Clarence Valley Council
Disaster Resilience and Risk Mitigation in Malabugilmah and Baryulgil Discrete Aboriginal Communities
During recent disasters, the Discrete Aboriginal Communities (DACs) of Malabugilmah and Baryulgil have been isolated due to bridge failures, roads blocked by burned and fallen trees, a lack of telecommunications, and other access limitations. In response to these challenges, Clarence Valley Council partnered with the DACs to support recovery activities and take a proactive approach to risk reduction and mitigation investments. Through this partnership, a Neighbourhood Safer Place was implemented, and infrastructure improvements were installed to improve water security for Malabugilmah. Fire-resistant native and bushtucker plants were provided for community-led revegetation, and significant road infrastructure improvements were made as part of a Co-Funded Safer Roads Grant project, which also brought Transport for NSW into the partnership. This collaboration and knowledge sharing has empowered these communities. In addition, Clarence Valley Council and other stakeholders now have a better understanding of how to support communities in building capacity and self-determination in order to be resilient and better prepared for any situation.
Glen Innes (GLENRAC Inc)
Natural Disaster Response and Recovery -
Supporting Our Community
The Glen Innes Natural Resources Advisory Committee (GLENRAC) was formed in 2018 in partnership with Glen Innes Severn Council, under the Australian Government Drought Communities program, to assist primary producers deal with the ongoing effects of drought. Since then its work has increased in the face of continuing drought, then bushfires of unprecedented intensity, and damaging floods in early 2021. Through all these challenges, GLENRAC has fielded 661 enquiries and supported the community to secure more than $2.5 million in government rebates and disaster assistance. In addition, GLENRAC has delivered broader on-ground and capacity building projects in the community - including more than 200 events of all sizes, and a stunning range of training and learning activities to share important information and build community resilience. Throughout, it has fought to reduce isolation, encourage participation and build social cohesion. Its legacy of partnership, both with the community and with government, non-government, and business entities, will continue to safeguard the region into the future.
Southern Cross Credit Union
SCCU Community Grants Program
Hearing first-hand stories from affected customers spurred Southern Cross Credit Union to think about how it could foster hope for the future of the Northern Rivers of NSW. The credit union reinvented and quadrupled the size of an existing community grants program to better support individuals, businesses and the broader community in recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and other disasters. With exceptional community support, six projects were selected based on their impact on the region and the values they represented - such as community, care, empowerment, customer focus and integrity. Highlights include the Sea Turtle Recovery Dry Docking System in Byron Bay, the Precious Plastic Northern Rivers community access plastic recycling centre and the Impactful Youth Project, which provides a four-day camp based on Aboriginal initiation processes for 11-16 year-old young people to build confidence, personal leadership, and emotional literacy. All of these projects will deliver long-lasting benefits to the Northern Rivers of NSW for many years to come.
Bobin School of Arts Hall
Bobin Bushfire Recovery
In Bobin, on the night of 8 November 2019, 18 of the village’s 50 residences were destroyed by fire, with significant damage to the other 32. The Bobin School of Arts Hall, however, survived and quickly became the centre of the district’s bushfire response - housing everything from emergency services to temporary accommodation and food distribution. What became clear was that although the hall had traditionally been the social centre of the community, it was terribly ill – prepared for this emergency role. The community got together and, along with another 10 communities in the region, obtained funding to set up permanent facilities to help residents and emergency services when disaster strikes. It has also pioneered an ingenious project to design, create and provide residents with fireproof signage and information tubes that can be attached to a property to indicate whether residents have evacuated or need assistance.