FLOOD AND FIRE AFFECTED COMMUNITIES RECOGNISED FOR RESILIENCE AT ANNUAL AWARDS

Tathra and Tumbulgum community groups have been recognised today for their resilient responses to floods and fires, Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said. The 2018 NSW Get Ready Community Award and the Resilient Australia Awards help highlight significant community-led disaster preparedness and response initiatives across the state.

Mr Grant said while our emergency services do a tremendous job preparing and protecting the community, their efforts are often bolstered by unsung local heroes across NSW communities. “Tathra Surf Life Saving Club received a Get Ready Community Award for their response to the March 2018 bushfire that destroyed 69 homes in the Bega Valley Shire,” Mr Grant said.

“Volunteers and agencies worked tirelessly at the club following the blaze to provide crucial information, support and emergency items to the community.” Mr Grant said the Tumbulgum Community Association received the same award for their incredible efforts after floods devastated the area following Cyclone Debbie.

“Over the last 12 months, the community has come together to strengthen relationships with stakeholders and ensure they are best prepared for any future incidents,” Mr Grant said.

“Both of these communities survived horrendous events, but under the worst of circumstances showed us the best of what locals can achieve when they support one another.”

The 2018 Resilient Australia Awards winners were also announced today, which included:
· Community Category – Inner City Voice for building disaster resilience in social housing;
· Business Category – Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney for their ‘PREPARE NSW: Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness’ tool;
· Schools Category – Warrimoo Public School for their efforts getting bush fire ready;
· Government Category – Wollondilly Shire Council for Activate Wollondilly, their response to the 2016 Picton floods; and,
· Photography Category – awarded to Kellie Mar for ‘Portrait of a Lady’ that featured Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteer Emily, from Blaxland Brigade.

“Each of these worthy winners have clearly demonstrated that nothing beats local knowledge when it comes to preparing for disasters,” Mr Grant said.

“They are also a reflection of what’s great about our communities; mates supporting mates in times of trouble. I congratulate and thank each and every one of them.”