Resilient Australia Awards

Submission deadline extended until Tuesday 16 June

The Resilient Australia Awards celebrate initiatives that build whole of community resilience to disasters and emergencies around Australia, as well as images capturing resilience in action. The awards recognise collaboration and innovative thinking across all sectors.

Now in its 21st year, the awards recognise outstanding contributions in each state and territory in six categories: community, business, local government, government, school and photography. The program recognises a wide range of initiatives; with past projects centred on risk assessment and mitigation; education, training and research; and community engagement, as well as response and recovery.

The Resilient Australia Awards is proudly sponsored by the Australian Government in partnership with the states and territories and managed by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR).

About the Resilient Australia Awards

The Resilient Australia Awards is a nation-wide program to recognise and promote initiatives that strengthen community disaster resilience. Since 2000, the awards have showcased innovation and exemplary practice across Australia; celebrating achievements that might otherwise go unseen, and inspiring others to build greater disaster resilience in their own communities.

With the exception of multi-jurisdictional projects, submissions are judged in their state or territory, and jurisdictional winners considered for national awards. The categories at each tier are listed below.

Jurisdictional winners are considered for national awards - project selected as national finalists will benefit from national exposure through a range of communication channels.

Entries in the 2020 awards must relate to projects or initiatives commenced after 1 January 2018 or demonstrate significant outcomes or enhancements since 1 January 2018.

The Australian Government is proud to sponsor the Resilient Australia Awards in partnership with the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience and the states and territories.

Further information on the program structure and submission requirements are contained in the guidelines. 

Nominate a project

Do you know of some amazing resilience in action projects that would make ideal Resilient Australia Award nominations?

Complete our online nomination form here, and AIDR will contact the project team to assist them to submit an applicaiton.

Award categories

The Resilient Australia Awards is a two-tiered program. Submissions are judged in the state or territory they are submitted from, with winners from each state and territory considered for national awards.

State and territory award categories

Business Award

Open to businesses and the private sector including, tertiary colleges and universities.

Community Award

Open to communities, community based or focussed organisations, and non-government organisations.

Government Award

Open to state and federal government agencies

Local Government Award

Open to local governments and local government associations.

Photography Award

Open to individuals and groups.
Submissions will not be accepted without the permission of the copyright holder. 

School Award

Open to all public and private pre-school, primary and secondary schools only.
School-related projects managed by businesses and the private sector should be entered into the business award category. 
School-related projects managed by community groups should be entered into the community award category. 
School-related projects managed by governments should be entered into the government or local government award category. 


Multi-jurisdictional projects

Projects that encompass activity in two states or territories must identify a 'lead-jurisdiction' and the project should be submitted to the relevant category in that state or territory.

Projects that encompass activity in three or more states or territories are considered multi-jurisdictional and may be submitted directly to the national awards categories. 

Projects submitted directly to the national award categories will not be eligible for state or territory awards. 

Guidelines and submission details

Assessment questions

Winning projects will reflect key principles of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience

  1. In 150 words or less, provide an executive summary of your project and its benefits.

    Consider the following questions in developing your response:
    • How would you pitch your project to media outlets?
    • How would you summarise your project for social media posts?
    • Will your executive summary spark interest from the judging panel?

  2. Describe your project or initiative purpose, design and aims.

    Consider the following questions in developing your response:
    • What is the purpose of the project?
    • Where is the project based?
    • Who is involved in the project? Who benefits?
    • What are the achievements and outcomes of the project?
    • Does the project make use of technology? Was this beneficial to the outcome?

  3. Provide specific examples of how the project has supported the community to build resilience to disasters and emergencies. Highlight aspects that make the project sustainable and/or transferable to other communities. 

    Consider the following questions in developing your response:

    • What have the changes in the community been as a result of your project?
    • What evidence can you provide?
    • Has the project been evaluated?
    • Could other communities use your project as a model?
    • How can it be adapted to other communities?

  4. What were the findings and achievements of the project or initiative? 

    Consider the following questions in developing your response:

    • How did the project promote or encourage sharing the responsibility for disaster resilience/community safety among multiple sectors/groups?
    • How does your project reflect key ideas in the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience?
    • How has the community been directly engaged through the project? How has the community responded to the project?

  5. Describe how your project is contributing to an inclusive Australia

    Consider the following questions in developing your response:

    • In what ways does your project engage with and provide benefit to diverse groups within the Australian community?
    • In what ways does your project foster inclusive approaches to disaster resilience?
    • How does your project highlight the needs, voices and achievements of the estimated 1 in 5 Australians with a disability?

People's Choice Photography Award

At the state and territory level, submissions for the Resilient Australia Photography Award are judged through a popular vote (People's Choice), conducted online via the AIDR Facebook pageAll approved photography submissions will be published in a Facebook album, with each 'like' or 'reaction' counted as a vote. The state or territory that the photo was submitted for will not be published. 

At the conclusion of the voting period, the album will be temporarily disabled and AIDR will tally and record the 'votes'. The photo with the most likes/reactions from each state and territory will win its jurisdictions Resilient Australia Photography Award. Once the votes have been counted, the content will be made available again on Facebook, however subsequent likes and reactions will not be considered votes. 

The public vote for the 2020 Resilient Australia Photography Award will be conducted 22 June-7 July 2020.


National Photography Award

The winning photos from each state and territory will be considered for the Resilient Australia National Photography Award.

The National Photography Award winner will be decided by the Editorial Committee of the Australian Journal of Emergency Management (AJEM). The number of votes a photo received during the public vote will not be taken into consideration at the national level. 

The winning photograph will also be considered for the cover of the January 2021 issue of AJEM. 

Previous years

Finalist in the National Resilient Australia Awards