By Alana Mitchelson
A BERWICK primary school student has outperformed state-wide entries to win an award for her video promoting fire safety in the home.
Berwick’s Tiana Van Cuylenburg said she was surprised to be named the dual winner of the Year 5 and 6 category at the inaugural Melbourne Fire Brigade (MFB) fire safety film competition last week.
A keen YouTuber in her spare time, the 11-year-old took advantage of her acting experience – having played lead roles in drama performances – to create a fire safety superhero character.
“I really like making films. For this competition, I wanted to make a film that little kids would understand too,” Tiana said.
“I’d never thought about fires in the house or in your bedroom before and how dangerous that would be – only about bushfires – so that made me work hard to think of an idea that could help push the importance of keeping safe by checking electronic devices like laptops and iPads are turned off and to ‘Check Before You Leave’.
See Tiana’s award winning fire safety video.
“I was so nervous and shocked to be chosen for the award.”
Tiana won a Panasonic video camera and Polaroid camera that she said would go to good use for her comical YouTube videos.
Berwick Primary School Class 1F’s film promoting the Stop Drop Cover and Roll fire safety measures was also recognised as a finalist.
MFB held the inaugural competition this year to coincide with the organisation’s 125th anniversary and invited students from Prep through to Year 10 to create a 30-second fire safety film.
Entries ranged from live action to animation, computer-generated graphics and stop-motion among other styles.
MFB chief Jim Higgins said he was thrilled at the number of entries and creativity displayed in the short films.
“The time and effort put into the videos shows the engagement that our firefighters have when making school visits is having an impact,” Mr Higgins said.
“This year’s winners and finalists have set a very high bar and MFB plans to use these videos in the future to help us spread our fire safety messages to young Victorians.”
The winners were announced at a presentation on Thursday 16 September at the Sun Theatre in Yarraville, with finalists given the opportunity to view their films on the big screen.
For more information, view Tiana’s YouTube channels at Tiana vancuy or #Me TV.