The Wingello community took part in the Resilient Towns Initiative (RTI) workshops last Saturday, designed to help communities deal with any future disaster events. Following the success of these sessions in the Snowy Valleys LGA, residents came together with representatives from the NSW Reconstruction Authority, University of NSW, Disaster Relief Australia, Red Cross and Wingecarribee Shire Council.
Jointly funded by the New South Wales and Australian Government, the RTI project is being rolled-out in collaboration with local communities in preparation for confidently meeting future challenges. “The aim is to cultivate resilience in light of the increasing frequency of challenges we are having to work through together,” says Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Coordinator Community Development, Corinne Buxton.
The approach is to support community members to identify and develop locally owned activities based on local knowledge and experience, to build a culture of resilience.
A highlight of the experience was using Disaster Relief Australia’s “Big Map” which used aerial imagery and data mapping technology to create a floor-sized map of Wingello and surrounds, to share knowledge of local evacuation routes and meeting points in the event of an emergency. “A highly engaging and interactive way of building collective knowledge to support the community’s preparedness,” Corinne said.
Significantly impacted by the 2019-2020 Black Summer Bushfires, the Wingello community appreciated being the first village to benefit from the sessions as they work together with Council and Emergency Response Services to ensure they are not caught off guard in life-threatening situations in the future.
The key to the program’s success is that strategies are designed, developed and owned by the local community. Balmoral Village has also been selected for the RTI project, and this workshop is scheduled for next month on 2 December. More information coming soon, or you can contact Council’s Community Resilience Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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