Keep Cool in Yarra campaign reflects on winning Resilient Australia Award

6 June 2017

Winners of last year’s Resilient Australia Awards are encouraging Victorians to apply to be recognised on a national stage.

Yarra City Council won the Resilient Australia Government Award for the Keep Cool in Yarra campaign.

The campaign was developed to support the City’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities living in social and public housing to better respond to the effects of heatwave.

The Council partnered with 25 different agencies and community groups to deliver the campaign over 2015-16.

Recognising the diversity of the community living in the City of Yarra, Council committed to building resilience among its community groups by engaging with one identified vulnerable group at a time, focusing on one single hazard at a time.

Engagement techniques include:

  • Engaging with CALD communities through activities including English language classes, music concerts, community festivals, safety forums
  • Using trusted service providers to deliver heatwave information such as Pharmacists, Red Cross, Yarra Community House, VicDeaf, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service
  • Developing and distributing physical resources
  • Using traditional and social media channels used by CALD community members such as ethnic radio, branding heat safety information in languages other than English on community buses
  • Distributing CALD-tailored head safety information in various formats such as toilet posters, fridge magnets, at music concerts, bonbonnieres, face painting interactions.

It is estimated that campaign products developed reached an estimated 40,000 people and media advertisements reached an estimated 450,000 people. Feedback and surveys from the target audience showed the campaign had increased the awareness of heatwave risk among Yarra’s CALD community in public and social housing and provided useful resources for vulnerability reduction to occur.

Photo: Keep it Cool campaign engaging with the community.

Photo: Keep it Cool in Yarra campaign engaging with the community.

Senior Advisor in Emergency and Risk Management at Yarra Council, Lucy Saaroni, said entering the awards was a way to share the project and see it possibly used across other municipalities.

“We felt it was worth sharing our story with others who might be interested in adapting it for their own area,” she said.

“The activity we undertook demonstrated tangible results for the council and community in building a safer and more resilient Yarra.”

Ms Saaroni said the council is now regularly being asked for information and advice on community resilient building issues and also on the management of heatwave as a community emergency risk.

“These awards are an excellent avenue to showcase what works well in your organisation. I encourage anyone considering entering to go ahead and do it,” she said.

To apply for this year's Resilient Australia Awards head to https://resilient.awardsplatform.com/ (External link)