2017 Government and Industry Diversity Award Winner and Finalists

Winner

Asylum Seeker Pathways Project

Led by: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre

Supported by: Australian Red Cross

A partnership between the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre, the Asylum Seeker Pathways Project was set up to provide job placements within DELWP to asylum seekers.

In 2016 two Year 12 students were identified as potential recruits to DELWP’s forest and fire operations. Before confirming the placements a pre-employment program of introductions, cultural inductions and staff briefings were held, so that students could understand the environment they’d be working in and staff could understand the students and their backgrounds.

The two students are now learning skills such as chainsaw operation, general safety and track maintenance, as well as gaining broader knowledge about fire which they can share with the community.

Since the project began a further 12 traineeships have been announced.

Finalists

District 20 Smoking Ceremony

Led by: CFA District 20, Rochester Fire Brigade (CFA)

Supported by: Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Corporation, Wolithiga Clan

CFA District 20, in partnership with the Rochester Fire Brigade, held the inaugural Smoking Ceremony on 13 November 2016 to herald the start of the 2016/17 fire danger period.

A Smoking Ceremony is one of the most significant ancient ceremonies performed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The ceremony involves the smouldering of various native plants to produce smoke, which is believed to have cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits. Participants were invited to walk through the smoke, to open up to good spirits – or ‘Biiami’.

The ceremony was the first step on a journey for CFA District 20 who are working to build partnerships with the local indigenous communities, with the hope of encouraging further indigenous participation in CFA activities.

Emergency Management Visuals

Led by: Knox City Council Family and Children’s Services Emergency Management Occupational Health and Safety Working Group

As part of an initiative to aid early childhood educators with emergency management procedures, Knox City Council Working Group has worked to streamline documentation and emergency procedures for local Childcare, Preschool and Maternal and Child Health Services. Staff at these children’s services have previously raised concerns regarding children’s participation in emergency management drills, including fire drills.

To ensure children were best prepared in the event of emergency, the Working Group developed a series of emergency management visuals to assist and support different methods of communicating with young children. Educators then used the visuals the Working Group had created in assisting communication with children and the expectations associated with conducting various emergency drills. Feedback from the educators involved in the program has been positive resulting in the Working Group considering developing further emergency management visual material for children.

Proudly Supported by RACV

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