Emergency sign outside a Western Sydney hospital


Extreme heat is Australia’s most deadly natural hazard causing more fatalities than all other natural hazards combined.


With projections for more frequent, severe and prolonged heatwave events in future, there is a need to ensure that our cities and communities are prepared.


Heat Smart Western Sydney looked at what processes and structures are needed for the city to manage to heatwave emergencies, with a focus on how we can support our most vulnerable.


The Heat Smart Western Sydney project had two key components:


1. Heat governance and policy improvement


A gap analysis of heatwave management practice was conducted including a literature review, interviews, and a community survey. The results were further refined through consultation with over 500 regional stakeholders from across levels of government, industry, academia and community sectors.

The final Heat Smart Resilience Framework outlines 25 recommendations for improving heatwave management.


Heat Smart Resilience Framework (2021)

The Heat Smart Resilience Framework sets out a pathway for improving management of extreme heat in Western Sydney, with a focus on building systems that support community resilience.

It starts by providing an overview of current heatwave arrangements in NSW, then proposes an integrated approach to heatwave management, and concludes by outlining opportunities for improving the way we manage future heatwaves.


 HeatSmartResilienceFramework 2021



2. Community resilience building


A key finding of the heatwave gap analysis was a lack of guidance on planning and preparing for heatwaves and extreme heat. The project group worked to develop a range of resources to ensure communities and frontline staff, have the knowledge and tools needed to successfully manage heat risks. These resources were translated into 10 languages and piloted with communities and local organisations across the region in a series of workshops run in partnership with councils, health and the Australian Red Cross.


Heat Smart Organisation Toolkit





 Heat Smart community resources 

HeatSmartOver65 HeatSmartBabiesandChildren Coolhometips  

Heat Smart: Be safe during extreme heat

Heat Smart: Keep babies and children safe

Heat Smart: 10 tips for a cooler home  



Digital copies are available for download, or get in touch with WSROC for printed copies.

Translated community resources can be downloaded via the below links:


Heat Smart: Arabic  العربية

Heat Smart: Farsi  فارسی

Heat Smart: Hindi  डिन्दी

Heat Smart: Korean  한국어

Heat Smart: Serbian  Cрпски

Heat Smart: Simplified Chinese  简体中文

Heat Smart: Tamil  தமிழ்

Heat Smart: Turkish Türkçe

Heat Smart: Vietnamese  Tiếng Việt




Heat Smart videos


Heat Smart Tips for the start of summer (still)             Heat Smart Tips for Heatwaves video (still)
Video 1: Heat Smart Tips: Start of summer            Video 2: Heat Smart Tips: For heatwaves












Translated versions of  the Heat Smart videos are available on WSROC's Youtube channel.




Turn Down the Heat Strategy actions: 11. Preventative heat response framework, 12. Urban heat community engagement strategy


Project timeframe: 2020 - 2022


Project partners: WSROC (lead), Western Sydney Local Health District, Blacktown, Cumberland, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith City Councils and Risk Frontiers.


Contact: Kelly Gee, Policy and Projects Officer, 02 9671 4333



Heat Smart is funded under the State Government Natural Disaster Resilience Program.