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Story behind hit video
Attendees at last weekend's state volunteer forum were treated to a fascinating insight into the production of a humourous video prompting locals to think seriously about their fire plan.
The ‘Living with bushfire risk' video (which uses a light-hearted approach to parody half-baked bushfire plans while featuring a serious closing message from CFA Captain Greg Kennedy) was new to many members, who were delighted to discover a great resource to take back to their own local communities.
The video has gone viral, receiving countless hits and social media interest. It’s is one of six toolkit elements developed as part of the Be Ready Warrandyte project and was produced by the Warrandyte Community Association and the Warrandyte Theatre Company.
Jodi Clark, who was brought on as a paid coordinator three days per week, explained that the success of the project was due in no small part to the strength of the Warrandyte community association, which led the project and worked to secure a grant.
“We’re lucky that we had such a good leader and a good mix of people at the Association. And although the project wasn’t led by CFA they were very supportive and we collaborated with staff from district 13 and 14 all the way,” she said.
Warrandyte South Captain Greg Kennedy said that he was too busy to be heavily involved but having Jodi to keep the project ticking along had been vital. “The beaut thing with Jodi was that things got done,” he said.
“My advice to others is: get the community organisation to do take it onboard, get the funding through the available channels, use your influence but don’t try to do it all yourself.”
Jodi explained the process that the community went through to develop the concept for the video, which aims to talk to people in a way they could relate to and create humorous characters that were true-to-life enough to be familiar.
“The first step was to do a survey. We found out that people didn’t have a plan because they didn’t have time, didn’t know how or they needed help,” she said.
“From there we engaged an experienced advertising executive living in the area (who wrote the script
for free), and got quotes from production companies.
“The people you see in the video are actors from the Warrandyte theatre company, and they are
also identities and known faces from around the town,” she said.
“It just amazed me the talent that was around from the writing of the script to the production
company. And the community loved it because they were involved.
During last Sunday’s presentation, Greg Kennedy and project coordinator Jodi Clark encouraged other brigades or groups to get in touch to discuss how the concept could translate to other areas of
“There’s no reason we couldn’t have ‘Be Ready Warracknabeal’ or ‘Be Ready Warrnambool’,” said Greg.
“Towns that start with other letters of the alphabet could think about it too,” Jodi quipped.
A sample fire plan tailored for Warrandyte is also available on the Be Ready Warrandyte ‘Tools’ page
The ‘Be Ready Warrandyte’ project is funded by a Victorian Government’s Fire Ready Communities Grants Program. Manningham City Council, Nillumbik Shire Council, the Warrandyte Community Bank and the Community Market Committee have also provided funding support.
Are we there yet? (Community Engagement and Fire Awareness Forum).