Building Community Resilience
Community resilience is increasingly important, particularly as communities face new and ongoing challenges, such as natural disasters, persistent drought, limited access to health services and fluctuations in global trade.
FRRR’s experience shows that when a resilient community is hit by a difficult situation, they bounce back faster. There are many ways to build resilience, such as inclusive community planning, investing in infrastructure, supporting local skill development or strengthening local volunteerism.
Investing in leaders to benefit rural, regional and remote communities
The National Rural Women’s Coalition (NRWC) received a $18,795 from the Creating Inspiring Rural Community Leadership and Engagement program, funded by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, to implement the FRRR Growing Northern Women Leaders (NT) Program.
Designed specifically for NT rural, regional and remote women, 21 participants were taught skills to grow their leadership capability and build capacity in their own rural enterprise and/or within their community. 75% of participants rated the program as a high-level learning experience; 25% rated the program as excellent.
Over five years, NRWC has delivered e-Leaders programs to 200 women living in rural Australia. Dr Patricia Hamilton, NRWC President (2014-2016) said: “We’ve learnt that local leaders are on a plethora of committees and community groups. The underlying premise of the e-Leaders Program, is that on average (per participant) up to 10 other community groups, and up to 100 additional people are influenced as a direct result of investing in training for that leader,” said Dr Hamilton.
Double the damage control
During significant weather events, Gracemere SES in Queensland was faced with the dilemma of which community got assistance first. While they had two vehicles, only one had a storm and rescue tray for carrying sandbags, cleaning up debris, and allowing quick access to stretchers, pole saws and ladders. After receiving a $5,000 Domino’s Give for Good grant, both vehicles are now equipped. And just in time too, as the upgrade happened within weeks of Tropical Cyclone Debbie hitting the area.
To read more inspiring stories of building community resilience, click through to the full Annual Review.