SA Country Fire Service

MEDIA RELEASE

CFS

CFS appoints first female Deputy Chief Officer

17/11/2021

The South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) is proud to announce Georgie Cornish will become the services' second highest-ranking staff member, following the retirement of the current Acting Deputy Chief Officer, Rob Sandford, in December. Ms Cornish will be the CFS' first female Deputy Chief Officer.

Ms Cornish is well-known and well-respected both within and outside the organisation with more than a decade's experience working across government and four years with the CFS. In a competitive field, with interest from around Australia, Ms Cornish was a standout candidate to fill the role.

Currently, Ms Cornish is the Executive Director of Frontline Service Support, overseeing divisions including training, infrastructure and logistics and capability planning; and most recently acting in the role of the CFS Chief Officer.

Ms Cornish previously held the position of Director, Operational Capability and Planning for three years until February 2019, achieving the rank of Assistant Chief Officer, while also acting in many operational roles. She also holds positions on a number of boards, including as a director on the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC).

Ms Cornish led the operational recovery of the 2019/2020 bushfires as the Director of State Disaster Recovery - assisting to deliver more than $9 million of emergency relief funding to communities impacted by fire.

Chief Officer Mark Jones said he was delighted with the appointment.

"Georgie has proven to be a huge asset to our service over the last 12 months and very successfully acted as Chief Officer during my recent absence," Mr Jones said. "She is widely respected in the Emergency Management sector and will add considerable value to the CFS and the State in her new role."

Ms Cornish said she was thrilled to have won the position and looked forward to reinforcing the expertise and proud traditions of the CFS to build a contemporary, inclusive, and thriving fire service.

"It's an honour to be appointed this role," Ms Cornish said. "I look forward to becoming even more connected and collaborating with people and groups to shape stronger and more resilient communities in the face of, and the aftermath of, disaster.

"Bringing more than 15 years of experience across the spectrum of emergency management, including community engagement, operations, policy, and the national security environment, I look forward to continuing to serve the community of South Australia."

The Deputy Chief Officer is directly responsible for ensuring CFS operational readiness for its statutory functions and preparedness, response, and recovery. While also being responsible for overseeing the development of CFS' strategic and business plans, corporate initiatives, and future directions.

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 Government of South Australia