JT kicks off Get Ready Queensland schools comp

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

Johnathan Thurston visits last year's winning school, Peregian Springs State School on the Sunshine Coast.

Classrooms across the state can go into the running for a visit from rugby league legend Johnathan Thurston with Get Ready Queensland’s 2021 schools competition launching this week.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Local Government, Infrastructure and Planning Steven Miles encouraged all primary schools to enter the competition, which helps students learn about natural disasters and how to prepare for them in a creative way.

“Queensland has more natural disasters than any other state, and while we cannot change the weather, we can be prepared,” The Deputy Premier said.

“As all parents know, our children are great at motivating households and schools to take action, and the Get Ready Queensland program gives students the information they need to better prepare their families and schools for severe weather events.

“Being prepared can be as simple as knowing your local risks, updating your emergency plan, packing an emergency kit, getting to know your neighbours and tidying up the yard.”

“The number of Queenslanders with an emergency plan has increased from 18 per cent to 57 per cent over the past eight years but we still have a long way to go.

“Let’s Get Ready Queensland. We know it’s not a matter of if, but when, for the next severe weather event in Queensland, so we need to do everything we can to protect lives and property.”

Teachers can select a range of activities from the Get Ready Queensland website including worksheets, a snakes and ladders style board game and online challenge for students to complete. To enter, teachers need to take photographs of students completing the activities and submit online.

Get Ready Queensland Ambassador Johnathan Thurston said the Get Ready program helped Queenslanders to protect themselves and loved ones in times of disaster.

“Kids are great champions for change – I see this in all the work I do in communities across Queensland,” Mr Thurston said.

“I can’t wait to visit the winning school and talk with students about the disaster risks in their area and the steps they can take as a family and school community to prepare for them.

“Having witnessed the impact of natural disasters on my own community in Townsville, as well as across the state, I know what a difference it can make to how families experience and recover from disasters when they have an emergency plan and kit in place.”

Last year’s winning school was Peregian Springs State School on the Sunshine Coast. Principal Gwen Sands said the visit from Johnathan Thurston and the Get Ready team was an amazing experience for the school community.

“Many of our students and staff were directly impacted by the devastating bushfires that ripped through Peregian Springs in late 2019,” Ms Sands said.

“The Get Ready Queensland schools competition was a fantastic way for our students to learn about disasters in a fun and engaging way and I would encourage all schools to consider entering this year’s competition.

“It was wonderful to have Johnathan Thurston visit our school and speak to students and staff about disaster preparedness – the whole school was buzzing for days!”

The competition closes 6 October 2021. For resources and information on how to enter, please visit www.getready.qld.gov.au/schools

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