Estrella Melero DELWP

Estrella has worked with Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) for the past 4 years and finds working to make our communities safer and our forests healthier a massive inspiration and motivator to go to work every day.

While the majority of Estrella’s colleagues have been male, she has rarely had to worry about overcoming any biases because she is female.

‘I find FFMVic a very gender equal and inclusive place to work,’ Estrella said.

“However, on the odd occasion I have come across gender bias in meetings where I have been the only female, those who do not know me have assumed I was not the project lead or the senior analyst.

‘I have found over time, as people have got to know me and my work, that I have a good reputation and have built a very positive working relationship with an extensive network of people across all levels of the organisation.’

Estrella makes sure she celebrates other women’s achievements to encourage participation, remove inherent bias, and calls out any bias if and when she sees it.

‘I like to make sure there is positive visibility of women in my team, and I have implemented tools to remove gender bias when recruiting,’ Estrella said.

‘I now work with amazingly talented women in my team in what has traditionally been a male dominated area.’

Estrella is continually inspired by female colleagues, leaders and friends who are successful in their careers while embodying the values she believes in.

‘Throughout my career I have been very lucky to have both male and female managers who have believed in me and helped me grow and improve every day,’ Estrella said.

Estrella has been given two pieces of advice which she has found invaluable during her career.

“Believe in yourself, you can do it” and “don’t put so much pressure on yourself”,’ Estrella said.

‘I think I have now mastered the first one, but still working on the second!’

And Estrella’s advice to women who may be looking to start a career in what might have once been considered a ‘male’ role?

‘I tell women to believe in themselves, to apply for jobs even if they don’t tick every single box in the selection criteria, to give themselves the credit they deserve in interviews, and to celebrate and support other women in their networks.’

You can read the stories of other women in fire who have broken the bias on Our People, Their Stories website.

Page last updated: 07/03/22