Managing bushfire across our State is a huge task, so we’ve established the Bushfire Centre of Excellence to help to make our communities safer.
The Bushfire Centre of Excellence is an education hub where bushfire management personnel can come together for training and learning. Our dedicated team is also examining bushfire knowledge, research and the traditional fire practices of Aboriginal Australians.
The Centre is the first of its kind in Australia and located in the Shire of Murray’s Peel Business Park, about an hour south of Perth.
Plans for a Bushfire Centre of Excellence in WA began after the Special Inquiry into the January 2016 Waroona Fire (Ferguson Report). The report recommended the WA State Government create a rural fire function (Rural Fire Division) to enhance the capability for rural fire management and bushfire risk management. It also recommended that this function would establish a Centre for fire management.
In 2017, the concept of a Bushfire Centre of Excellence was discussed at the Bushfire Mitigation Summit and the inaugural Western Australian Prescribed Burning Forum. It was agreed that creating and capturing learnings through a Centre of Excellence would build bushfire capability for the future.
In 2018, the State Government announced a rural fire reform package in response to the Ferguson Report recommendations. Changes included the establishment of a Rural Fire Division within the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) as well as the establishment of a Bushfire Centre of Excellence.
Following the announcement, DFES consulted with more than 200 stakeholders through workshops, presentations and forums. This informed the Bushfire Centre of Excellence’s key functions, service delivery and guiding principles.
In March 2019, the Shire of Murray was selected as the preferred Centre location. The decision was made following an extensive Request for Proposal process where local governments across the State could formally express their interest.
The Bushfire Centre of Excellence has four key functions designed to serve the bushfire sector. These functions are also designed to strengthen the ways we build and share skills and information to reduce bushfires and their impacts.
The Bushfire Centre of Excellence was purpose-built in 2020. It features training rooms and outdoor training spaces, meeting rooms and more. Aboriginal themes have been carefully incorporated into the building’s design, artwork and interpretive information and the landscaping reflects Indigenous and local heritage, local vegetation and fire design guidelines.
Take a virtual walk-through of the facility using our 3D tour. For information about how to navigate the tour, see the ‘Help’ button in the bottom right corner of the video. To enquire about using the Bushfire Centre of Excellence for a function, training course or other event, contact us today.
The Bushfire Centre of Excellence is committed to gathering traditional and cultural knowledge about fire practices. To achieve this, the Centre has established a Cultural Fire Program which is considering how we can better link contemporary fire management with traditional fire practices.
The Cultural Fire Program will:
Across WA, a mixture of traditional and contemporary practices are being used with great success. The intent of the Cultural Fire Program is to support the development, implementation, coordination and promotion of both existing and future programs.
15 November 2021
Over 500 people turned out to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services’ (DFES) 2021 Bushfire Community Day at the Bushfire Centre of Excellence on Saturday 30 October.
25 January 2021
A volunteer instrumental in establishing a new bushfire brigade and recruiting more than 20 firefighters in just eight months has been recognised at the 2020 WA Firefighting Awards. Read the full release.