Joey and the Heatwave: Heat health resource for newly arrived families

A child-friendly, climate change adaptation storybook resource to promote health and safety during heatwaves.

About the project
Enliven Victoria, partners, and local school children have co-created a culturally-responsive resource to reduce and prevent the negative impacts of climate change (specifically heatwaves) upon human health.  The project seeks to target families with children aged 5-8 years who are newly arrived in Australia (<5 years). Originally the project was aimed at those living in City of Casey, Cardinia Shire and Greater Dandenong regions. The resource is in the format of a short storybook, available in hard copy. Combining the use of rhyme,  Australian animals as main characters, and colourful imagery, this resource includes key messages about the heat-related health impacts and preparedness strategies.

During December 2021, almost 3,000 copies were distributed to 64 settings across City of Greater Dandenong, City of Casey and Cardinia Shire. Settings included primary schools, kindergartens, neighbourhood houses, libraries and others working closely with newly arrived families and their children.

Thanks to further funding from DELWP,  Joey and the Heatwave was translated into the following five languages:

  • Dari
  • Khmer
  • Punjabi
  • Vietnamese
  • Ukrainian

During May 2022, approximately 4,200 hard copies were distributed to libraries, kindergartens, primary schools, local government, maternal and child health and neighbourhood houses across Victoria. Expressions of interest are now closed. Digital copies (PDF) are available to download below.

Why this project is important

  • Melbourne’s South East region is identified as a high-risk area for people affected by heat wave conditions and are likely to develop heat-related illness.  
  • The risk of heat stress can be higher for young children, as they get hotter faster than adults and their bodies are less able to regulate temperature. 
  • Melbourne’s South East is home to a highly diverse range of cultures, ethnicities, and newly arrived communities. Culturally-responsive and innovative strategies to effectively communicate the health risks of climate change are essential. 

Project partners

  • enliven Victoria 
  • Jesuit Social Services 
  • Victorian Council of Social Services  
  • Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action
  • Rosewood Downs Primary School

Evaluation Report

Joey and the Heatwave_Evaluation Report

Evaluation video

Digital copies (PDF)







Georgia Langmaid   
Planetary Health Project Officer

Heather Lawson
Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation Manager 

This project has been funded by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).