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Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Community Resilience program awarded project of the year

A community resilience program designed to raise flood awareness and preparedness in the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley has been awarded the 2021 Floodplain Management Australia (FMA) NRMA Insurance Flood Risk Management Project of the Year.

Developed by Infrastructure NSW and the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES), the program delivered 19 projects around three core streams: public awareness and preparedness, building resilience of young people and their schools, and outreach for communities of concern.

More than 40 project partners and over 300 organisations were involved in the program, including government agencies, local councils, community services, universities, schools and not-for profit organisations. 

Maree Abood, Head of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Flood Risk Management Directorate at Infrastructure NSW, accepted this prestigious award via livestream at the FMA’s annual conference.

“This award is wonderful recognition of the Community Resilience Program, a key component of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy,” Ms Abood said.

“The program aims to increase community flood awareness and preparedness, and is a great example of partnership and collaborationWe thank all of our colleague agencies and partners who share in this recognition today.”

“We look forward to allocating the prize towards community resilience activities in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.”

NSW SES Commissioner, Carlene York, said the comprehensive suite of tools and resources that support the program are helping to build community capability.

“It has shaped the way we now do our preparedness work and we are looking to apply these learnings elsewhere in the state,” Commissioner York said.

“The collaboration and partnership with other agencies, through programs like this, is extremely beneficial. This was demonstrated in the recent Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley floods when we saw that communities understood their risks, taking appropriate steps to be prepared.”

The program included the ‘Floods. The Risk is Real.’ public safety campaign and curriculum resources about flooding for primary and high schools. There were also capacity-building projects for services working with people most at risk from flooding.

Those services included social housing, aged care facilities, childcare services, people with a disability, culturally and linguistically-diverse communities, and families at risk.

You can also find some of the resources developed through the Community Resilience Program on the NSW SES website