National recognition for council’s disaster team
  • Friday 25 October 2019
portia gould, jorja benjamin, disaster management, get ready schools campaign

Sunshine Coast Council’s Disaster Management Team have been announced as top contenders for the National Local Government Award in the 20th Resilient Australia Awards.

The team has been recognised for their crucial role in educating our youngest residents through their Get Ready Schools Program.

The national nomination follows their recent success winning the local government category (alongside Redland City Council) at the 2019 Get Ready Queensland Resilient Australia Awards.

Winners of this year’s Sunshine Coast Get Ready Schools Competition, Brightwater State School Year Six students Jorja Benjamin and Portia Gould said the program was terrific for kids.

“Winning the schools comp meant we got to make an advertisement which went on television, radio and social media to help the community learn how to prepare for disasters,” Jorja said.

“It was a really fun experience and now I’ve talked to my friends and family about how you should do things like have an emergency kit and make plans in case you need to evacuate.”

Portia said she hoped their advertising campaign, which coincided with Get Ready Queensland Week held form October 13 to 19, helped keep as many people as possible safe. 

“Even knowing where your important documents are and talking to your family about the kind of disasters that can happen is something we should all do,” she said.

Brightwater State School Principal Robyn Taplin said the collaboration between council and their school had been very rewarding for all students.

“This is an example of real-life learning at its best,” Ms Taplin said.

“Engaging children in this experience will ensure that the message of disaster planning filters into many homes and families across the coast.”

The Get Ready Schools Program also includes community engagement stalls at events and school visits where council officers present interactive and engaging disaster preparedness sessions with upper primary classes.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson congratulated the team for their commitment to ensuring youth were at the forefront of the disaster preparedness conversation.

“When it comes to disasters and emergencies, we all have a role to play and this includes our youngest residents,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Our outstanding Get Ready Schools Program recognises that by gaining essential knowledge and tools, our youth can provide meaningful assistance to their own families and communities in planning and preparing for disasters and emergencies.”

The Resilient Australia Awards celebrate initiatives that build whole of community resilience to disasters and emergencies around Australia, as well as images capturing resilience in action.

The awards recognise collaboration and innovative thinking across all sectors.

The Resilient Australia Awards is sponsored by the Australian Government in partnership with the states and territories and managed by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR).

The winners will be announced on November 7.

If your school is interested in participating in council’s Get Ready Schools Program in 2020 please email