Community Forum on Climate Resilience 2023 - Reflections and Next Steps

A powerful morning of discussion and sharing ideas at the Community Forum on Climate Resilience 2023 this morning. Attendees heard from community leaders with real lived experience of supporting their communities through natural disasters.

Expert facilitators Liz Mackinlay, ABV CEO, Briony Rogers, F2F CEO, and Bhiamie Eckford-Williamson, NIDR, guided the panel discussions on how we improve disaster outcomes through reimagining the disaster spectrum and how communities can empower themselves within the disaster response and recovery cycle.

A wide range of topics were discussed, with the key points being:

  • The importance of social capital and how the strength of relationships within the community drives local action.
  • Communities being seen as an asset and power with leading voices, not a risk or vulnerability.
  • The undeniable truth of First Nations wisdom
  • Providing discourse through accessible, meaningful language and storytelling. With a focus on removing fear and breaking down power imbalances.
  • Non-linear thinking regarding the Preparation, Response, Recovery phase. Adaptability is key as phases move through cycles.
  • Flexible funding models allowing quick access when and where it’s needed.
  • Defining the Nexus to mediate between community and government.

Participants left feeling inspired and invigorated with one participant saying “It was great to hear the different experiences across different scenarios. It was also excellent having First Nations perspectives included and incorporated into thinking about adaptation.”

We thank our guest speakers and panellists for sharing their experiences with us and the participants. Elly Bird, Executive Director, Resilient Lismore, Melanie Bloor, President, Resilient Uki, Kizzy Nye, Community Lead - Fire to Flourish Eurobodalla, Sabrina Davis, Kangaroo Island, DisasterWISE Communities Network, Oliver Costello, Executive Director Jagun Alliance Aboriginal Corporation, Sam Henderson, CEO, Northern Rivers Community Foundation, Zena Armstrong, President, Cobargo Folk Festival, Lisa Keedle, Executive Officer - Emergency Management, Yarra Ranges Council and Senator Tony Sheldon, Deputy Chair of Select Committee on Australia’s Disaster Resilience.

A recording of the event will be available on the ABV website shortly, with a statement due for release in February 2024.

This is the first step in a much longer program of work and ABV is excited to be embarking this journey with our partners.

Liz Mackinlay, CEO - Australian Business Volunteers

Briony Rogers, CEO - Fire to Flourish

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