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 lead initiatives that improve wellbeing, increase preparedness and strengthen resilience, so they have greater capacity to endure, adapt and evolve positively when faced with the impacts of climate, disasters and other disruptions.
Over several-years FRRR works at a hyper-local level with grass roots organisations and community representatives to build local knowledge of climate risks, catalyse leadership and facilitate collective action to enact solutions that build on local knowledge and strengths at the intersections of people and place to strengthen social capital and build community resilience.
The DR:FR Victoria program partners with a cohort of place-based community working groups and their communities. Learn more below.
Proudly supported by
DR:FR VIC Community Partners
The communities of Korumburra, Myrtleford and Whittlesea township and surrounds are partnering with FRRR through the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready program in Victoria from 2021-24.
The DR:FR VIC program began in March 2022 with a series of activities to bring community working group members together and engage the broader community to share knowledge, experiences and aspirations for the future.
Community working groups continue to meet monthly and carry out activities with their community on their journey to co-creating strategies that will strengthen community resilience.
Explore the sections below to learn more about each community and their focus through the DR:FR partnership.
Media Releases and Resources:
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 email@example.com.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 5752 2775, or Jacqui Bell, DR:FR Program Coordinator – email@example.com.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in this program but not from one of the participating communities above? Get in touch!
If your community is not listed above, but you are interested in community-led resilience, participating in DR:FR 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 about the DR:FR initiative including its background and model visit www.frrr.org.au/drfr.
We also encourage you to explore this Critical Dimensions of Community-Led Resilience Building summary.
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.