Clearing out my desk at NSW Rural Fire Service

Hello friends, Friday 29 May 2020 will be my last day with the Community Engagement Team at NSW Rural Fire Service HQ. During this time of COVD-19 I am fortunate to be able to retire from the workforce on my own terms after 12 years at the RFS and 25 years prior to that in …

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Our World Our Say – Young people can have a say on disaster risk reduction

It is pretty clear that the 2019/2020 bush fire season has been unprecedented in its direct impacts on individuals and families, properties and the environment. Children and youth want to be part of discussions and development of solutions. Children and youth can make a difference in an uncertain and unpredictable world. As the NSW RFS …

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Resources in recovery

As schools across fire-affected areas of NSW return, many great resources are being created and shared to assist students, teachers and parents.   The Banksia Initiative is a collaboration between CQUniversity and universities and organisations across Australia and New Zealand. A series of resources is housed on the Arts Health Network website. https://www.artshealthnetwork.com.au/resources/   AIDR …

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Disaster resilience education in NSW

In NSW, all Stage 3 (Year 5 and 6) students study the impact of bush fire on people, place and the environment Australia experiences many natural disasters with bush fire being the most regular and often with significant social, economic and environmental impacts. Here in Australia’s most populous State of New South Wales, recent bush …

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From Sendai to St Ives North

On 13 October 2017 the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (BNHCRC) held a Safe at Home, School and Work Forum in Sydney to celebrate the United Nations International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR). The IDDR event addressed Target 2 of the Sendai 7 Campaign - reducing the numbers of people affected by disasters …

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“We had massive ideas” FireStorm wins National Resilient Australia Award!

Here is an example of a fantastic collaboration between a school, eight Year 5 and Year 6 classrooms with around 200 students and volunteers, as well as volunteers and staff of the NSW Rural Fire Service. Winning the National Resilient Australia Award for Schools is testament to the vision and leadership of St Ives North …

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First hand account of Disaster Resilience education at work

Today I write this from Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture in Japan. I have made many references over the last two years to my colleagues within the NSW RFS and across other services about the 'Kamaishi Miracle' (which I invite you search for now) Today I met with Nodoka who was the Disaster Prevention Team Leader at …

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Lessons Save Lives

The inclusion of an Inquiry Learning unit on bush fires in the NSW Stage 3 Geography Syllabus comes at a time when all Governments are wanting to place an emphasis on prevention and mitigation as the personal and social costs of responding to and recovering from disasters grows rapidly. This is both an incredible opportunity …

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We had massive ideas!

'We had massive ideas!' Around 60 inventive solutions were found by 8 Stage 3 classes under this STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) project focusing on a major bush fire impacting the St Ives community.. Evidence and leading practice around the world recognises that children are agents of change. Children can and should be active …

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NSW RFS building capability in disaster resilience education

Its been a big few months for the development of disaster resilience education at the NSW Rural Fire Service, starting off with the launch of the Guide to Working with School Communities to support our volunteer and staff Members in their important work with schools. Members are already doing great work. This enhanced approach emphasises …

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