2017 Resilient Australia Awards

National Award

Equi-Evac Centre Network
City of Mandurah

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 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

An initiative of Logan City Council in Queensland, the Flooded Road Smart Warning System project saves lives by reducing the risk of vehicles being driven into floodwaters, through innovative low cost automatic warning signs powered by recycled laptop batteries. The project was designed and delivered with assistance from Griffith University students and in partnership with not-for-profit social enterprise Substation 33. Substation 33 provides training and support to disadvantaged Logan residents through an e-waste recycling business.

Emergency Ready Communities
City of Melton/City of Wyndham

A collaborative effort across the City of Melton and City of Wyndham, this project recognises the fundamental role of social capital and social resources in building disaster resilient communities. The project engaged a broad cross-section of community representatives to evaluate community resilience across four key indicators: connectedness within a community; level of risk and vulnerability; procedures that support planning, response and recovery; and availability of emergency resources. The project developed leadership and community ownership; 11 resilience projects were developed by community leaders. The Emergency Ready Communities Forum, a key component of the project, was published in the Australian Journal of Emergency Management July 2016 edition.

National School Award

Project FireStorm
St. Ives North Public School

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

The project 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. Project FireStorm is now used as a case study to support teachers to deliver bushfire education across NSW.

Highly commended

Strathewen Education Partnership-Claymation
Strathewen Primary School

Strathewen was one of many communities affected by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, In 2016, Strathewen Primary School worked with the Arthur's Creek/Strathewen Country Fire Authority (CFA) to deliver a program related to bushfire risk, which focused on helping children to ‘love where they live’ once again. Part of the CFA's Survive and Thrive program, this project used Claymation video to creatively engage students about fire behaviour and the risks of living in a high fire danger area and encourage them to think about ways of reducing and managing these risks.

Rebuilding Dunalley Primary School after the 2013 Fires Project
Dunalley Primary School

In 2013 the town of Dunalley in Tasmania was devastated by bushfire that destroyed the local school, police station and bakery. The community rallied together to rebuilt a fully functioning temporary school in approximately 40 days, ready for occupancy by the 120 students and their teachers only two days after the scheduled start of the 2013 school year.

National Photography Award

First Sight of Relief
Summer Rain Photography

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, without power and isolated from friends and family. 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 Fire Service

Peter Middleton's photo depicted the Lachlan community in Southern Tasmania, engaged in round 1 (2014-16) of the Tasmania Fire Service Bushfire-Ready Neighbourhoods program. The image captures a hands-on community resilience activity led by the local brigade depicting how a fire can take hold.