Our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Resilience Project collaborates with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations, emergency services, disaster management agencies, emergency volunteers, local councils and Elders, to share traditional knowledge about disaster resilience through culturally appropriate, localised engagement that's built on trust and respect. 

This project involves:

  • Yarning about resilience to natural disasters
  • Learning how we can withstand the effects of disasters through traditional and cultural knowledge
  • Mapping strategies and possible gaps on how to build resilience
  • Working with children, schools and organisations in the delivery of several published books and creative performances
  • The establishment of an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander state-wide advisory group.


We seek approval to engage in a meaningful and purposeful way based on cultural protocols and respect for knowledge, country, community/mob, traditional owners, Elders, culture, tradition, language, and spirit. Our work recognises the rich tradition and significant understanding of natural events that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities have. 


“Our mob's been around for the long time, our old people had these things in place...we must continue to show who we are and how we've survived in this country for so long.”

~ Uncle Norm Clarke, Kanolu and Gunggari People, Blackwater and Mitchell


“It is very important for Indigenous communities to be self-aware in the event of a disaster, being self-sufficient and self-reliant...Being able to look after yourselves, just having that pride in your community, in yourself, helping each other out.” 

~ Tanya Davis, Yidinji Tribe, Atherton Tablelands


“I'm grateful in a way that there is something that we can learn in our communities, our people, in the Straits. And other people in other islands in their community can follow my community, what we have done. And if I can do that in my communities, and others to follow, then I think we'll be a better people.” 

~ Tyson Kebisu, Kulkalgal Clan, Iama Island, Torres Strait


Developed with the support, guidance and encouragement of our state-wide Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Advisory group, 'Ready, Set, Go!' delivers a strong message from children about the importance of being prepared for natural disasters. 

We hope you enjoy our short film featuring creative performances from children from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School on Thursday Island, Girringun Aboriginal Corporation - Young Rangers in Cardwell, Wynnum Manly Bayside Community Members, and AIM Cherbourg Children/Youth Group as they sing 'Ready, Set, Go!'.

The Elders and communities engaged in  'Ready, Set, Go!' believe this is a positive way forward for disaster preparedness education, as the children involved, translate this important preparedness message to their families through song. 

We believe that this cultural performance of the song, dance moves, and discussion is especially important for remote communities where English for many is the second language. 

We've been working with schools across Queensland to support children to become leaders and ambassadors in their communities, to share their understanding and experiences of natural disasters, and to increase awareness about how best to deal with emergency situations.

“When the cyclone came we heard a loud crack and it was a tree falling down. We ran really fast.”

“The tiles were blowing off the roof and spearing into the ground. I stayed awake until about three in the morning. Grandma stayed in the walk in wardrobe.”

“We had about 15 people in our house. We could still watch the cricket until the power went out. The wind was so strong it made the car move! But our cows didn’t blow away.”

~ Children’s experiences of a cyclone

Our work has involved the creation of a series of books, by children and for children, that are building community resilience to disasters.

We would like to thank the Indigenous Literacy Foundation for their generous support in publishing these books. They are all available for purchase directly from the Indigenous Literacy Foundation

Contact our team, via:

P (07) 3002 7600
E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

* Every person featured on this website has consented to their images or moving images being shared in order to showcase the great work and achievements of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Resilience Project. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in the project so far.