Resilient Australia School Award

The Resilient Australia Awards is a nationwide program to recognise and promote initiatives that strengthen community disaster resilience.

The National School Award is open to all public and private pre-school, primary and secondary schools in Australia. Find out more and submit to the Resilient Australia Awards Program.

Browse previous winners and finalists in the National School Award category.

A Walk Through Strathewen's Fire History


Winner, Resilient Australia National School Award, 2019

A program born out of Black Saturday, which destroyed Strathewen Primary School in Victoria.

Strathewen Primary School, in collaboration with members of the local Country Fire Authority, take annual excursions, camps and community activities to strengthen the students' resilience and understanding of the risks posed by bushfires.



Connecting the Divide: Swayneville School Mural

Highly commended, Resilient Australia National School Award, 2019

When Cyclone Debbie destroyed the main access road into the small, rural community of Sarina Range in 2017, a temporary school campus was established at the top of the town.

Students designed and created a mural to illustrate their strength after the cyclone and to connect the two school campuses. The mural serves as a positive reminder of the student’s resilience, providing a fitting backdrop for school photos and a positive talking point for visitors.

When the Fire Met the Sea

Highly commended, Resilient Australia National School Award, 2019

Tathra Public School showcased their resilience through words and imagery after the devastation caused by the March 2018 bushfires destroyed almost 70 homes in their town.

Tathra Public School students produced a picture book, When the Fire Met the Sea, written and illustrated by students at the school after the March 2018 bushfires.

The school was in the direct line of the fire front, which burnt trees, ash-smothered classrooms and destroyed the school playground.

The book features poems, stories and vivid artwork about the students’ experiences during the fire and is a historical reminder of their resilience. A copy of the book is in the National Library of Australia in Canberra with other copies available for sale to raise further funds for the school.


Firestick Project 

A Wurundjeri-led project in partnership with Dixons Creek Primary School, Yarra Ranges Council and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victoria

Winner, Resilient Australia National School Award, 2018

The devastation that followed Black Saturday had a significant impact on the Dixons Creek community and the wellbeing of children at the local primary school. Through the Firestick project, students learn about fire management from Indigenous Elders. The project helps both the children and wider community establish a positive relationship with fire.


Getting Bushfire Ready at Warrimoo Public School 

Warrimoo Public School and Warrimoo Rural Fire Service Brigade, New South Wales

Highly commmended, Resilient Australia National School Award, 2018

Warrimoo Public School and the local Rural Fire Service brigade partnered to equip over 150 students with bushfire safety knowledge, skills and values. The project enhanced community awareness of the school as a safe place for students during a bushfire event. Together, the school and brigade host the annual Rural Fire Service Get Ready Weekend, promoting preparedness and resilience throughout the community.

Warrimoo Public School students and NSW Rural Fire Service checking emergency kit

Warrimoo Public School students and NSW Rural Fire Service checking emergency kit. Image: Warrimoo Public School.



The Holographic Lounge with Invermay Primary School, Launceston Big Picture School and meenah neenah Aboriginal Cultural Education Program

Highly commended, Resilient Australia National School Award, 2018

Through the Floodscapes project, Launceston schoolchildren produced three short films to deliver flood safety messages to their community, using footage overlaid with their own animations. The project encourages and empowers the children of Launceston to become the safety guardians and messengers for the city. The films are accessible to people with hearing and visual impairments and can be readily shared through social media.

Community Wise

Water Wise

Pet Wise

Project FireStorm 

St Ives North Public School with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service

Winner, Resilient Australia National School Award, 2017

Sydney's St. Ives North Public School won the National School Award in 2017 for Project FireStorm, an integrated bushfire education program delivered in partnership with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS). With support from the NSW RFS, students designed and presented innovative solutions to enhance preparedness and resilience to bushfire in their community.

The project addressed education outcomes of the K-6 New South Wales syllabus for the Australian Curriculum, with an emphasis on geography and science. The project supported an integrated approach to teaching and learning about bushfires, using problem-based learning strategies. Project FireStorm is now used as a case study to support teachers to deliver bushfire education across New South Wales.


Strathewen-Arthurs Creek Bushfire Education Partnership 

Strathewen Primary School with the Arthurs Creek/Strathewen Country Fire Authority

Highly commended, Resilient Australia National School Award, 2017

Strathewen was one of many communities impacted by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. In 2016, Strathewen Primary School worked with the Arthur's Creek/Strathewen Country Fire Authority (CFA) to deliver a program related to bushfire risk, focused on helping children 'love where they live' again. Part of the CFA's broader Survive and Thrive program, the project used Claymation video to creatively engage students in learning about fire behaviour. The project educated students on the risks of living in a high fire danger area, encouraging them to think proactively about ways of reducing and managing the risk. 

Rebuilding Dunalley Primary School after the 2013 Fires Project 

Dunalley Primary School

Highly commended, Resilient Australia National School Award, 2017

In 2013 the town of Dunalley in Tasmania was devastated by bushfire that destroyed the local school, police station and bakery. The community rallied together to rebuilt a fully functioning temporary school in approximately 40 days, ready for occupancy by the 120 students and their teachers only two days after the scheduled start of the 2013 school year.

construction of the temporary Dunalley primary school