien Thomson. Photo: SMH.

Let it be known that author, firefighter, farmer and occasional brown snake catcher, Vivien Thomson AFSM, is no wimp.

Furthermore she's the guest speaker at the next Murrumburrah Writers' Group meeting on June 27 at 7pm.

Vivien, who is also a member of the Writers' Group, will be discussing her book "Ashes of the Firefighters", which is about the long term effects of fighting fires and much more.

And in addition she'll be discussing another publication, "What You Wouldn't Believe", which she conceived in collaboration with a number of firefighting colleagues and it's largely a pictorial; day by day account of the January 2003 ACT bushfires.

Vivien who is currently employed as the District Assistant with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, says she's broken the 'smoke ceiling', by constantly being forthright, having a robust outlook, and not being backward in building her own leadership methodologies.

Quotes from "The Ashes of Firefighters" rewards the reader with frank accounts, no matter how perturbing:

"...we got back onto the fire ground. At that point the crew were lined up with hoses and were watching it (the fire) come. We braced ourselves and I remember vividly thinking, this is what it must have been like in the war with people charging at you, but what we hadn't seen was what was coming at us...

"...I needed as much energy and as much confidence as I could find because if you are constantly having your decisions questioned; no matter how confident you are, it is a bit like a cancer, it just starts to erode.

For her outstanding service in a male dominated arena, Vivien was awarded the Australian Fires Services Medal in 2004.

At that time she's one of 12 women out of more than 500 recipients (and the first female in the ACT) to ever have received this award.

All are welcome, entry is $2 for members and $3 for non-members.

The Ashes of Firefighters book will be available and Vivien will be happy to autograph/sign.

Vivien Thomson's talk will be held at the Murrumburrah Court House, Corner of Vernon and Albury Streets, Murrumburrah.

If you wish to reserve seats, require further clarification or wish to learn more about The Murrumburrah Writers' Group, call Robin on 02 6386 2100 and if she's not available you're welcome to leave a message.