2016 ACT Resilient Australia Awards

Released 05/09/2016

Several ACT government agencies have been recognised for their work in making the Territory more disaster resilient.

The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department sponsors the Resilient Australia Awards program, which recognise and promote initiatives that strengthen community disaster resilience across all states and territories.

Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the annual awards highlighted the important work undertaken in the community.

“Resilient communities, like Canberra, work together to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters,” Mr Corbell said.

“The purpose of these awards is to recognise the groups and organisations that are making our community safer, stronger, more resilient and better prepared to manage any emergency.”

The ACT Education and Training Directorate was successful in two categories this year, winning both the Resilient Australia Schools Award ‘Specialist School response to evacuation alarm’, and the Resilient Australia Government Award ‘Natural Disaster Evacuations in Specialist Schools’.

A series of evacuation exercises were conducted in specialist schools to test response times, examine evacuee flows, review muster and roll call efficiency, observe coordination and cooperation, and identify any behavioural issues; and consider the effectiveness communications with the evacuees, the Directorate and parents.

The exercises involved 306 staff, 22 university students who were on campus for work experience on the day of the exercise, and 956 students with special needs. The option of transporting students away from the school using ACTION’s Flexible Transport program and the Directorate’s internal response team were also examined.

“The Government wanted to build disaster resilience, ensuring that if something happened and required an evacuation, our specialist schools would be fully prepared,” Mr Corbell said.

“It is important all school have the capacity to respond with minimum disruption while ensuring the safety of everyone on campus.”

Transport Canberra and City Services, and the Emergency Services Agency were also recognised for their projects.

The ACT Emergency Services Agency received an award for their ‘Be a Firefighter’ campaign, which saw a 500% increase in the number of women applying for jobs with the ACT Fire & Rescue.

“ACT Fire & Rescue undertook a social marketing campaign in 2015, which aimed to increase their female membership by 100% by March this year,” Mr Corbell said.

“The campaign was such a success 144 women applied to join the firefighting ranks – a five-fold increase, which was a great achievement.” Transport Canberra and City Services received an award for their program Partnering to Building Emergency Resilience. ACTION Bus service developed and implemented memorandum of understandings with Birrigai Outdoor School and the CSIRO Black Mountain Child Care to provide transport assistance in the event of an emergency threatening their facility and an evacuation is required.

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Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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