The ability of communities to stay strong and bounce back after adversity has been celebrated at an awards ceremony held at The Westin in Perth.
Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan presented the 2019 Resilient Australia WA Awards to six worthy winners who over the past year have played a significant role in preparing, protecting and rebuilding their communities affected by disasters and emergencies.
The Shire of Harvey won the Resilient Australia Local Government Award for its Bushfire Preparedness: Lessons Learned program.
Developed in the aftermath of the devastating Waroona/Yarloop Bushfire in January 2016, the program includes a series of videos showcasing heartfelt stories and advice from local residents, farmers and business owners.
They each offer sometimes emotional insights into surviving fires that can destroy everything in their path when temperatures are searing and winds are high and powerful, as they were during the Waroona/Yarloop fire.
Sarah Hamilton won the Community Award for her introduction of State Emergency Service (SES) scout badge, while Horizon Power took out the Government Award for its Pilbara Underground Power project.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services photographer Lurline Byles’ image of impressive Clydesdale horse Jemima being ridden by SES Mounted Section volunteer, Claire, won the Photography Award.
Jemima was rescued as a foal in the devastating Black Saturday bushfires, and is now part of the SES Mounted Section. Over the past year, the pair has been involved in multiple searches to assist WA Police in locating and reuniting missing loved ones with their families
The Collie and Districts Community Bank won the Business Award for their Operation Next Gen, a grass-roots initiative aimed at empowering local leaders, engaging with youth and encouraging investment ideas and opportunities.
The Balingup Primary School’s Junior Fire Brigade scooped the Resilient Australia School Award.
All award winners have been entered into the National Resilient Australia Awards which will be announced later this year.
As stated by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:
“Congratulations to the 2019 award winners for leading the way in designing programs that protect people and build resilience in the community.
“The ability to adapt, survive and thrive in the face of adversity and disasters is the hallmark of strong, resilient communities.
“By building an understanding of the risks we face, we build the foundations to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.
“It’s very pleasing to see so many members of the next generation being honoured tonight. This means communities are fostering the skills and knowledge to face future challenges and recover well after bushfires, cyclones, earthquakes and floods.
“I look forward to hearing about the outcomes of these fantastic projects.”