Through Women's Eyes
The Black Saturday bushfires of February 2009 in Victoria will forever be etched in the memories of those who experienced it first hand. Lives changed and the aftermath continues to be felt in families and communities devastated by fire.
In recognition of this fact, the Women’s Health Goulbourn North East (WHGNE) in conjunction with the Alpine Shire ran a series of workshops entitled “Through Women’s Eyes: Increasing Disaster and Community Resilience” to gather women’s unique perspectives on disasters and resilience, and to contribute to local community resilience planning.
Women’s Health Goulburn North East is a dynamic, organisation committed to working in partnership to improve and promote the health, safety and well-being of women. When they approached FRRR seeking over $19,000 in funding from the STEPS program to run this series of workshops, it was granted immediately.
The outcomes of the program were more powerful than anyone had dared to imagine. The women’s disaster resilience insights, stories and suggestions for change were captured on six posters which have been displayed locally within their communities and published on websites.
Program facilitator Tricia Hazeleger said “The opportunity for all of us to hear first-hand the experience of women impacted by the 2009 fires was invaluable - finding out how others coped, learning new methods and attitudes, and expanding on our knowledge about resilience and how emergency services work.”
The project has increased disaster resilience and community resilience skills, and the disaster and community resilience strategies identified during the project to help prepare local communities for future hazardous events and to advocate for improvements in government emergency management policy and practice.