90 second statement – resilience awards

Monday, 24 November 2014

Mr PITT (Hinkler) (13:55): In 2013 Bundaberg was devastated by flood for the second time in three years. Nearly every home in North Bundaberg was inundated and sustained significant damage.

Yesterday the Bundaberg North State School received a 2014 Resilient Australia Award for its BEAR Plan. The BEAR Plan—Breathe, Exit, Ask, Relax—successfully assisted students to overcome the associated trauma. The school became the hub for physical and emotional support for students and their families. By teaching deep breathing, along with other strategies, such as moving to a safe location, checking their negative self-talk and some relaxing activities, the students became better able to cope in the classroom.

Students were also given teddy bears to help calm them when they became emotionally overwhelmed. Having a school teddy bear for comfort also provided a secure, safe connection. They also received rulers, water bottles, fridge magnets and wrist bands—like the one I am attempting to wear today, but I am not quite the right size, I am afraid—to remind them of the BEAR acrostic. They received the award from the federal Minister for Justice Michael Keenan at a special ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra yesterday.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the minister for visiting my electorate last week. Hinkler residents had the opportunity to discuss the impacts and causes of crime in the community at a forum in Hervey Bay. The event was well attended by Neighbourhood Watch groups, local police, businesses, schools, state and local government representatives. Minister Keenan also met with the Fraser Coast District Law Association and Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce, as well as stakeholders concerned about the exploitation of workers in the horticulture and tourism sectors.

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