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2018 Resilient Australia Awards: national winners announced

Indigenous fire education for students, Queensland community initiative and female firefighter portrait take out national resilience awards

Winners of the 2018 Resilient Australia Awards were announced today in Brisbane – an Indigenous fire education initiative for students, a striking portrait of a female firefighter and a flexible, community-led approach to disaster preparedness.

A partnership between local government, police and emergency services, Queensland’s My Resilient Community initiative took out the Resilient Australia National Award. The project helps communities work together to develop tailored approaches to disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

Dixons Creek Primary School received the Resilient Australia National School Award for the Firestick project, which saw students learn from local Elders about Indigenous fire management. The initiative helped the broader community heal from the trauma of the 2009 Black Saturday fires. The project was led by Wurundjeri Elders with support from Yarra Ranges Council and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria.

Darwin photographer Navin Chandra received the Resilient Australia National Photography Award for his striking environmental portrait of volunteer fire captain Fleur O’Connor.

“Each project illustrates how creative and collaborative approaches to safety can benefit our communities. I hope these initiatives inspire others and promote knowledge sharing.”

Stuart Ellis AM, AFAC CEO

Resilient Australia National Award

Winner: My Resilient Community (QLD)

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Queensland Police Service and Moreton Bay Regional Council

Through My Resilient Community, emergency services and communities work together using flexible engagement strategies to build resilience to disasters. The project enhances preparedness, response and recovery and helps individuals identify the contribution they can make to community resilience.

Highly commended:

  • First aid in schools: remote Indigenous access project (NT)
    St John Ambulance (NT) Inc.
  • Disaster resilience in social housing (NSW)
    Inner Sydney Voice

Resilient Australia National School Award

Winner: Firestick project (VIC)

Dixons Creek Primary School: A Wurundjeri-led project supported by Yarra Ranges Council and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria

Through the Firestick project, students learnt about fire management from Indigenous Elders. The project helped both the children and wider community recover from the legacy of Black Saturday.

Highly commended:

  • Floodscapes (TAS)
    Invermay Primary School in collaboration with Launceston Big Picture School and The Holographic Lounge
  • Getting bushfire ready at Warrimoo Public School (NSW)
    Warrimoo Public School in partnership with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service Warrimoo Brigade

Resilient Australia National Photography Award

Winner: Dousing the flames (NT)

Navin Chandra

An environmental portrait, Dousing the flames captures the spirit and determination of female firefighter Fleur O’Connor, captain of the Virginia/Bees Creek Volunteer Fire Brigade.

Highly commended:

  • Portrait of a lady (NSW)
    Kellie Mar
  • Cyclone resilience – Whitsunday Water (QLD)
    Troy and Edwina Pettiford