2017 Resilient Australia Award winners announced

An integrated bushfire learning program for primary school students, a family affected by Tropical Cyclone Debbie and a proactive animal welfare initiative have been announced as winners of the 2017 national Resilient Australia Awards at a ceremony in Sydney today. 

The awards program is managed by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR), and sponsored by the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department in conjunction with the states and territories, to showcase and celebrate the efforts of individuals and groups within communities across Australia who are leading the way in making the country better prepared for disasters and emergencies.

The City of Mandurah in WA received the National Award for the development of the Equi-Evac Centre Network, a planning and evacuation scheme to protect horses during times of emergency.

The National School Award went to Sydney’s St. Ives North Public School in recognition of Project FireStorm, a holistic and integrated bushfire education program where students worked with the Rural Fire Service and devised innovative solutions for their community.

Summer Mulvey of Summer Rain Photography received the National Photography Award for ‘First Sight of Relief,’ a poignant image that captures the emotion of rescue after Tropical Cyclone Debbie stranded her family in their Airlie Beach home for three days. 

More than 180 entries were received for this year’s awards, with eight shortlisted projects from across the country represented at the ceremony.

Stuart Ellis, AIDR CEO, commended this year’s winners on their innovative approaches to helping Australia become a stronger and more resilient nation.

“I wish to congratulate the City of Mandurah, St. Ives North Public School and Summer Mulvey on their well-deserved recognition in the 2017 national Resilient Australia Awards. Their work showcases the impact and value of creativity and collaboration in our communities.

“Their stories are valuable for all Australians as we seek to be more prepared for emergencies, and more resilient as a nation.

"It is my hope that these initiatives inspire others and promote ongoing knowledge sharing.”

AIDR recognises the importance of acknowledging the people who are making an impact in empowering communities to enhance their preparedness and ability to recover from emergencies.

2017 Resilient Australia Award winners

Resilient Australia National Award

  • Winner: Equi-Evac Centre Network (City of Mandurah, Western Australia)

The Equi-Evac Centre Network is an evacuation planning project designed to assist the equestrian community in managing and protecting horses in times of disaster. The successful outcomes of this project included raising awareness and empowering community members to care for animals in emergencies, and, informing local government emergency management and animal welfare plans. The project was funded by the 2016/17 All West Australians Reducing Emergencies (AWARE) program and facilitated by the City of Mandurah.

  • Highly commended: Flooded Road Smart Warning System (Logan City Council, Queensland); Emergency Ready Communities (City of Wyndham and City of Melton, Victoria).

Resilient Australia National School Award

  • Winner: Project FireStorm (St. Ives North Public School, New South Wales)

The St. Ives North Public School Project FireStorm addressed educational outcomes of the K-6 NSW syllabus for the Australian Curriculum with emphasis on geography and science. The project supported an integrated approach to teaching and learning about bushfires through the use of problem-based learning strategies, and was implemented with support of the NSW Rural Fire Service. The project is now used as a case study to support teachers to deliver bushfire education across the state.

  • Highly commended: Rebuilding Dunalley Primary School after the 2013 fires project (Dunalley Primary School, Tasmania); Strathewen Education Partnership-Claymation (Strathewen Primary School, Victoria).

National Photography Award

  • Winner: First Sight of Relief (Summer Rain Photography, Queensland)

Summer Mulvey captured this poignant image after Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall in Airlie Beach this year. Her family were stranded for three days without power or means of contacting loved ones. The photo depicts Summer’s children looking on hopefully as the wreckage is finally cleared and access restored to the outside world.

  • Highly commended: Bushfire-Ready Neighbourhoods in Action (Peter Middleton, Tasmania).

Read the media release from the Office of the Minister for Justice

More on the 2017 winners and finalists

Learn more about the Resilient Australia Awards program