Local initiatives helping WA communities build disaster resilience

  • Five Resilient Australia WA award winners announced yesterday
  • Awards aim to inspire innovation, collaboration and community engagement among individuals, community groups, schools and organisations
  • The founders of a makeshift supermarket, and a pet evacuation app launched in the aftermath of community emergencies are among this year’s Resilient Australia WA award winners announced yesterday.

    Now in its 21st year, the awards celebrate projects that build community resilience and support residents to get back on their feet after disasters such as fires, floods and cyclones.

    The Shire of Bruce Rock won the Local Government Award for its co-ordinated effort to establish a temporary supermarket for local residents in April this year, after the town’s only store burnt down.

    The temporary supermarket at the Shire Hall was opened within six days of the fire, saving local residents a 100km drive to the nearest town, Merredin, for supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Oakford resident Clinton Edwards won the Community Award for his PetResQ app which helps pet owners locate their missing animals and evacuate pets during an emergency.

    A photography project by volunteer firefighter Nikki Woods, which captured Gingin community members during the COVID-19 pandemic, was selected as the People’s Choice Photography winner.

    Augusta Primary School won the School Award for their program which introduced Year 6 students to emergency services, the benefits of volunteering and how to respond to local risks.

    Roleystone Volunteer Fire Brigade took out the Government Award for raising awareness about the risks of bushfire so their local community could be more self-reliant when faced with an emergency.

    Three WA winners – Shire of Bruce Rock, Augusta Primary School and Gingin photographer Nikki Woods – are finalists in the national Resilient Australia Awards to be announced next month.

    As stated by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan:

    “The unprecedented events of 2020, including the Black Summer bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate the importance of resilience in our communities.

    “The Resilient Australia WA award recipients and those who were highly commended have played a key role in supporting people to recover from or plan for the impact of devastating events.

    “These initiatives should be celebrated not only for providing immediate support for the community, but also for inspiring others with bold, new ideas.”

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