Balmoral Fire Connect was a collaboration between SGGPCP, Balmoral Bush Nursing centre and RMIT University funded through CFA Summer Fire Safety Initiative 2016/2017.

This short research project investigated the diffusion of bushfire safety information from the central hub of a small rural community, the Balmoral Bush Nursing Centre (BBNC). Two methodological strategies were implemented to measure and better understand flows of bushfire information through community networks and the actual and potential role of the BBNC in facilitating such information.

Balmoral Fire Connect FINAL Report

Balmoral Fire Connect Flyer

Key results:

Strategy A: Understanding the flow of bushfire preparedness information from staff at the BBNC

Overview of methodology: A Bushfire Safety session was delivered to all staff during a full day staff meeting at BBNC. Upon completion of this session all staff participated in a short trial to gauge the capacity of the research to gather data for social network analysis from all staff.

As a result semi-structured interviews including administration of surveys designed to capture ego networks of their relationships with clients were conducted with 4 key staff.

Key results (in brief – see final report for comprehensive results):

  • Staff feedback around the fire safety session indicated that a short and focussed session was most effective for them given their limited capacity to participate, but also due to the familiarity of the fire safety message in and around Balmoral Community.
  • The 4 semi-structured interviews highlighted the staff perception of their role in the community to pass on fire safety education. Although most staff felt they did not feel confident to pass on “expert” fire safety education in their role, they do all have extensive conversations with their clients around general wellbeing including local seasonal situations and welfare. This highlighted opportunity to capitalise on this relationship and the natural conversations staff have with clients to augment more formal fire safety information available in the community. The interviews highlighted the strong network between clients, particularly in the Planned Activity Group which could further be used as platform for information dissemination between community members.


Strategy B: Understanding the flow of information that stems from user groups of the BBNC.

Overview of methodology: Bushfire safety sessions were delivered to two user groups (Planned Activity Group and Balmoral Kindergarten Parents) and ten parcels containing 5 packs each of fire safety information were disseminated to volunteers of these groups. Volunteers were asked to take a pack of information and pass the parcel onto someone else. Participants were invited to provide feedback on the processes and results through a focus group and/or written survey.

Key results (in brief – see final report for comprehensive results):

  • The Balmoral Fire Connect Parcels reached 43 community members.
  • Feedback gleamed through the focus group identified that the fire safety session delivered to the Planned Activity Group focussed on myths was an excellent opportunity to recognise the knowledge existent in the group but also provide discussion to unpack myths. Similarly, feedback received at the fire safety session at the Balmoral Kindergarten indicated that the short focussed session and opportunity for small group discussion with the presenter was very valuable.
  • Evaluation identified the 2 most useful CFA publications for this group were Can I Can’t I and Warnings and Emergency Information.
  • When asked to indicate actions undertaken as a result of participating in Pass the Parcel all respondents indicated that they completed some action form reading or sharing the materials with others, talking to others about fire safety through to making changes to existing plans.

Results on a page