A series of storybooks built to support the mental health and resilience of expectant and new parents, babies and young children through disasters and emergency events has been awarded the Resilient Australia National Award at the 2020 Resilient Australia Awards in Canberra today.

The Birdie’s Tree series developed by the Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health is a suite of colourful, child-friendly resources to help families prepare for, cope with, and recover from highly stressful emergency events.

The Birdie’s Tree series follows the story of Birdie and Mr Frog coping with a range of disasters including fire, flood, cyclone, earthquake, drought, heatwave, community illness, and pandemic.

Children’s Health Queensland senior psychologist and co-author of the books, Dr Andrea Baldwin said it has been a tough year and these books aim to help families process the stress and anxiety. 

“Infants and young children can experience more fear and anxiety than older children or adults during and after a disaster because they have limited understanding of the events going on around them,” she said.

“I hope these books can continue to assist parents, carers and educators across Australia help children work through distressing experiences and ‘big feelings’ associated with disasters.”

For more information on the Birdie’s Tree series, watch the video below or visit the Children’s Health website.

Queensland also took the top spot in the Schools Category of the Resilient Australia Awards.

Thuringowa State School was awarded the 2020 National School Award for its Disaster Resilience for a Changing Climate Grand Challenge.

The Challenge brings together STEM students from across Queensland schools to connect using a virtual platform to solve a climate-related challenge.

In collaboration with Townsville City Council, James Cook University and other organisations, students develop resilience and community engagement strategies to help communities before, during, and after disaster events.

Three other Queensland projects were highly commended at the national awards ceremony.

Scenic Rim Regional Council was highly commended in the National Local Government Award Category for the Scenic Rim Farm Box.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries was highly commended in the National Government Award Category for its Drought and Climate Adaptation Program.

James Davidson Architect was highly commended in the National Business Category for its Building Australia’s Residential Flood Resilience initiative.

Queenslanders with Disability Network were highly commended in the Suncorp Community Award Category for its Person-Centred Emergency Preparedness Planning for COVID-19 guide.

Congratulations to all 2020 Resilient Australia Award finalists for the amazing work helping Queenslanders and all Australians become more resilient to disasters.

Get Ready Queensland hosted the state ceremony for the 2020 Resilient Australia Awards in October. Watch the recording of the virtual event below.

Queensland ceremony for the 2020 Resilient Australia Awards hosted virtually by Get Ready Queensland.