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Heart Safe Communities: How an Aussie BBQ can educate, raise community awareness and build social connection

How community BBQs can act as an effective educational hub, raise awareness, and foster social connections in Heart Safe communities.

HOTN prepares BBQ for residents to share a meal together and build connections

HOTN staff preparing BBQ for residents to share a meal together and build connections

80% of cardiac arrests (over 30,000) happen out of hospitals each year. Survival after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest critically depends on the immediate administration of an AED by bystanders. The average response time of an ambulance is 10 minutes (Sydney Metro), and for every minute that passes, survival decreases by 10%. 

Since 2020, the Heart of the Nation* has partnered with local developers, PAYCE and Sekisui House Australia to create a Heart Safe community in Melrose Park where all residents are equipped with the knowledge, confidence and equipment to be a first responder in the case of a cardiac arrest within Melrose Park. 

In July 2022, BROOKS were engaged by Heart of the Nation, to create a community education and awareness program for Melrose Park residents. The Melrose Park Education and Awareness Program is the first community engagement program designed to inform residents about how to use defibrillators in a high-density residential apartment complex. 


The BROOKS team, from the outset, shared our passion for this piece of work and worked alongside us to deliver a successful program. They were hands-on, down to earth and very active in each of the activities of the program.”

 Julie Hughes, General Manager at HOTN

General Manager, Julie Hughes and HOTN Trainer teaches 2-year old how to conduct CPR.

General Manager, Julie Hughes and HOTN Trainer teaches 2-year old how to conduct CPR.


Live AED and CPR Demonstrations

Residents of the newly developed apartment complexes, OneMelrose and The Residences, were invited to attend a free community BBQ. By connecting residents with each other, as well as providing opportunities for residents to speak with representatives from the Michael Hughes Foundation, BROOKS facilitated a sense of connection and belonging. The positive energy of the event created through the free BBQ, live music, and face painting fostered a warm environment where people felt comfortable and relaxed. 

Multiple live CPR and AED demonstrations were given throughout the event. These quick, short demonstrations allowed attendees to receive a base-line level of knowledge, without having to commit to hour-long training sessions.

communtity bbq brings residents together to raise awareness of life-saving skills

Attendees were able to practise their CPR and AED skills on dummies with the guidance of HOTN trainers. This hands-on experience helped to consolidate their knowledge and provided practical experience to boost their confidence in performing these lifesaving skills. 

For those who were interested in attending an accredited CPR/AED training session, QR codes were provided throughout the Community BBQ for easy registration to upcoming training sessions. 


  • Engagement Highlights

    • The Melrose Park Education and Awareness Program is the first community engagement program designed to inform residents about how to use defibrillators and where they are located in a high-density residential apartment complex.
    • Mandarin and Korean translators were available on site to provide translation of the demonstrations. The translators also engaged with the CALD community throughout the events
    • A total of 285 people attended the BBQs at OneMelrose and The Residences.
    • As a result of the Program, 90% of people who responded to the online digital poll said that they would be confident in giving CPR and using an AED in their home (compared to 40% at the start of the program).
      • 90% are now aware of the differences between a heart attack and cardiac arrest (compared to 38% at the start of the program).
      • 100% know where their nearest AED is in relation to their home (compared to 62% at the start of the program)

Discover more about Heart Safe Communities and community engagement. Contact BROOKS today to kickstart Community Development and Placemaking activities in your area. 

Heart Safe Communities: How an Aussie BBQ can educate, raise community awareness and build social connection

Client

Heart of the Nation

Location

Melrose Park

Date

July – December 2023

Engagement category

Community Development

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