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Communities working together in emergency planning

VCOSS teamed up with the Municipal Association of Victoria in June 2016 to present the third annual Emergency Management Forum, Working with community in emergency planning. The goal was to increase the levels of cooperation and collaboration between local government and the community sector.

For those of you who were unable to attend the event or simply wish to relive a particular speaker’s contribution (and who can blame you), we’ve prepared a series of useful summaries, below.

Also included are links to the speakers’ presentations in PDF format (kindly hosted on the MAV website).

 

Craig Lapsley
Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner
Craig gave an overview of the current emergency management arrangements for Victoria, including a discussion of the sector’s overall goals and aims, with an emphasis on communities, government, agencies & business ‘working as one’.
ℹ Download presentation

Myra Giardini
City of Mandurah, WA
Myra introduced the award-winning Beyond the Gate project. With a significant and growing proportion of the local population being over the age of 65, the City recognised that local aged care organsiations were particularly vulnerable in the event of an emergency, with few having clear plans for evacuation ‘beyond the gate’. Using shared responsibility principles and working closely with aged care organisations and others, the City now has a clear, concise and practical Vulnerable Community Support Plan in place to support both older residents and aged care organsiations in the event of an emergency.
ℹ Download presentation

Mary Farrow
Emerald Community House

Mary discussed the Centre of Resilience, a community development model piloted at Emerald Community House committing to resilience building ideas and initiatives that stimulate community strength and durability. The Community House is deeply embedded in the Emerald Community, aiming to be ‘a place where connections are made and opportunities realised’. The Community House integrates safety messages across several risks, including bushfire, builds local capacities with local resources, and provides training, all within their various programs, activities and services.
ℹ Download presentation

Kate Riddell
Firefoxes Australia
Kate recounted the sobering story of her and her family’s experiences during the 2009 bushfires, and how this was the catalyst for her to help establish Firefoxes Australia as ambassadors for disaster-affected women. Firefoxes works to assist local communities as they continue to recover from the devastating impacts of the fires, and helps to build their resilience (see image above). Firefoxes also provides advice and information on resilience and recovery to communities across Victoria.
Download presentation

Maree Grenfell
100 Resilient Cities Melbourne
Maree gave an overview of Melbourne’s new Resilience Strategy which aims to prepare Melbourne, including all 32 local government areas, for the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. With a vision of Melbourne’s diverse communities being viable, sustainable, liveable and prosperous, the Resilience Strategy aims to take action to reduce exposure to future shocks and stresses; withstand disruptions and bounce back better than before; to significantly improve people’s quality of life, and to build resilience thinking into institutions and ways of working.
ℹ Download presentation

David Marnie
Macedon Ranges Shire Council
David outlined the Council’s community development approach to supporting local communities impacted by the 2015 Lancefield bushfires.  Working with and not only for the local community has been an important lesson. Council has worked closely with community groups including Neighbourhood Houses, Landcare, and Service Clubs Residents as well as state government, response agencies and support agencies such as Australian Red Cross, Victorian Council of Churches, The Salvation Army, as well as a range of volunteer groups to combine all the discrete elements of recovery into one package.
ℹ Download presentation

Cherie Graham, Moorabool Shire Council
Pam Sutcliffe, Bunninyong Community Volunteer
Cherie and Pam spoke about the community development approach taken by the Moorabool Shire Council following the 2015 Scotsburn fire (below). The success of the recovery to date has been due to the high levels of cooperation and coordination between the council and the community, with many of the recovery activities being identified and led by community groups and supported by the council. Local organisations such as the Lions Clubs, Men’s Sheds, local sporting clubs, schools and the Bendigo Bank have played key roles in organising monthly dinners, art projects, day trips as well as a range of other activities to assist with recovery.
ℹ Download presentation

Sally Sneddon
Surf Coast Shire

Sally took attendees through The Fire Game, an interactive board game designed to test and build bushfire survival skills. The Fire Game helps participants explore different scenarios, build understanding and practice bushfire planning and survival. The Fire Game was developed by the Surf Coast Shire, local emergency services and students from Anglesea Primary School.
ℹ Presentation unavailable.

Kirsten Lingard
Mansfield Shire Council
Kirsten outlined Mansfield Shire Council’s Community Resilience Leadership Program, which brings together a wide range of stakeholders to enhance their role in building community resilience and to develop action plans to address local issues. The Community Resilience Leadership Program equips formal, informal and emerging community leaders with the knowledge and resources to support their community’s capacity and resilience. The program focuses on expanding participants’ understanding of community resilience, building their leadership capacity, strengthening their networks and connecting them with local agencies and authorities.
ℹ Presentation unavailable.

Scott Hilditch
City of Greater Dandenong
Scott spoke about the culturally and linguistically diverse population within the City of Greater Dandenong, and the growing need to inform them about heat health. Through consultation with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, including a range of staff from all areas of council, members of local CALD communities, CALD and other community organisations, as well as sporting and other groups, the City of Greater Dandenong has ensured innovative, targeted messaging to the large number of non-English speaking residents within the municipality.
ℹ Presentation unavailable.

A range of innovative approaches are being undertaken by and with local government and community organsiations to improve emergency planning, response, relief and recovery for local communities.

Importantly, local residents and community organsiations are increasingly being placed at the centre of each of these efforts, building their awareness and understanding of the risks they face as well as building their capacity to manage emergency events.

If you have any queries about the Forum, or if you wish to contact any of the speakers, please email me or the MAV’s Kevin Peachey.

 



Banner imagefirefoxes.org.au
Fire image: Twitter