2017 Innovation Award Winner and Finalists


Upper Ferntree Gully CFA Local Preparedness Videos

Led by: Upper Ferntree Gully Fire Brigade (CFA)

Supported by: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

The local preparedness videos created by Upper Ferntree Gully Fire Brigade were designed to bring together fire information from different sources, and tailor it for the local community. In an engaging four-part series, the videos cover information from preparing a household plan, to understanding fire risk, school closures and community alert sirens. The videos help residents to navigate information about fire and take action more effectively. The target audience is wide-ranging, covering not just families but also single and young people. The videos released on the Ferntree Gully Fire Brigade Facebook page have been designed to capture the interest of viewers and have had thousands of views.

Judges commended the project for being developed by locals for locals and the power of providing information that makes sense to them.


A simple way to promote the Fire Danger Period

Led by: Whittlesea/Diamond Valley Community Engagement Workgroup

Supported by: Nillumbik Shire, City of Whittlesea

In December 2016, The Whittlesea and Diamond Valley Community Engagement Workgroup established a cheap, yet effective way to keep their local community informed about current fire danger status. Utililising the visibility of the fleet of fire and council vehicles, magnetic signs were places on the vehicles to raise awareness to the local community that the fire period had begun, and that fire restrictions were in place. The innovative idea implemented by the Workgroup has been a cost-effective way to provide information that has not been easy to communicate in the past.

Emergency Management Digital Screens Project

Led by: East Gippsland Shire Council Emergency Management Team

Supported by: Omeo Pharmacy, Bemm River CFA Building, Orbost Post Office, Bairnsdale Visitor Information Centre, Lakes Entrance Visitor Information Centre, Buchan General Store, Bruthen General Store, Swifts Creek Community Centre, Cann River Outreach Centre, Mallacoota Bendigo Bank

Beginning in 2014, East Gippsland Shire Council Emergency Management Team implemented a program to provide residents with real time, place-based fire messaging by utilising digital screens in local community places. Libraries, pharmacies and general stores all hosted these digital screens, which enabled the community to access visual and informative messaging in areas they frequent regularly.

The implementation of these screens was in direct response to concerns from the community that there was a lack of tailored fire awareness and risk information. The shire’s emergency management team worked closely in engaging the community to develop a messaging system crafted specifically for East Gippsland.

While providing local residents accurate, place-based information in times of fire risk, it also helped break down the tourist bubble, to ensure non-permanent residents of East Gippsland had access to information about the potential risks they may be facing travelling through the area. The Shire also ensured that this information was inclusive to all, particularly to persons with languages other than English.

The success of the project has seen other information included, such as snow and road conditions in the area, and has contributed positively to the safety of all residents of East Gippsland and those who travel through it.

Emergency Ready Mansfield

Led by: Mansfield Shire Council

Supported by: Country Fire Authority, State Emergency Service

Lead by Mansfield Shire Council, the Emergency Ready Mansfield project involved the novel idea of building community knowledge and resilience through a trivia game format. Identifying that traditional methods and standard workshops around fire readiness were struggling to attract participants, Mansfield Shire implemented this project to encourage participation and ensure residents were fire aware and prepared.

Using peer learning to educate participants, the game poses questions around readiness, response and recovery, and is adaptable to a range or risks, demographics and localities. Combining peer learning through storytelling and shared experiences, with professional representation from emergency services, participants increased their knowledge about fire and emergency readiness while also having a lot of fun.

Fire Safety Engineering in Timber Buildings

Led by: Lendlease

Supported by: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), University of Queensland

Lendlease, in collaboration with CSIRO and University of Queensland, embarked on a project to test the use of structural timber in large buildings. In Australia, buildings taller than four levels are required to withstand the burnout of internal components. Unfortunately, this restricts the use of most timbers in constructions, as engineered timber structures could burn beyond burnout. In the event of fire, engineered timber could burn uncontrollably, potentially leading to building collapse.

Lendlease have sought to research and provide advice on using timber in medium-high rise construction by publishing documentation and a design framework to provide guidance on using timber appropriately in order to mitigate its volatility and susceptibility to fire and burnout.

Proudly Supported by RACV

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