The Safer Communities Award recognises innovative practices and achievements across the nation which aims to make communities safer, more resilient and better prepared to manage any emergency situation.
The 2011 winner is Kerri McMahon, Capabilities Officer from the Northern Territory Emergency Services. Kerri and her team put together a series of talking posters explaining how to stay safe in a cyclone.
The innovative posters were made for remote aboriginal communities in their own language.
“In the past all our information has been in English.” Kerri said.
“We found there was a lack of understanding in the remote parts of the Territory of the dangers and what steps you can take to protect yourself and your family in the event of a cyclone.”
The posters were put together with the help of the aboriginal interpreter service, ABC Radio Darwin and the NTES.
They have been made in nine languages and cover the cyclone prone areas across the Top End.
“To have the message out there now in their own language and spoken by people they know and trust will help to give the people ownership of their own safety.” Kerri added.
The messages will also be broadcast by ABC radio and the Top End Aboriginal Bush Broadcasting Association during the cyclone season.
In the future the team hope to carry the initiative further with posters to explain the dangers of flooding and what to do to keep people safe in the flood prone regions of the NT. These will be produced in local languages from Katherine to the centre.
This morning’s presentation was made by the Chief Minister Paul Henderson and Carolyn Thompson, Education, Research and Training Director from the Federal Attorney–Generals Department.
Kerri McMahon will now go on to represent the Northern Territory at a National awards ceremony in Canberra in December.