2018 Resilient Australia Award winners

Community Award


Southern Grampians Glenelg Primary Care Partnership for their Balmoral Fire Connect project.

Balmoral Fire Connect project

Balmoral Fire Connect is a case study of the social networks and the diffusion of bushfire preparedness information in a small rural community in Victoria. Balmoral is a small rural community situated 350 kilometres west of Melbourne with a population of 300 located in a high fire risk area with significant exposure to bushfire risk emanating from nearby national parks.

The project, led by Southern Grampians Glenelg Primary Care Partnership (SGGPCP) in collaboration with Balmoral Bush Nursing Centre (BBNC) and RMIT University funded through CFA sought to understand the flow of bushfire preparedness information from a rural community sector organisation (BBNC) to members of the community by focusing on both staff and community groups that use the centre.

Government Award


Ambulance Victoria for their GoodSAM Community Responder Project.

Community Responder project 

Ambulance Victoria (AV) has partnered with UK firm GoodSAM to include community responders (or Smartphone Activated Medics) in the response model through the use of smartphone app technology. Community responders include off-duty health professionals and trained first aiders from AV’s partners including CFA, Life Saving Victoria, St John Ambulance Australia (Vic) and Chevra Hatzolah.

Using the smartphone app, AV alerts the three nearest registered responders to a cardiac arrest following a Triple Zero (000) call, providing them with the location of the patient as well as the nearest available defibrillators. The closest available ambulance is simultaneously dispatched and, in some parts of Victoria, the fire brigade.

Piloted in Victoria in January 2018, this innovative technology has helped save lives in other parts of the world including the UK where it started. So far, the efforts of two of the 1,500 Victorian registered GoodSAM responders (off duty Paramedics and AHPRA registered health professionals) have directly contributed to saving two lives here. Since the launch of the pilot, there have been 2,600 Triple 000 calls that were classified as suitable for a GoodSAM response – an average of 18 per day.

Schools Award winner


Dixons Creek Primary School for their Firestick project.

Firestick project

In 2016, two parents of the school attended the National Indigenous fire workshop in Cape York, QLD. They had been working with Wurundjeri elders and decided to find out more about indigenous burning. This seeded a project of engaging with the school in order to help the local community deal with fire again. The challenge identified that if the agencies were putting fire back into the landscape that the community would need preparation because of the amount of loss. What better way to engage the local community than through a program run at the local school?

Dixons Creek does not have shops or a township as such, so the school is a place where locals meet everyday whilst dropping their children to school. The school students, their parents, siblings, teachers and local Wurundjeri people and an Indigenous fire specialist from Queensland were involved in the project.

The school community were educated on indigenous land management methods, good and bad fire impacts, and how we can heal community and land through the use of traditional indigenous burning methods. Once our community was aware, the children were able to teach other children and spread the knowledge far and wide.

During the project, students in grades 3-6 had the opportunity to go out with local Aboriginal elders to learn about the impacts of fire on flora and fauna. Fire has been used to manage the landscape for thousands of years and students interpreted what they learnt into words and pictures.

Photography Award winner

Stacey Gladman from WD Newspapers for ‘Elvis is in the House’ - a photo capturing two days after the fires started in South West Victoria of an aircrane dropping water over the fires.