Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Victorian initiative wins 2014 National Disability Award

A joint fire safety information and awareness programme run by Vicdeaf (SLC Vic) and Emergency Management Victoria won a 2014 National Disability Award last night.

The project received the ‘Improving Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Award’.

Representatives from organisations behind the programme attended the awards event at Parliament House in Canberra. They were one of 23 finalists from more than 200 nominations received across eight award categories.

The programme was developed out of a partnership to identify opportunities to increase access to information and services by deaf and hearing impaired Victorians.

Under the partnership, Vicdeaf (SLC) collaborated with Emergency Management Victoria to produce 21 Auslan-interpreted videos of bushfire condition updates that were shared online.

Televised emergency bulletins featured an Auslan interpreter and were captioned.

The judges said the programme “identified a critical gap in emergency response and set about addressing it with great success”.

They also felt the partnership was an excellent example of a collaborative programme and “a great example of best practice, which should be replicated nationally on a routine basis across all emergency services situations”.

The National Disability Awards are a major part of celebrations marking the International Day of People with Disability on 3 December each year.

The full list of 2014 National Disability Award recipients and more information can be found at