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Over 80 people attended Cardinia Shire’s Community emergency resilience forum earlier this week to focus on promoting resilience building and community preparation for emergencies.

Community emergency resilience is a community’s ability to use the resources at their disposal to respond to, withstand, and recover from emergencies. It benefits the whole community and is strengthened by identifying and training community leaders to support their communities to plan for and recover from emergencies.

Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Collin Ross was pleased to see so many people from the Cardinia Shire community taking an interest in the topic and genuinely keen to engage with council and emergency services on the topic.

“It was inspiring to see community members of all ages and backgrounds, emergency services personnel, councillors and staff, local organisations and community groups all coming together to learn about and brainstorm how we can work together to encourage and increase our resilience to and preparedness for emergency situations,” Cr Ross said.

“I was particularly happy to see two of our youth councillors, Jennifer James and Kurt Caddy, assisting with MC duties on the night.

“Their involvement in such topics and events provides an exceptional example of how we cannot underestimate the maturity and passion of our next generation and how they will act to protect and improve their future and that of their community.”

The event sought to increase awareness of emergency resilience and planning, with guest speakers covering current issues and approaches in emergency planning, building resilience in communities, and a case study of community-based emergency planning in a township northeast of Melbourne.

Attendees heard from Emergency Management Victoria’s General Manager Risk and Resilience Brett Ellis on Community Emergency Planning and Resilience, Victorian State Emergency Service’s Community Resilience Coordinator Jule Syme on Victorian SES community resilience, Nillumbik Shire Council’s Project Lead Emergency Management Matthew Campbell and Department Environment Land Water and Planning’s Kathy Overton on the St Andrew Community Conversations project.

Cardinia Shire Council’s General Manager Community Wellbeing, Jenny Scicluna said the event provided valuable insight into the local community’s interest in the topic, gaps in knowledge, and what they want to see happen in this space in the future.

“The feedback we’ve received from attendees was positive and demonstrated the collective desire to see more community conversations on community emergency resilience. It was really great to see so much knowledge, passion, curiosity, and willingness to develop and promote greater community emergency resilience by all who attended,” Ms Scicluna said.

“Our Emergency Management team has so many take-aways from the event and is looking forward to planning further conversations with the community.

“We’ll be looking at how we can assist in equipping our community with practical guidance on where to start with increasing emergency resilience in our community, where to get more information, how they can maintain interest within the community, how to identify and overcome barriers experienced by communities, and what success looks like.”

Community members, leaders, and groups interested in starting a community emergency resilience program in their local community can contact Council by calling 1300 787 624 or emailing mail@cardinia.vic.gov.au to find out how the Emergency Management team can assist.

For information about community emergency resilience, visit Council’s website at www.cardinia.vic.gov.au/communityresilience

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