Boosting resilience with the help of local women

LOCAL women have contributed to plans to build the resilience of our communities in the face of future natural disasters.

Alpine Shire Council, in partnership with Women’s Health Goulburn North East, asked local women what resilience meant to them as part of the “Through Women’s Eyes” project earlier in the year.

Funded by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), the project sought to learn how the unique way in which women deal with disaster could help communities bounce back in the future.

Council’s Community Building and Engagement Officer Jan Mock said the project gathered women’s perspectives on disasters and resilience with the aim of contributing to local community resilience planning.

“We had 31 local women, aged from 16 – 80+ years, take part in discussions at Kancoona, Rosewhite, Mount Beauty and Myrtleford,” she said.

“From these discussions we gathered some very valuable insights into how women cope with disaster, how they bounce back and the important role they play in keeping families and communities together in times of great stress.”

The discussions explored the definition of resilience and what does and does not help to build it; how men and women differ in the way they manage a crises and what needs to change to help communities recover more quickly.

Ms Mock said the findings would be put to practical use by the Alpine Shire Council - Community Resilience Committee and Women’s Health Goulburn North East.

“The information will help us to help prepare local communities for future hazardous events and to advocate for improvements in government emergency management policy and practice,” she said.

The final report, in the form of posters, is available here.

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