2015 Education Award winners and finalists


Anglesea fire education Initiative – “Survive and Thrive” Program

Anglesea’s Fire Education Initiative – “Survive and Thrive” Program – is a three year fire education scheme which  year four, five and six students at Anglesea Primary School take part in. The program is integrated into the student’s curriculum as weekly fire education lessons.

In the first year of the program students are taught about the history of major bushfires and meet and talk with individuals who have experienced them.

In the second year students learn about how fires are affected by weather, topography and fuel. They learn about the role of agencies in bushfires, and firefighting strategies and methods they use.  The students are also taught teaching methods in a session, so that they in turn can teach their parents and other students about what they have learnt.

Third year students then review what they have learnt and develop an education program and present at other primary schools in the region, so as a public awareness tool this Program is incredibly effective.

As a result of the program, the students who have participated are more fire prepared, as are their peers and families.

Special commendation

Teenagers in an Emergency program

The “Teenagers in an emergency” program, is a fire education and preparedness program for teenagers with special needs. Teenagers with intellectual disabilities often fail to fully understand the risks and their responsibilities during fire season,. This gap in understanding was identified by Debbi-ann Johnson, one of the teachers at Sale Specialist School, who developed the “Teenagers in an Emergency” Program.

Working with the local CFA and SES, the school developed a series of simple resources and activities that assist students with special needs understand their role and responsibilities.

As well as develop valuable relationships with their local emergency service workers and volunteers, students learned the following through the program:

  • the role of emergency services
  • understanding of fire risks in their region and how fires can act
  • fire safety messages
  • how to be prepared for fire season
  • basic emergency first aid


Fire Ready Frankston Video Competition

The Fire Ready Frankston Film competition was established in partnership between

Frankston City Council, CFA and Frankston High School as a means to creatively engage with students and the local community so that they are empowered to motivate Frankston City community members to undertake appropriate bushfire preparations in order to protect their households and their property in case of a bushfire.

All Frankston High School students were invited to enter the Frankston Fire Ready Film competition. To enter, students were required to use information provided by the CFA and the Council on bushfire risk and safety to create an engaging and informative short (max: 3 minutes) video which could be broadcast publicly.

CFA provided Fire Ready Kits to all students and offered assistance in reviewing scripts prior to filming, The Council’s Fire and Emergency management team attended assemblies at the school to present the competition and to answer any questions students had.

The competitor’s brief, provided to all students, clearly outlined the entry conditions, ensuring that videos produced would contain appropriate content and be appropriately tailored to key target audiences within the Frankston City community.

The aim of the competition was to:

  • enhance fire safety knowledge among Frankston High School students
  • produce and promote videos on bushfire safety that are made by the community and for the community
  • promote individual and community responsibility regarding fire safety, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery
  • reinforce the relationship between Council, the school, the CFA, Frankston High School students and the wider Frankston City community
  • establish a means to embed disaster resilience education into school curriculum in a way that would be productive for students, the school and government agencies holding emergency management responsibilities.

The competition also had a number of specific objectives. Video entries submitted by students focussed explicitly on communicating the following fire safety information on:

  • how to receive and understand information provided by the CFA
  • what you can do to prepare your property to reduce the risk of bushfire
  • what you can do to protect yourself and those you are with on Severe, Extreme and Code Red fire danger days.

Videos were created by students to target the following community members:

  • Youth (under 18s)
  • Deaf television viewers
  • Residents in Frankston City

The competition was designed to produce highly localised, targeted fire safety information – creatively developed by members of the community, for the community.

In total 22 entries were submitted by students and involved a total of 45 students.

Some of the videos can be viewed here:

Frankston Fire Ready Video Competition Winner

Fire Ready Frankston Video Competition Second Prize

Fire Ready Frankston Video Competition Third Prize


Promoting Emergency Preparedness and Resilience for Youth

Yarram Secondary Colleague identified that many of their older students came from families where both parents worked and in school holidays and after school the students were responsible for looking after their siblings.  The school felt that it was important to implement a program that would ensure that these students were better educated and prepared for a fire, especially in the wake of the 2015 Jack River bushfire that affected both students and staff.

All years seven to nine students take part in the schools Community Engagement and Broadening Horizons Programs with the aim to improve the students’ fire awareness and emergency preparedness planning and to learn to assist other students.

As part of the Year nine Community Engagement Program, the school partnered with the Bushfire Recovery Officer from Wellington Shire Council to undertake a Teenagers in Emergencies Project. These students reviewed emergency management plans and policies, surveyed the school community to ascertain current preparedness knowledge and then visited all local emergency agencies in the Yarram area to better understand the role of each of the agencies. The agencies involved included CFA, DELWP, Police, SES, Red Cross, Ambulance, Volunteer Coast Guard and Wellington Shire Council Emergency Management. The project was conducted over two terms and culminated in the students coordinating an Emergency Expo at the school for over 200 students and staff. The day was a great success for the students, staff and all the agencies who contributed. Students completed a survey as part of the event and developed a brief emergency plan to be taken home and reviewed with their families.

The school also ran a Road Safety Hypothetical with the Traffic Police for Years 11 and 12 students (100 students), as part of the Expo event.

As part of the Broadening Horizons Program, groups of years seven and eight students (around 50 students ) undertook projects  focussing on developing 21st Century skills and workplace learning opportunities. Several groups chose to focus on fire related projects. One group researched the history of fire in the area by interviewing senior citizens and obtaining stories and photos of past fire events. Another group undertook an Arson Awareness Project with CFA/DELWP and the third group researched a project with DELWP to encourage households to have a written fire plan.

As a result of the program the:

  • students now have skills that utilised by in an emergency
  • improved emergency preparedness awareness for staff and parents with students
  • supported the emergency agencies with their education programs for communities and enabled all local emergency agencies to work together in a non-emergency setting, promoting their agency to students for future volunteering.

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