Kim Cope, David Dyason & Dick Davies with Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley outside the EMV trailer for the Immersive Bushfire Experience at South Warrandyte Sunday 22 April

The Immersive Bushfire Experience is currently undergoing final testing before being launched to the general community in September 2018. We are seeking the support of community members who are interested in being involved in rehearsals on Sunday 22 April 2018

Venue: South Warrandyte Hall, 66 Hall Road, South Warrandyte

Session Times:

Session 1 -­  Participants arrive 9am for a 9.30 start
Session 2 – Participants arrive 11am for a 11.30 start
Session 3 – Participants arrive 1.30pm for a 2pm start.

Register at:  or call 0413 753 622.

The Immersive Bushfire Experience is a unique mobile learning space that aims to help you better understand what being in a bushfire is actually like, to learn how you will respond to the threat and what you can do to better manage your response and emotions.

The real-life events of two families during the 2009 Victorian bushfires have been drawn on to assist development of the experience. Through careful and sensitive examination of their first-hand accounts, a ‘gap’ was identified between people’s expectation of bushfire and the reality of a bushfire.

In behavioural science, this ‘gap’ is referred to as psychological or emotional preparedness. This is the extent to which people are aware of and are able to anticipate what it would be like to be in a very frightening situation under threat, as well as have the ability to effectively manage thoughts, emotions and behaviours to respond to danger appropriately.

How will it work on the day?

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a host, who will discuss with you what to expect and provide a written description of the experience before you sign an informed consent. Participation is entirely voluntary and you are free to change your mind and decide not to participate at any point.

You are then guided through a forty-five minute – 1 hour session that helps you explore the reality of a bushfire and your natural reactions. It has been designed to assist you to become better informed so that more realistic expectations can be built into bushfire preparedness activities and decision making.

It is designed to activate, augment and ‘springboard’ people toward current or additional information sources, agencies community engagement programs (CFA Community Fireguard etc.) or inspire the communities to gather their own resources – all with a much better sense of what they are planning and preparing for.

Who are we looking for to be involved?

We are looking for a wide variety of people from all walks of life. You may live in a bushfire risk area, you may have experienced fire or not. We are particularly keen to get people that have never experienced a bushfire as the whole experience is designed to close the gap between what you expect it will be like, and a realistic replication of what it really will be like.

Who should not participate in the experience?

It is strongly recommended that should any of the following apply to you, then you do not participate in the IBE:

  • If you are under 16 years of age
  • If you have a heart related medical condition, raised blood pressure, asthma, breathing difficulties, unpredictable allergies.
  • If you suffer from a mental health condition including anxiety responses to enclosed spaces.
  • If you suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or have recently experienced a traumatic event

Register your interest in participating in the Immersive Bushfire Experience by emailing the WCA at or for further information phone 0413 753 622.