Bishop Druitt College Coffs Harbour, St Patrick’s College Campbelltown, and Christian College Geelong have been selected as joint winners of the National Large Air Tanker (LAT) Naming Competition.
The Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie and Pat Conaghan Federal Member for Cowper visited Bishop Druitt College on Thursday morning to congratulate one of the winning schools and announce the National LAT’s future name.
“The three winning schools all proposed the name ‘Phoenix’. Students from the schools said that it is ‘a symbol of renewal and rebirth’, that the National LAT “is curing the land with its tears by putting out fires” and that it will allow ‘new life rising from the ashes’.”
“I thank all of the schools who participated in the naming competition and congratulate the winning schools. I look forward to seeing the new livery on the LAT and this name could not be more appropriate,” Minister McKenzie said.
Pat Conaghan welcomed the announcement and expressed his gratitude to the students of Bishop Druitt College.
“After what our region experienced during the fires of 2019 and 2020, it’s only fitting that a Mid North Coast school be part of naming this critically important piece of firefighting equipment. It’s wonderful to see the Bishop Druitt College students on the winners list!” Mr Conaghan said.
AFAC CEO Rob Webb said that the National LAT is an opportunity to strengthen the resilience of Australian communities against bushfires.
“The National Large Air Tanker is a new capability that will work with and supplement NAFC’s existing firefighting fleet.
“Australian communities face increasing risk from a changing climate and there is opportunity for mitigation measures such as aerial firefighting to play a greater role in building resilience and protecting our communities from bushfires,” said Rob Webb.
The National LAT provides a significant boost to Australia’s aerial firefighting capability and can be quickly deployed across the country, or to situations that may not otherwise be well served by aerial or ground firefighting resources.
It can carry and drop 15,000 litres of retardant or water and is an invaluable asset for firefighting efforts in difficult-to-reach areas across Australia.
The Competition received entrants from every Australian state and allowed young Australians to get involved and contribute to Australia’s disaster resilience. AIDR and NAFC would like to thank all the teachers and students who submitted entries to the competition and commend their commitment to Australia’s disaster resilience.
For further information on disaster resilience education visit www.schools.aidr.org.au
The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) is the Australian Institute for disaster risk reduction and resilience. We collaborate across sectors to strengthen the resilience of Australian communities to disasters.
The National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) provides a cooperative national arrangement for the provision of aerial firefighting resources for combating bushfires. NAFC coordinates the procurement of a fleet of highly specialised firefighting aircraft that are readily available for use by State and Territory emergency service and land management agencies across Australia.