En­cour­ag­ing re­silience

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Monique Freer

Res­i­dents in Thoona are strength­en­ing their re­sources and com­mu­nity re­silience thanks to a pi­lot pro­gram from Be­nalla Ru­ral City Coun­cil.

The ru­ral town is the first of four towns selected to en­gage in the com­mu­nity-led Re­silient Com­mu­nity Pro­gram, which is de­signed to build com­mu­nity re­silience in the face of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents and other sig­nif­i­cantly dis­rup­tive events.

As re­ported in the En­sign on De­cem­ber 18, 2013, Be­nalla Ru­ral City re­ceived $110 000 of Vic­to­rian Govern­ment fund­ing to build ca­pac­ity, pre­pared­ness and re­silience in four ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

The other three com­mu­ni­ties par­tic­i­pat­ing in the project will be Baddagin­nie/Gooma­l­ibee, Ta­tong and Gooram­bat, with the project rolling out across the next 12 months.

Be­nalla Ru­ral City Coun­cil has ap­pointed Jan Os­moth­erly to the role of re­silient com­mu­ni­ties co­or­di­na­tor, in a role de­signed to ask ques­tions and lis­ten to people’s sto­ries and ideas.

Ms Os­moth­erly said while re­silience in­volved bounc­ing back from ad­ver­sity, ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties faced ex­tra chal­lenges in do­ing so with age­ing pop­u­la­tions con­tribut­ing to a high pro­por­tion of vul­ner­a­ble people.

‘‘Many of the older people say that there used to be a stronger sense of com­mu­nity spirit that helped them to bounce back, but that has been sapped over time by things like shops, schools and pubs clos­ing, the de­cline of sport­ing clubs and young people mov­ing away,’’ Ms Os­moth­erly said.

She said the project was about rein­vig­o­rat­ing com­mu­nity spirit as well as be­ing pre­pared for nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

She hoped her back­ground in ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing and com­mu­nity arts would help her work with com­mu­ni­ties to come up with cre­ative ways to get people’s ideas flow­ing and have them be heard.

‘‘There are many people who are very keen to be in­volved, and there are people who have a rich lo­cal his­tory to share,’’ she said.

The grant was part of the govern­ment’s $143 000 Lo­cal People Mak­ing Lo­cal So­lu­tions pi­lot pro­gram, which was funded by the Re­silient Com­mu­nity Pro­gram.

Alpine Shire also re­ceived $80 000 for its Build­ing Re­silience in Businesses pro­gram from the govern­ment’s Re­silient Com­mu­nity Pro­gram, while Mans­field Shire re­ceived $49 500 for its Com­mu­nity Re­silience Lead­er­ship Pro­gram.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the pro­gram phone Jan Os­moth­erly on 5760 2600.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.