Leading disaster educators win national recognition
  • Wednesday 13 November 2019

Sunshine Coast Council’s Disaster Management Team have been recognised as national leaders in disaster preparedness, winning the Local Government Award at the 20th Resilient Australia Awards on November 7.

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

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson applauded council staff for their win and said the honour would help spread their crucial disaster preparedness message throughout Australia.

“As we’ve seen here on the Sunshine Coast, disasters can strike anytime and anywhere, no one is immune and we all have a role to play when it comes to being prepared,” Mayor Jamieson said. 

“Our dedicated Disaster Management Team understand its critical our youth are part of the disaster preparedness conversation and are committed to delivering their innovative program to as many young Sunshine Coast residents as possible. 

“I hope this win inspires other local governments across Australia to develop their own youth focused disaster management programs. 

“The capability and calibre of council’s Disaster Management Team is outstanding and I am constantly impressed by the level of support they provide to our region in relation to disaster events.

“We know that communities who are well prepared and aware before a disaster occurs, are more resilient and able to recover faster.” 

Council’s Disaster Management Coordinator Cathy Buck said her team were overwhelmed and humbled to receive the prestigious award. 

“There is so much phenomenal work taking place throughout Australia to build our communities resilience to disasters and emergencies.  

“For us to be recognised as the best in class for local government is a huge achievement and motivates us to continue building and delivering our Get Ready Schools Program to as many local youth as possible.”

The Get Ready Schools Program involves council officers visiting schools throughout the region, presenting disaster focused interactive sessions and running fun activities with upper primary classes.

The program also includes community engagement stalls at events and in 2019 the team took the program to another level, launching the Sunshine Coast Get Ready Schools Competition which challenged students to create an engaging video to highlight the importance of having a ‘What If Plan’.

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

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).

If your school is interested in participating in council’s Get Ready Schools Program in 2020 please email SCC.DisasterManagement@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au or visit council’s website for more information

Image: Sunshine Coast Council Disaster Management Coordinator Cathy Buck and Disaster Resilience Officer Lynda Fraser accepted the Local Government Award at the 20th Resilient Australia Awards.