WOMEN across the Macedon Ranges Shire Council are being offered the chance to learn and practice their skills with a chainsaw.
The Women’s Chainsaw Club will see 10 women in the Lancefield, Benloch and Cobaw townships given the chance to build their skills in using the machines.
They will even carve sculptures.
Mayor Cr Jennifer Anderson said the program was an opportunity for women to build confidence and self-reliance while learning new skills in the process.
“Knowing how to handle a chainsaw has historically been a skill associated with men, so it’s great to be able to challenge this stereotype,” she said.
“The program is open to all women in the areas of Lancefield, Benloch and Cobaw, with preference given to women in higher fire risk areas, single parent families, women in isolation and those experiencing financial hardship.
“I’m proud that council’s part of this initiative, and I look forward to seeing expressions of interest from many women in the region.”
The program has been backed by the CFA alongside course facilitator Angie Polglaze – a chainsaw championship competitor – who said she was excited to bring the event to the region.
“This art form has taken me all over the world, literally,” she said.
“It keeps you strong, it keeps you fit … and there’s always something new to make.
“You’ll walk away from the course with a chainsaw certificate under your belt, skills with carving and a chainsaw, so get involved.”
The Women’s Chainsaw Club Program is an initiative of Macedon Ranges Shire Council, in partnership with the Lancefield Neighbourhood House and Benloch CFA following funding from the CFA Summer Local Initiatives Grants Program.
Meanwhile, a fire track will be constructed in Benloch in an attempt to improve safety for those throughout the region.
The state government’s annual Fire Access Road Subsidy Scheme (FARSS) was accessed to provide the funds for the development of the track which will grant CFA access to small and large fires.
The Macedon Ranges Shire Council township was one of several places in the North West CFA region to be given funding.
CFA Manager Community Safety North West Region David Allen said the scheme supported local initiatives developed between brigades and councils and over the years has seen significant investment across the region in numerous projects.
“The program relies on joint partnership funding between the local municipality and government via CFA,” he said. “It further enhances the strong partnerships between local government and CFA.
“I welcome the successful program work to be implemented within Macedon Ranges and I’m sure it will greatly assist our local brigades and Benloch community.”