Flood resources to build resilient students in Hawkesbury-Nepean

Launch of new resources at Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury campus

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Yesterday, Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres joined Western Sydney University and NSW State Emergency Service to launch new educational resources that build student understanding of flooding in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.

“Engaging with young people is an important element of the NSW Government’s Flood Strategy for the Hawkesbury-Nepean, a valley with the highest flood exposure in NSW, if not Australia,” Mr Ayres said.

“It’s been more than 25 years since we’ve had a major flood in this valley, and our younger generations haven’t experienced significant flooding in their lifetimes,” he said.

The new online resources for teachers and students have been developed under a partnership between Infrastructure NSW, Western Sydney University, and the NSW State Emergency Service.

Researchers at the University’s Centre for Educational Research have developed the package to support teaching and learning in the ‘Water in the World’ curriculum for Year 7 and 8 high school Geography students.

Centre Director, Professor Kathryn Holmes, said the project team worked closely with flood and weather experts to develop a targeted and impactful educational program that was student-centric and interdisciplinary.

“We want students to understand the risks and potential impacts of flooding and the overall picture of water management,” Professor Holmes said.

“Developed in consultation with principals, teachers and local councils – and piloted in local schools – we now have evidenced-based resources that put learners at the centre of the problem,” she said.

The NSW SES is hosting the new resources on a dedicated ‘For Schools’ section of their website.

“School-based education is an important way to build community resilience for the more than 130,000 people who live and work in this high-risk floodplain,” NSW SES Deputy Commissioner Rob McNeil said.

“This new package will also provide a case study to help educate secondary students across New South Wales about flooding and how to be better prepared when these natural disasters happen.”

MP for Hawkesbury, Robyn Preston, also welcomed the launch of the new teaching and learning resources.

“It’s fitting that we are here to introduce this exciting new educational package at the Hawkesbury campus of Western Sydney University, in the heart of the floodplain,” Ms Preston said.

“Our young people, their families and their communities will all benefit from a better understanding of how and why flooding happens in our region.”

Teachers can access the resources at the NSW State Emergency Service website (opens in a new window).


31 October 2019

Ali Sardyga,Senior Media Officer