Disaster management pillowcase project students at st maria goretti school inglewood holding up their pillowcases

Have you packed your emergency pillowcase?

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Recently the Goondiwindi Region welcomed Red Cross to Inglewood State School, Yelarbon State School and St Maria Goretti school to roll out the Pillowcase Project which works with students on preparedness in an emergency. 

The program was inspired by a swag of USA university students who were evacuating as Hurricane Katrina approached, and they all stuffed their pillowcases full as they headed to evacuation centres.  Today, the Red Cross brings along pillowcases to Australian schools to encourage discussion amongst students about preparedness, responding to and coping in an emergency.  During the workshop students create their own pillowcase designs, including drawing all the essential items they would include in their pillowcase during an emergency.

Cr Susie Kelly, Co-Deputy Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group said research suggests that educating children in disaster preparedness plays a part in creating a culture of preparedness and resilience in the community as a whole.  It often means that this activity generates a family conversation about emergency preparedness in their home.

“I was fortunate enough to attend the Prep- Year 1 session at Inglewood State School and the students were excited to participate.  They left with a better understanding of needs versus wants, coping mechanisms for dealing with stress in emergencies and a pillowcase, having learnt about what they would need to take with them – in the pillowcase - in an emergency.

“I was really impressed with how the students in the Prep – Year 1 class were matter of fact about what they needed to take and especially considerate about other members of their family.  For example, we must remember dad’s medication or my sister’s special bunny. They were quite selfless in their approach, and they really got the message,” said Cr Kelly.

The Red Cross Pillowcase program is free for schools to participate, with the visit coordinated by Goondiwindi Regional Council as part of our Disaster Management Preparedness and Recovery plan for the Inglewood community.

For more information about the Red Cross Pillowcase program, visit their website -

14th June 2022 at 12:00 AM