Citizen and Community Leadership in Natural Disaster Preparation,
Response and Recovery
In February 2011 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
released a National Strategy for Disaster Resilience
document. It agreed
to adopt "a whole-of-nation resilience-based approach to disaster management,
which recognises that a national, coordinated and cooperative effort is needed
to enhance Australia’s capacity to withstand and recover from emergencies and
National Strategy document has good things to say about the need
for social innovation and stronger social capacity in developing natural
disaster resilience. "The Strategy focuses on the common characteristics of
disaster resilient communities, individuals and organisations. These
characteristics are: functioning well while under stress; successful adaptation;
self-reliance; and social capacity. Resilient communities also share the
importance of social support systems, such as neighbourhoods, family and kinship
networks, social cohesion, mutual interest groups, and mutual self-help groups".
[Photo, right: Kinglake Community Recovery,
The problem is, the Strategy left design and implementation to
governments and bureaucracies. It overlooked the reality that resilient
communities are unlikely to be built without community leadership and ownership.
You are warmly invited to participate in the
process of creating a citizen and community-led natural disaster initiative in
In August 2011, a national conference was held in Melbourne on
Fire and Rain:
Social Innovation and Community Leadership in Natural
Disaster Management and Emergency Services. It
examined community experiences and responses to Australia's ongoing vulnerability to natural
disasters, and the need for effective community leadership and resilience in
responding to natural disaster risk.
Following the Fire and Rain Conference, a Task Group was established to
explore the development of a citizen and community-led national disaster
initiative with the following charter:
1. It will be a national citizen and community-led initiative.
2. It will develop local infrastructure and grassroots initiatives in disaster
preparation, response and recovery in partnership with governments and
3. It will develop forms of self-help and mutual assistance at the community
level, in partnership with insurers, services, businesses and institutions.
to read our Call to Action.
CLICK HERE to
register your interest in participating.
PO Box 159 Yarraville Vic 3013
03 5629 8400
0425 722 890