darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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December 4, 2009

A team of four Maffra Secondary College students have been presented with a national safety award by the Attorney-General at Old Parliament House in Canberra.

The winners were Amy Foster, Tim Liddell, Sam Montague and Jess Bedggood.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester congratulated the students, who won the award for producing an information booklet to help teenagers prepare for floods and fire in the future.

“The students who produced this booklet were directly involved in bushfires or floods in 2006-07 and have been able to turn their experiences into a valuable community tool,” Mr Chester said.

“I was told by many of the agencies and families involved in the Black Saturday bushfires that the teenage group was the hardest to target.

“Teenagers still go through the feelings of loss and the grieving process, but agencies have told me they find it hard to target teenagers with support and counselling services.

“This booklet is written by teenagers for teenagers that will help them to prepare for the devastation of natural disasters such as bushfires or flood.”

Mr Chester congratulated the students for being able to draw on their own experience to benefit their neighbours and the local community.

The team raised $8,000 and used a $10,000 grant to pay for the printing of their information booklet.

While presenting the local students with their award, Attorney-General Robert McClelland said: “In this 10th year of these national awards, I am again impressed with the initiative, quality and innovation of these emergency related projects.

“The dedication and commitment of the project teams responsible is clearly evident.  They have identified real needs in the community and gone about devising ways to help their local residents be safer and more secure in the event of an emergency,” he said.

Fourteen projects from across the country received awards and highly commended awards this year

The Awards are promoted by the Attorney-General’s Department through emergency services agencies and departments, non-government emergency related organisations, volunteer groups and private enterprise.

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