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New executive appointments announced

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01 Nov 2010
CEO and Chief Officer Graham Fountain has announced the appointment of six new outstanding leaders who will form the new executive team to lead the MFB from 6 December 2010.

Announcement from:

Graham Fountain

CEO and Chief Officer, MFB


As a key component of transitioning to a new organisational structure, I have been busily progressing the recruitment and selection process for our new Executive Director and Regional Director positions.  The advertisements for these positions attracted significant interest (both nationally and internationally) and resulted in an extremely high calibre field of both internal and external candidates. Last week I concluded the selection process and I am delighted to announce the appointment of six new outstanding leaders who will form the new executive team to lead the MFB toward its goal of becoming a pre-eminent urban and specialist response fire and emergency service into the future.


The following appointments will all attend a strategic planning workshop to be held on 22/23 November and will then start full-time as the new executive team on 6 December 2010. 


I am pleased to announce the following appointments:


Danielle Byrnes - Executive Director People and Culture

Danielle Byrnes will assume the leadership of the People and Culture functions to align human resources strategy with MFB’s aim of being recognised as a pre-eminent urban and specialist response fire and emergency service within Australasia and internationally.


Danielle Byrnes has over 20 years of HR practice in both the public and private sector, 15 years of which have been at the executive level. She commenced her career in industrial relations in the resources sector.  She has led the Human Resources/Organisational Development function at organisations such as Australian Unity, Department of Premier & Cabinet, Acciona Energy, Western Health and Yallourn Energy.


Russell Eddington - Executive Director Corporate Services

In this new role, Russell Eddington will lead and manage the MFB’s new shared Corporate Services functions of Finance, Asset Management, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Administration and Fire Safety Services business, whilst driving service excellence with high levels of collaboration across all directorates and regions.


Formerly the General Manager Corporate Services with South East Water, Russell Eddington is a highly experienced Chief Finance Officer who also has six years experience as a Chief Information Officer, again with South East Water. With a background in corporate services, Russell is experienced in setting organisational strategies and taking a strong leadership role in their execution.


Peter Rau - Executive Director Strategy and Innovation

Peter Rau will assume leadership of the MFB’s Strategy and Innovation directorate involving the functions of Corporate Strategy, Corporate Performance, Risk Management, Knowledge Management (including Research & Development), Major Projects, Media & Communications, Project Management Office and Major Projects Unit, ensuring all of these key strategic areas align with the organisation’s strategic planning and innovation frameworks.


Previously the Director Operations Support and Deputy Chief Fire Officer at the MFB, the majority of Peter’s career has been spent at the CFA in operational and executive roles before joining the MFB in January 2009. Throughout his career, Peter has established himself as a leader of staff and is well regarded for assisting in the development of innovative strategy.


Shane Wright - Executive Director Emergency Management

Shane Wright is the new Executive Director - Emergency Management, a newly-created role which will assume the leadership and management of the MFB’s Emergency Management team whilst working closely with the two new Regional Directors to ensure the alignment of emergency management strategy, policy, standards, program development and practices with organisational and strategic objectives.


Shane Wright has extensive operational and theoretical background in Emergency Management. Having been a member of the MFB senior operational staff since 1989, Shane has been operating at the senior executive level for the past 9 years, most recently as the Director Capacity Development.


Paul Stacchino - Regional Director North-West Metro Region

Paul Stacchino will assume the leadership and management of the North West Metro Region, a region which covers 628 km2, takes in 13 municipalities and has a population of 2.2 million residents.  In a role which will encompass the development of effective emergency management leadership and service capability to support measurable improvements in community resilience within Melbourne’s NW Metro Region communities, Paul will be responsible for all aspects of the region’s activities and service delivery.


Paul Stacchino brings 29 years of emergency management experience, working in 3 fire agencies in 2 states of Australia and in North America. Previously a CFA Regional Manager in the Barwon Southwest Region, for the past 15 years Paul has held roles in middle and senior management positions in the CFA and in the NSW Rural Fire Service.


David Youssef - Regional Director South-Eeast Metro Region

David Youssef will assume the leadership and management of the South East Metro Region team, a region which covers 468 km2, takes in 12 municipalities and has a population of 1.1 million residents. Working closely with the Regional Director NW Metro Region and the Executive Director Emergency Management, David will play a leadership role in the development of effective emergency management practice and service capability to Melbourne’s SE Metro Region and will be responsible for all aspects of the region’s activities and service delivery.


David is well known across MFB since commencing his career in 1985 and was previously in an Acting ACFO position in Central Zone and more recently advancing MFB’s Marine Response Strategy. Preceding this, David held substantive Commander roles in the areas of Operations and Capacity Development and has undertaken a period of secondment within the Victorian Government.



This is a pivotal time in the evolution of the MFB, and these outstanding appointments mark a significant moment our organisation’s history as it embarks on a significant cultural change agenda. I look forward to welcoming the new team to MFB on 6 December 2010.


For more information contact MFB Communications & Media on 9665 4699 or

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