Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Safer Communities Awards highlight community spirit.

Download PDFDownload PDF



Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102

2 December 2004 195/2004


This year’s presentation of the Australian Safer Communities Awards has again put the national spotlight on the diverse range of organisations and many thousands of Australians who dedicate their lives to keeping Australians safe, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said today.

The Attorney-General announced the national winners at a special ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra today celebrating the achievements and community spirit that drives the commitment of so many people across the emergency services sector.

“Today’s award winners reflect the diverse and unique challenges met by those remarkable men and women who dedicate themselves to making our communities safer places in which to live,” Mr Ruddock said.

“These successful projects show what our communities can do when we work together to overcome adversity - whether it is finding better, smarter ways to battle the perennial Australian hazards of fire, drought and severe storms or adopting new and innovative approaches to aged care recovery and youth driver awareness.”

The Safer Communities Awards, initiated by Emergency Management Australia (EMA), a Division of the Attorney-General’s Department, have highlighted some 320 innovative projects from organisations and individuals across Australia since their inception in 2000.

Mr Ruddock said the Australian public should be reassured by the level of cooperation and preparedness of communities to deal with the consequences of all types of emergencies, including acts of terrorism.

“In Australia, we are now more aware of threats to our safety and are in a much better position to assess and manage risks as they arise than ever before,” Mr Ruddock said.

“The Government is committed to working with States and Territories, as well as local government, to build a national approach to emergency management,” he said.

“Engagement with local communities and increasing involvement and awareness at a grass roots level is crucial to improving Australia’s national preparedness to deal with all hazards.”

It was this recognition of the vital role of local communities that had resulted in the recent announcement of a $49 million Working Together to Manage Emergencies initiative, he said.

Safer Communities Awards 2

Announced by the Coalition during the Federal election campaign, the funding commitment includes a $33 million local grants scheme to promote emergency preparedness partnerships at a local government level and a $16 million support fund to boost the recruitment and skills base of volunteer organisations on the front line of emergency management.

Media contacts:

NOTE: Attached is the list of 2004 Australian Safer Communities Awards recipients. A booklet describing the award winning entries is available in hard copy or on the EMA website at

Charlie McKillop Mr Ruddock’s office (02) 6277 7300 0419 278 715

Alastair Wilson EMA (02) 6256 4630 0408 606 462

Safer Communities Awards 3

2004 Australian Safer Communities Awards


Voluntary Stream Winner - Pre-Disaster Category Rotary International District 9750, NSW Rotary Youth Driver Awareness Program - ‘U Turn the Wheel’

Winner - Post-Disaster Category Mitchell Community Health Service, Berry Street Victoria and partners Active Response to Crisis (ARC) Team

Private Stream Winner - Pre-Disaster Category AAMI Insurance, Tasmania 2004 AAMI Firescreen Index - A Research and Community Education Initiative

Local Government Stream Winner - Pre-Disaster Category City of Bayswater, Western Australia Aged Care Facilities Emergency Recovery Planning

Highly Commended - Pre-Disaster Category City of Melbourne, Victoria The ‘Mind Your Business’ Emergency Management Planning Program

Winner - Post-Disaster Category Rural City of Wangaratta, Victoria Wangaratta Drought Relief Initiatives

Combination Stream Winner - Pre-Disaster Category Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy, Department of Emergency Services; Australian Bureau of Meteorology and other partners Queensland Climate Change and Community Vulnerability to Tropical Cyclones Project

Highly Commended - Pre-Disaster Category AAMI Insurance and Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) Partnership between AAMI and Victoria SES - promoting community safety together

Winner - Post-Disaster Category Fire & Emergency Services Authority of WA (FESA), Murdoch University researchers, Western Australia Newsbug - the way forward for public alerts

Federal/State Government Agency Stream Winner - Pre-Disaster Category The ‘AusBurnPLAN Team’ represented by NSW Health Counter Disaster Unit The AusBurnPLAN

Highly Commended - Pre-Disaster Category Country Fire Authority and Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria Victorian Bushfire Information Line

Highly Commended - Pre-Disaster Category Queensland Fire and Rescue Services Fire SignED Program

Winner - Post-Disaster Category NSW Health Counter Disaster Unit Chemical, Biological & Radiological Triage and Antidote Treatment Pack