Introducing the
Australian Warning System

Emergency Management Victoria

A bright, personable campaign bringing the Australian Warning System to life by harnessing the power of storytelling and design.



Campaign assets

Printed Picture Books

Social tiles




Australia’s weather is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it sets the stage for idyllic camping trips, beach days, outdoor music festivals, and weekends away. On the other, it has the potential to disrupt plans and pose significant safety risks.

With Australia’s dynamic and sometimes volatile climate, consistency and clarity in communication across states and territories is essential. Recognising this need, the Australian Warning System (AWS) has been developed to provide uniform warning levels for emergencies like bushfires, floods, and severe weather, ensuring that every Australian understands and can act quickly in critical situations.

Though all Victorians need to understand the AWS, Emergency Management Victoria data identified that women aged 25-54 are often primary planners of family trips and holidays. They’re a cohort that play a pivotal role in sharing safety information with their family members and friends, and a critical group for us to engage with. We aimed to create a community engagement campaign that equipped Victorians with the knowledge and resources for better awareness and preparedness. Our content needed to be consistent and accessible across platforms, and adaptable to a range of audiences including translations for multicultural communities.

Without paid spend, our idea had to cut through the raft of safety messaging on its own. We needed an idea that could not only capture Victorians’ attention, but also their hearts.

By harnessing the power of stories, design and personification, we created an integrated platform that brought the AWS to life.


There is one teaching method that remains as one of the most powerful, with the ability to span age, language and cultures – storytelling.

By harnessing the power of stories, design and personification, we created an integrated platform that brought the AWS to life. We crafted narratives that would resonate directly with our target audience of women and family planners, while delivering them in classic and endearing formats that would engage young and old.

Across three picture and audio books, video, social content, radio, posters and a bespoke landing page, our team turned static warning signs into endearing helpers. Each with their own distinct personality, mannerisms and accessories, we took the AWS and made it the ultimate plus one for all adventures.

Come rain, hail or shine.

Off the pages the characters leapt, coming to life with some of the most captivating storytellers in Australia. We sparked nostalgia for our target audience with the renowned Play School presenter Justine Clarke, and pricked ears by using one of Australia’s most famous mum’s, Melanie Zanetti, the voice of beloved Chilli from Bluey.

From the outset our assets were created to reflect and connect with Victoria’s diverse population, with considerations across copy, design and production. Our Localisation team worked directly with community leaders and translators to develop bespoke content for priority languages, while maintaining the style and idea of the campaign.

Meticulous detail was required to ensure that every nuance around the AWS was accurate. We ensured that references to levels and action statements were consistent across all assets, maximising the touchpoints for the community to learn, and understand the system.

We worked with Emergency Management Victoria, as well as State Emergency Services and the Country Fire Authority to ensure our work reflected the gravity and implications of hazardous weather events, while maintaining the jovial and light-hearted tone that would engage our audience.



Nothing beats reading a good book. So it was only fitting that to launch the initiative, Emergency Management Commissioner Rick Nugent did just that, reading the stories to students at a regional Victorian primary school who were also given their own picture book to take home. This is in addition to the 1500 picture books that were distributed across Victoria.

Focus group results showed strength in the concept whereby participants who had low knowledge of the AWS entering the session were able to understand the signs and colours by the end of reading the picture books and collateral.

Across social media and youtube, the videos have generated a total of 32,600 views organically, with 150 shares from individuals and community organisations.

By empowering people with the necessary knowledge and resources, we were able to create a positive ripple effect, reaching a wider audience and ultimately promote better preparedness and awareness among the Victorian community.

Other works

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