Communities that are engaged, connected, empowered, and have high social capital tend to respond and recover better from natural disasters and other disruptions than those with lesser capacity in these areas. They are also best placed to determine the most effective approaches to building their capacity and capabilities for their situation and context.
Disaster Resilient: Future Ready is a national initiative that supports remote, rural and regional communities to take a community-led approach to strengthen resilience, and have greater capacity to endure, adapt and evolve positively when faced with the impacts of climate, natural disasters and other disruptions.
The multi-year initiative is underpinned by a place-based approach, working at a hyper-local level with grass roots organisations and community representatives to build knowledge of climate risks, catalyse leadership and facilitate collective action to strengthen social capital and build community resilience.
This program partners with specific place-based cohorts of communities. Learn more below.
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DR:FR VIC Community Partners Announced
The communities of Korumburra, Myrtleford and Whittlesea township and surrounds have been selected to partner with the Foundation through the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready program in Victoria from 2021-24.
In late 2021, community representatives were invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to become partner communities. Over the eight months prior, FRRR’s DR:FR Program coordinator engaged with representatives from seven shortlisted communities, listening and learning about what is unique and important to each place, and exploring their readiness, willingness, and capacity to participate in the DR:FR journey.
Working with these diverse communities, FRRR will provide funding and practical support to activate community-led initiatives that strengthen community resilience to disruptions and disasters.
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The DR:FR Support Model
The DR:FR VIC program creates space, facilitates activities, builds relationships and provides resources for community-generated resilience conversations to be held at a pace and style that is appropriate for each local community.
In addition to the facilitation support from FRRR, the communities will have access to funding for activities that support community engagement and a seed funding pool to engage a local community connector and activate priority actions identified through the DR:FR journey.
Supporting community-driven action for preparedness and resilience in Korumburra, Myrtleford and Whittlesea township and surrounds.
The DR:FR VIC program will begin in March 2022 with a series of activities to bring community members together and engage with the broader community to share knowledge, experiences and aspirations for the future.
Community partners will tailor the supports and resources available through the initiative to build and adapt the strengths, tools and resources that already exist in their community and suit their local context.
The program adopts an all-hazards approach to understanding potential disruptions, climate risk and disasters. Whilst not specifically focused on emergency planning for disasters, emergency preparedness activities may be identified and prioritised as part of a community’s DR:FR journey.
Our community partners
The Victorian communities of Korumburra, Myrtleford and Whittlesea township and surrounds are partnering with FRRR in the DR:FR Victoria Program until 2024.
FRRR will work alongside communities to develop their priority initiatives and actions in the first half of 2022 and will then be supported with seed grant funding to support implementation. Explore the sections below to learn more about each community.
Korumburra is an agricultural area located 120km Southeast of Melbourne at the foothills of the Strzelecki Ranges. The primary industry is dairy and beef with a growing niche in gourmet food and tourism.
The Korumburra community is passionate about the town, it’s infrastructure, resources, and people. Community members will fight for the things they care about and generally are very active and involved in what’s going on in the community and how they can support positive development.
The community has great educational leaders and a broad range of community groups (over 35) that are currently active, catering to a range of interests and age groups. The groups are diverse with lots of different people volunteering in them.
In partnership with FRRR, community members have shared that they would like to strengthen their capacity to leverage and/or adapt to the environmental, technological, demographic and infrastructure changes that are planned for or underway in Korumburra. They would like to support the community and its residents to have the knowledge, capacity, networks and resources to be better prepared for unexpected changes and natural events that may disrupt positive community life.
If you’re from Korumburra and would like to get involved with the DR:FR program activities email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Myrtleford is located at the Western end of the Great Alpine Road, in the Ovens Valley, at the foot of Mount Buffalo and ahead of the upward drive to Mt Feathertop and over the High Country Alps to Omeo and Gippsland beyond. Myrtleford comprises a township with a number of outlying communities. It is historically a timber, farming and trade services community, with outlying areas with community assets such as a CFA sheds, community halls and a local CWA group. There is an Italian cultural flavour to the region due to the settlement of post-WWII migrants.
The people of Myrtleford have a ‘get on and do it’ persona. The multiple community groups in the township and surrounding areas activate during bushfires, floods and other events, but each works relatively independently. Myrtleford is bucking a trend seen in regional communities with many young start-up businesses that are coming in and bringing new energy and momentum to community life which in turn is bringing new energy to volunteering and community groups.
The community has a long history with bushfires, having experienced immediate threat and damage in the 2009 Black Saturday fires and being put on high alert during the 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfire season.
In partnership with FRRR, community representatives would like to build the capacity of the community to prepare, respond and recover from adverse events through increasing collaboration, developing skills and capacity to access resources, strengthening networks, improving communications, and building the community volunteer workforce. The community has a lot of support from local organisations, agencies and council to drive a coordinated community-led approach to strengthening existing assets and carry out activities that create change across their currently prioritised areas.
If you’re from Myrtleford and would like to get involved with the DR:FR program activities get in touch with Jill Graham via email – email@example.com or phone 03 5752 2775, or Jacqui Bell, DR:FR Program Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whittlesea township & surrounds
Located on the outskirts of Melbourne, the Whittlesea township is a significant regional hub and provides a lot of support to and around the nearby regional areas. The community has a long history of bushfire events, most notably the 2009 Black Saturday fires where many lost homes and assets in the region. Members of the community of Whittlesea generally identify the community as anyone from the Whittlesea township and surrounds, and anyone that utilises the Whittlesea township as its hub for services, connections and resources.
The Whittlesea community is supported by community leaders who have a high capacity, extensive knowledge and lived experience in bringing together community assets, resources and people in times of disasters or other emergencies. These community members are passionate about transferring this knowledge to the next generation and a more diverse group of Whittlesea community members to support the community navigate change, respond to future disasters and strengthen broader community resilience.
In partnership with FRRR, they would like to re-build community networks, support coordinated efforts to increase preparedness and re-imagine a previously developed community emergency plan (funded by FRRR) into a living platform for supporting community-led resilience and preparedness.
If you’re from Whittlesea and would like to get involved with the DR:FR program activities get in touch with Ivan and Kerry at the Whittlesea Community Resilience Committee and Whittlesea Community House – drfrWhittleseaworkinggroup@frrr.org.au, or Jacqui Bell, DR:FR Program Coordinator – email@example.com.
Interested in this program but not from a currently participating community? Get in touch!
If your community is not listed above, but you are interested in community-led resilience, participating in the DR:FR program, or connecting around what we’re learning, please get in touch.
More partners welcome
There is strong interest from other communities (in Victoria and other states) to partner with FRRR and our program supporters through the DR:FR initiative. We currently have several communities keen and ready to jump on board and we would love to work with them.
We are grateful to our current partners for making the Victorian DR:FR program possible and would love to hear from others with the capacity to partner with us to expand the initiative in the future.
Please contact Nina O’Brien, Disaster Resilience and Recovery Lead.
The first iteration of the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready model was piloted in three communities in New South Wales. In response to learnings from the pilot project and new research and practices in disaster recovery and community-led resilience, the model has been reviewed and adapted for the Victorian iteration in 2021-2023.
If you are interested in learning more, follow these links:
- Download the DR:FR Victoria program brochure
- Download the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready program overview
- Join our DR:FR Resilient Communities Network Portal (Coming soon)
- Subscribe to the DR:FR mailing list for updates (Coming soon)
For more information on the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready initiative, or to get in touch with the community working groups, please contact DR:FR Program Coordinator, Jacqui Bell on 0455 193 303 or via email.