Three Victorian resilience initiatives have taken home top prizes at the 2022 National Resilient Australia Awards (External link).
The awards, held in Hobart this year, recognise and promote outstanding initiatives that build whole-of-community resilience toward disasters and emergencies, through collaboration and innovation.
This year Victorian entries took home the:
- Resilient Australia National Award
- Resilient Australia National Community Award
- Resilient Australia National Mental Health and Wellbeing Award.
The awards were open to all Australians and recognise outstanding contributions in each state or territory across seven categories: business, community, government, local government, schools, mental health and wellbeing and photography. The awards are sponsored by the Australian Government in partnership with the states and territories, and managed by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR).
Safer Together (External link) was the joint winner of the Resilient Australia National Award for ‘Community Based Bushfire Management (CBBM) - a place-based approach to reducing bushfire risk in Victoria’.
CBBM supports engagement with communities and organisations to better connect and work together before, during and after bushfires. It uses a place-based community development approach to build relationships to understand community strengths, while working together to better understand bushfire risks and take action.
The program is supported by a team of dedicated facilitators who work with communities and organisations to create opportunities for open, respectful and trusting relationships. This approach creates opportunities to develop and achieve mutually acceptable outcomes through the sharing of local knowledge, values and priorities to manage bushfire risk.
National Community Award
The Victorian Council of Social Service (External link) and Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (External link) took home the Resilient Australia National Community Award for their Multicultural Resilience Program.
The two organisations partnered to deliver the program, which included establishing the Multicultural Emergency Management Partnership (MEMP). The MEMP supports multicultural communities and emergency management leaders to develop and implement short, medium and long-term change.
The program has increased mutual understanding and trust between multicultural communities and emergency management organisations and is working toward greater cultural safety for all.
National Mental Health and Wellbeing Award
Phoenix Australia (External link) took home the Resilient Australia National Mental Health and Wellbeing Award for ‘Helping the helpers support others: Building local capabilities after the Victorian Black Summer bushfires’.
The project delivered a suite of online and in-person training and mentoring programs, coupled with a comprehensive approach to support people after disaster. A diverse range of community members were engaged to develop evidence-informed skills to support their own community.
More than 1800 community leaders and frontline workers accessed free, expert-led, best practice training through 56 workshops or online courses. The project contributed to increasing mental health literacy by providing wide-reaching education on the psychosocial impacts of disaster, sharing coping strategies and breaking down mental health care concepts into easily accessible, day-to-day strategies.