Summary

Almost 10 years ago, Victorians lived through the worst heatwave and bushfires in our nation’s history. Tragically, 173 people lost their lives in the 2009 Victorian bushfires, and the heatwave saw deaths increase by 374 people. Many more were injured, lost their homes or their livelihoods.

As the anniversary approaches, people may experience different emotional and physical reactions.

Your colleagues may notice more people needing their assistance in the coming weeks, or may need some help and support themselves as the anniversary is acknowledged. 

This toolkit has been created to help you communicate the upcoming anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires to your community, through your various communication channels.

This pack also includes internal communications resources, including suggested text and images for your intranet, internal social media channels and staff newsletters or emails. 

Pre-drafted communication material

This pack includes the following tools that can be used for your communications for promoting mental health and wellbeing in the lead up and during February 2019: 

  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – sample media releases (Word)
  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – sample news articles (Word)
  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – sample social media posts (Word)
  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – sample internal communications resources (Word)
  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – sample health and wellbeing information pack (for practitioners) (Word)
  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – sample conversation toolkit (Word)

These documents can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Promotional resources available 

These resources can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.

Printed versions of the poster and brochure can be ordered at no cost via our online order form.

  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – A2 poster
    • This poster provides an overview of the anniversary and some of the ways in which people can access support.  
    • Community and health care services are encouraged to order this resource and display in waiting rooms.
  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – A3 poster (use link above to order free printed copies)
    • This poster provides an overview of the anniversary and some of the ways in which people can access support. 
    • Community and health care services are encouraged to order this resource and display in waiting rooms.
  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – trifold brochure (DL) (use link above to order free printed copies)
    o This brochure is relevant for community and health care providers and provides information on dealing with traumatic events and recovering from long-term trauma. It includes consumer information and contacts for services. 
    • We encourage you to order this resource to display in waiting rooms and to give to people seeking assistance.
  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – fact sheet (coming soon)
    • This fact sheet replicates what is in the brochure, however is it in an easily printable format, and is translated into 21 languages.
  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – email signature
  • 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires – yellow ribbons (via online order form link above)
    • A limited amount of yellow ribbons are available to order from DHHS for organisations who wish to acknowledge the 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Victorian bushfires and the people who were affected. 
    • These ribbons are mostly for staff in the health and human services sector, however a small number are available for other organisation requiring urgent ribbons for their staff.

Key dates to remember

1st week in February (TBC) – State Memorial for those who died in the 2009 Victorian Bushfires

7 February 2019 – 10th anniversary of Black Saturday

Symbols

Victorians are being encouraged to wear a yellow ribbon at this time to acknowledge those affected in the 2009 bushfires. We have made some yellow ribbons available for staff (see resources list above), however you may wish to organise your own for any community events or commemorative activities.

Tips for promoting the message

Localise your message

Use your local knowledge to make your messages more meaningful to your audience. Also, think about using a range of community leaders as spokespeople.

Find out who you need to work with

It might seem like an obvious statement, but get to know who you need to work with in your council. Communications, emergency management and environmental health staff need to work together to avoid duplication of effort to get the best community outcome, so make some time for a catch-up with a colleague.

Time the release of your message

We recommend beginning conversations about the anniversary prior to Christmas 2018, building up as  February 2019 approaches.

In the first week of February, you may wish to have more resources available for your staff. It is anticipated that many people across the state will seek support in the lead up to commemorative events as they reflect on their experiences over the past decade. While we have seen many instances of incredible resilience in Victoria, recovery remains an ongoing challenge for many.  

Consider your channels

The following tips will assist you with promoting health messages with local media:

  • Think about targeting groups which might find it difficult to find out about initiatives through other channels, particularly people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. For example, if you have a large Chinese speaking population, get materials translated and included into Chinese publications. We have a general fact sheet about mental health and wellbeing during the anniversary period available for download in 21 languages (see resources section below).
  • Lastly, don’t worry about repeating messages. The best messages are simple and repeated again and again. The average number of times a person needs to hear a message in order to recall it is 3-5 times. So say it, and then say it again. 

Thank you for supporting this important campaign.

Details

Publication Type
Document
Topic
Toolkit
Date Published
13 Jan 2019
Size
Multiple assets