Ashes of the firefighters
"Ashes of the Firefighters' is a book that documents the journey of nine people after experiencing a major bushfire event.
Her passions are firefighting and the recovery process and women in Agriculture
Ring of Fire
Dianne Thompson has produced a book of extraordinary images.  her photographs are more than a historical record.


About the Author - Vivien Thomson AFSM


Vivien Thomson AFSM FARLF has been a rural fire fighter for over 32 years. Her experience is extensive, she has worked as an incident controller at quite a few major bushfire events, including in the ACT in 2003.

She held several critical positions including being the Senior Deputy Captain and Captain of a brigade and President of the ACT Fire Controllers Group.

 She achieved the highest honour possible, the Australian Fire Service Medal, which she received in 2004 for distinguished service, to the Australian Capital Territory Bushfire Service, as both a departmental and volunteer firefighter, and as a brigade officer. She was the twelfth female overall in Australia to receive the prestigious medal and the first female firefighter in the ACT. 

Other medals she has been awarded are the Emergency Medal and the National Medal, and an International Women’s Day Award, Vivien was also the runner up for the NSW Rural Women’s Award in 2013, Named in the Top 100 Women in Australian Agribusiness. 2014



Vivien has been fortunate to develop a wealth of experiences in rural firefighting so she began writing in 2008 out of frustration one day, and found that she could not stop. The story began to develop when she realised that she could use her experience and that of other fire firefighters to produce a book detailing the journey that fire fighters face after a traumatic event. She is passionate about this subject and realised that there were so many stories that could be shared. When she approached people to become involved in the book, and to share their personal experiences, she was overwhelmed with their generosity, openness and more importantly their trust in her to produce a book that would become a legacy for the future of firefighters recovery.


Local Land Service Advisory Committee – Riverina Highlands

Independent Director – NSW Labor Administrative Committee

Director National Rural Women’s Coalition

Director Australian Women in Agriculture

Southern Ranges Advisory Committee

Director Thomson Coaching Services

President ACT Fire Controllers Group

Captain & Senior Deputy Captain Parks Brigade

Emergency Management Sector Working Group

ACT Volunteer Brigades Association

Secretary ACT Bushfire Council