2019 Resilient Australia Awards

National Award


Introduction of State Emergency Service Scout Badge
Sarah Hamilton, Scouts WA

After identifying commonalities between scouting and the State Emergency Service, 24-year-old Sarah Hamilton developed the Scouts WA State Emergency Service Awareness Badge, receiving support from Scouts WA, Belmont Victoria Park SES, the SES Volunteers Association of WA and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. Since its launch in 2018, 500 scouts have received the Scouts WA State Emergency Service Awareness Badge.




Highly commended 

10 Years of NSW RFS Prepare.Act.Survive Campaigns 
NSW Rural Fire Service

NSW Rural Fire Service developed a multi-channel public safety campaign designed to increase risk recognition of bush fire and introduce an awareness of tools available to support preparedness including alert levels, fire danger ratings, and bush fire survival plans. Over the past ten years, the campaign has delivered a significant improvement in preparation and continues to evolve and respond to changing community expectations and the latest research and insights.


NT Emergency Service Flood Safe Short Films
Northern Territory Emergency Service

The NT Emergency Service identified the need for an educational tool to inform Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders about the importance of safety around floods and flood water. The campaign features several ‘flood safe’ short films with narrations in available in English and six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages - Kriol, Arrernte, Kunwinku, Murrinh Patha, Warlpiri and Yolngu Matha.


Special recognition:
Resilient Australia National Significance Award

Originally nominated in the National Award category, these projects were specially recognised as being of exemplary national significance.

Community Trauma Toolkit
Australian National University and Emerging Minds, in consultation with the University of Queensland 

The Community Trauma Toolkit, developed by Australian National University and Emerging Minds in consultation with the University of Queensland, is a comprehensive trauma-informed strength-based approach to educating key workforces and families about infant and child mental health in the context of a natural or man-made disaster. Resources are freely available and aim to fill several gaps in the existing disaster preparedness, emergency management and post-emergency coordination sphere regarding infant and child mental health.


Addressing domestic violence in disasters through implementing National Gender and Emergency Management Guidelines
Gender and Disaster (GAD) POD

Gender issues are known to compound the damaging effects of disaster on survivors. The Gender and Emergency Management Guidelines were developed collaboratively as part of 2016 All on Board project which aimed to reduce the compounding effects of gender on disaster impact through the development of national gender and emergency guidelines to fill a gap in Australian knowledge, policy and practice.


National School Award


A Walk Through Strathewens Fire History
Strathewen Primary School

In 2009, the Black Saturday bushfires killed 27 Strathewen residents, as well as destroying the school and most of the houses in the area. In 2018, grade five and six students from Strathewen Primary school took part in an educational program to get a better understanding of how bushfires happen and how to keep safe.




Highly commended

Connecting the Divide - Swayneville School Mural
Swayneville State School 

When severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie destroyed the main access road into the small rural community of Sarina Range, it isolated residents at the top of the mountain range for 18 months while the road was reconstructed. During that time, a temporary school campus was established so that local children could still attend. To commemorate this unique period in history, the school worked with two artists who guided the children to create a mural, to facilitate recovery and enhance resilience and connection to the events.


When the Fire Met the Sea
Tathra Public School

Following the March 2018 bushfires which devastated Tathra and surrounding areas, year four-six students from Tathra Public School wrote and illustrated a book of poems, recounts, narratives and reflections as an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the events. The book is being sold to raise further funds for the school to support regeneration projects including the rebuilding of gardens, replanting of trees and general improvements to outdoor spaces which were damaged.


National Local Government Award


Sunshine Coast Get Ready Schools Program
Sunshine Coast Council 

In light of the increasing number of natural disaster events occurring in Queensland over the past decade, the Sunshine Coast Council has developed the Sunshine Coast Get Ready Schools Program, aligning to the Queensland Government’s “Get Ready” campaign, aiming to place Queensland as Australia’s most resilient state. The Sunshine Coast Council is committed to improving community resilience, enhancing the ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the effects of disaster events.




Highly commended

English and Emergencies - Lean and Prepare
Hume City Council

The English and Emergencies - Learn, and Prepare is a training package designed to build the knowledge and capacity of English as an Additional Language students to respond appropriately and effectively in emergencies. The impetus for this program arose due to local emergencies, such as industrial fires, as well as increasing risk of grassfires, heatwaves and thunderstorm asthma within Hume City.


Community Champions
Redland City Council 

Redland City Council’s Community Champions program is a joint initiative of the Redlands Coast Southern Bay Islands community and Redland City Council which enables a community-led response to potential disasters and emergency management. This initiative is considered the first of its kind in Queensland and challenges the traditional view of community engagement and education programs. It exemplifies the benefits of community caring for itself by taking action before, during and after events. Community members are involved in planning, preparation, response and recovery for their community in partnership with disaster management leaders and agencies.


National Photography Award


Huon Strong
James Spencer

Dale "Hairyman" Fullard is a musician, artist, sculptor and bushman who lost his home in the 2019 Tasmanian bushfires. He is pictured sitting next to the Huon River, a stone's throw from the site of his former home which he built himself and where he had lived for 13 years.


Highly commended

Harnessed Skill
Lurline Byles

After being rescued as a foal in the devastating Black Saturday bushfires, Clydesdale Jemima is now part of the SES Mounted Section with her owner and volunteer Claire. Over the past year, the pair have been involved in multiple searches to assist the Police in locating and reuniting missing loved ones with their families.

Pierces Creek After Fire
Marta Yebra 

Climate change is creating more prolonged and dangerous fire season, and this ariel photograph shows the severity of the Pierces Creek in November 2018.