The Resilient Australia Awards, now in their 16th year, are once again open for applicants.
The Resilient Australia Awards is a national program to recognise and promote initiatives which strengthen community disaster resilience across the nation. Resilience means many things, but ultimately it is about making our communities safer, stronger, more resilient and better prepared to manage the effects of natural disasters.
By celebrating innovation and exemplary practice, the awards showcase work that is often unrecognised, inspiring others to think about how they can be better prepared and more disaster resilient.
The awards are an Australian Government initiative proudly sponsored by the Attorney-General’s Department, in conjunction participating states and territories.
Commencing in 2000, the Resilient Australia Awards program has a respected history in Australia’s emergency management sector. The awards have recognised many outstanding contributions by communities towards disaster management, including risk assessment and mitigation, education, training and research, community awareness and engagement – as well as to response and recovery.
In 2014 one of the national awards went to Tsunami: The Ultimate Guide, an engaging online resource on tsunami with an Australian focus that was designed as a teaching resource, as well as for the general public. The project was a collaboration between Surf Life Saving Australia and the Australian Tsunami Advisory Group.
Projects don’t have to be technical. The Bundaberg North State School, for example, responded to the trauma of the devastating 2013 floods by developing the BEAR Plan, which taught students calming strategies around the words Breath, Exit, Ask, and Relax. Students were given teddy bears for comfort when they became emotionally overwhelmed. Additionally, community led activities like the Red Bucket Project and Know your Neighbours programs were implemented in Violet Town. They involved the Fire Brigade conducting a door knock giving people a red bucket with up-to-date information, brochures and advice to prompt them to take responsibility for their own fire safety.
This year there will be three national awards:
an overall national award, a new award solely for schools, and a photography award for photos that communicate work in disaster resilience.
The awards cover everyone in participating jurisdictions: individuals, non-government organisations, small and large businesses, local and state government, schools, education institutions, research bodies and emergency service agencies.
Resilient Australia Community Award
Communities, non-government organisations, tertiary colleges and universities
Resilient Australia Business Award
Private sector and business
Resilient Australia Government Award
Local government and state/territory government
Resilient Australia School Award
Pre-school, infants, primary and secondary schools
Resilient Australia Photography Award
(People’s Choice Award) Open to individual photographers/copyright holders
Entries are judged first at the state and territory level. Winners of the state and territory awards are then considered for the national awards.
Applications are open until midnight 9 August 2015. The awards will be announced later in the year. For more information and to apply online go to