Benalla’s Rural Fire Tales have been celebrated for their fire prevention and safety work at the 2016 annual Fire Awareness Awards night.
Emergency Services Minister James Merlino and Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio presented awards to the winners at an awards ceremony in Melbourne last Friday.
Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, congratulated Rural Fire Tales.
‘‘The Fire Awareness Awards are a fantastic way to recognise individuals and groups within our community for their hard work in making communities safer, stronger and better prepared to fires,’’ Ms Symes said.
‘‘The number of grassroots projects represented in the awards this year is a testament to the outstanding efforts of Victorian’s working with the emergency management sector, and I am very pleased Northern Victoria has been well represented.’’
The awards recognise local grassroots projects that have a big effect on communities, helping reduce the amount and impact of fire in Victoria.
The Fire Awareness Awards are co-ordinated by Victoria’s three firefighting agencies, MFB, CFA and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and have been running for more than 30 years.
Rural Fire Tales is a film coordinated by Benalla Rural City Council.
The project began after two fast moving grassfires in Lake Rowan and Stewarton impacted 92 properties and burnt 8316ha causing significant losses to rural communities in December 2014.
Its purpose was to capture the community resilience that came to the fore in a way that would enhance recovery from disaster.
It features interviews with 43 people aged between two and 78 years old telling their stories of the fire and continuing recovery.
It is deeply personal focussing on individual experience — the impact, learnings and the many positive stories of community support.