NSW SES takes out top honors at Resilient Australia Awards

21/10/2020 01:43 PM

NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) has been recognised at the 2020 Resilient Australia Awards for its Ohana Project.

At a special online awards ceremony hosted at State Parliament House, (Tuesday 20 October), Minister for Police and Emergency Services the Hon. David Elliott MP, and Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons announced the Ohana Project as the winner of the Government category.

Funded by Resilience NSW through its Community Resilience Innovation Program, the Ohana Project aims at improving the way people plan for animals in an emergency, with one of the major outcomes the Get Ready Animals Website.

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York applauded the win.

“For our service, the primary focus is on protecting communities and saving lives,” Commissioner York said.

“But it is just as important that we look out for our four-legged friends as well.

“We need to make sure our communities are not only prepared themselves, but are preparing for their animals as well,” she said.

Commissioner York encouraged animal owners to use the resources available, such as the Get Ready Animals website to make sure they are ready should a storm hit.

“In recent severe weather events, our volunteers have assisted in more 30 animal-related flood rescues, ranging from dogs, horses, sheep, cattle and donkeys.

“By having a plan in place, the risks are greatly reduced, and animals are protected.

“There are many resources available through the website including How to Build an Animal Ready Community, which is a great guide to help communities and animal groups become more prepared and self-reliant,” she said.

NSW SES would like to thank the following organisations for their contributions towards the Ohana Project:

NSW Department of Primary Industry, Office of Local Government, NSW Police, NSW Rural Fire Service, Wollongong City Council, Shellharbour Council, Kiama City Council, Shoalhaven City Council, Macquarie University, Australian Veterinary Association, Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, Dogs NSW, Cat Protection Society, RSPCA Illawarra, Pet Industry Association of Australia, Equestrian Australia, NSW Pony Club Association, South East Local Land Services, Assistance Dogs Australia, Kiama Veterinary Hospital, TAFE Illawarra, Hanrob Pet Boarding and Training, The Behavioural Architects, and community members from the Illawarra and Shoalhaven.

The Resilient Australia Awards celebrate initiatives that build whole of community resilience to disasters and emergencies around Australia.

For information about planning for animals in emergencies, visit www.getreadyanimals.nsw.gov.au

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