​​2014 Resilient Australia Awar​ds: NSW Winning Entries

State and Territory Govern​m​ent

winners for 2014Winner: "Bush​ Fire Resilience for Aboriginal Communities (BRAC) Stage II"

NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW Aboriginal Lands Co​​uncil

Stage 2 of the Bush Fire Resilience for Aboriginal Communities project has seen 34 Aboriginal communities across NSW trained in the functions of Bush Fire Management Committees.

Over 50 community members have also been trained in Bush Fire Fighter and Awareness programs. And conversely this program has been the catalyst for Aboriginal community members to provide cultural awareness training to Rural Fire Service staff. Overall, this project has resulted in extensive bush fire mitigation works to reduce bush fire risk ratings in communities and enhanced community resilience. Well done to the agencies and communities involved.

winners for 2014Winner: "Indigenous​ Community Training Program"

NSW State Emergency Service

Through peer-to-peer story telling and first hand accounts of floods and storms, this program builds understanding of what can be done to prepare homes and minimise the risk to people and property. First piloted in Moree, this program has resulted in a significant increase in Home Emergency Plans completed and has also led to the establishment of a community-led network that will activate in times of flood and storm.

winners for 2014Highly Com​mended: "MyFirePlan: The Bushfire Survival Plan application"

NSW R​ural Fire Service

This smart-phone app was developed after extensive community consultation that identified, among other things, obstacles to completing a Bushfire Survival Plan.

The app has proven especially popular in areas affected by the October 2013 bush fires and has been strongly supported by volunteer brigades in this area as a resilience building tool.

winners for 2014Highl​​y Commended: "Working Together to Deal with Natural Disaster": Conference & Workshops (South West NSW)

Rural Adversity​ Mental Health Program 
Dept of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure & Services (formally Dept of Primary Industries) 
Australian Red Cross 
NSW Family and Community Services

The 'Working Together to Deal with Natural Disaster' conference and workshops project was initiated and driven by the Greater Hume Community Interagency Committee.

It brought together service providers from government, council and volunteer organisations from across the Greater Hume, Urana and Lockhart Shires to examine best practice and localised planning mechanisms for Disaster Recovery Management. Ongoing communications has been formalised between Interagency Groups and Local Emergency Management Committees.

Not for Profit Se​ctor

winners for 2014Winner: ​​Mt Wilson / Mt Irvine Rural Fire Brigade Community Engagement Plan

Mt Wilson / Mt Irvine Rural Fire Bri​​gade

The Brigades Community Engagement Plan is responsive to the specific needs and characteristics of their communities and was tested during the October 2013 bush fires.

During this emergency, the Community Engagement Team activated a broad range of measures of that kept community members informed and safe. 63% of the residents in the 2 villages were involved in assisting the response, with 40% of these not members of the Brigade.

winners for 2014Winner: Building Resilience​​ Workshops (Hunter and Central Coast)

Australian Re​​d Cross

The Building Resilience Workshops were conducted in the Hunter and Central Coast.

These workshops brought together emergency service agencies, Councils and local service providers who support people with a disability, older people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Over 36 organisations participated and most of these have now incorporated disaster preparedness into their service provision.

The project has also served as a springboard for several new disaster resilience initiatives in the region

winners for 2014Highly Commended: Firewise Rural Residents Property Protection​​ Program

Kenthurst R​ural Fire Brigade

This program empowers families on Sydney's northwest rural fringe with the knowledge and skills to defend their homes, stock and other assets against bushfires.

Over 550 residents have been trained through 24 free courses, which have been specially designed to target young mothers and isolated rural women. As a consequence of the Firewise community resilience initiative, residents are now much better prepared to safeguard their families and properties from bush fire.

winners for 2014Highly Commend​​ed: 'I'm OK' website: Emergency Readiness for People with Physical Disability

Physical Disability Council of NSW

The I'm Ok website was launched in April 2014 and focuses solely on emergency readiness for people with physical disability.

It's the first website of its kind and provides information for different emergency situations including fires, storms and personal safety.

It includes step-by-step guidance to assist people with disability devise an emergency action plan.

It also includes links to emergency service agencies and other organisations that can assist people with disability to be emergency prepared. 

Education and​​ Res​​earch

winners for 2014

Winner: Floo​​deng​​​age

University of Woll​ongong

This innovative online system has been developed to empower communities to learn about, prioritise and make considered and collective decisions about flood risk management options.

The tool has been successfully trialled in three NSW catchments with excellent results. These results include increased community involvement and buy-in with 100 additional submissions complementing traditional consultation.

This tool supports a number of NSW 2021 goals, notably involving the community in decision making and dealing with natural disasters.

Local Governm​​​ent 

winners for 2014

Winner: Coastal Vul​​nerability to Multiple Inundation Sources

Sydney Coastal Co​uncils Group and School of Geosciences, University of Sydney

The Coastal Vulnerability to Multiple Inundation Sources project expands awareness and understanding of the vulnerability of coasts to different types of inundation and the impacts on buildings and infrastructure.

It has enhanced community safety and preparedness by identifying vulnerability hotspots, evacuation corridors and refuges. It has also enabled recommendations to be formulated in relation to planning and development, coastal and emergency management and communication. It has empowered local and state government decision makers with adaption tools and resources for capacity building, policy development, the implementation of best practice and broader behavioural change.