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Byron Shire
January 26, 2022

The Channon resilient after disaster

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The Channon residents are all fired up about disaster resilience. Photo supplied.

Northern Rivers communities are nothing if not resilient, and The Channon community is preparing to take a proactive stance when it comes to disasters in the area.

With an unprecedented disaster in November 2019 burning the rainforest in the World Heritage Nightcap National Park, threatening homes in surrounding hills and valleys, it took a concerted effort of local RFS brigades, NPWS, volunteers and defenders to stop fire and save our homes and forest.

Where the 2019 fires began – the view of Mt Nardi from The Channon. Photo Tree Faerie.

Local resident Ivy Young said the event sparked a collaborative Resilience Workshop, held at The Channon Hall in February 2020. ‘Close to 100 local people came together to look at our current climatic and societal situation squarely in the face and say “well, what are we going to do about it on our local level?” ‘

Seeing this initiative, Lismore City Council applied for a grant, and employed Emma Broomfield of Locale Consulting to assist the people of The Channon with forming a Disaster Resilience Plan.

A community-led Disaster Resilience Plan

Since December 2020 The Channon and Surrounds Disaster Resilience Group have been working with the broader community, Locale Consulting, and Lismore City Council, to create a community-led Disaster Resilience Plan for The Channon and Surrounds.

‘It’s a satisfying place to get to,’ said Ms Young. ‘Having a plan, that has been created from the input and vision of locals, and expertise and skills of Emma from Locale Consulting, means that we now have a road-map for how we, as a community, can work together to improve our resilience and preparedness in the face of a range of disasters.’

The Channon community and the extended family certainly know how to do resilient. Photo David Lowe.

Ms Young said that through the process of creating the plan the need for a local website became clear, as a resource for the community. ‘This online hub will contain not only disaster preparedness and response information, but all manner of knowledge and information relating to living in or around The Channon. A local business directory, information about community groups and projects will be part of it. This website has been created and will go live, with a walkthrough, at the launch.

At the launch the Red Cross will give a talk on packing your emergency kit. Robert Kooyman, ecologist extraordinaire, will be giving a talk on landscape recovery and Kathy from the Teahouse will be providing her delicious cakes for afternoon tea.

‘This is a great opportunity for our community to gather, celebrate this milestone, and get inspired about where to from here,’ said Ivy.

The Disaster Resilience Plan is being launched this Saturday, April 24, from 2-4pm at The Channon Hall. All are welcome.

Once it goes live, youou can visit the website www.thechannonhub.org.


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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Listening to the truth tellers

A long time ago my husband had to attend a meeting in Redfern. He works in the health and academic sector and it was a consultation with some First Nations clinicians and community workers. He arrived a little earlier for the meeting to the centre – not your typical clinical setting but a regular house. On arrival he was greeted by an older woman who led him to a table and offered him a cup of tea. They chatted. Had a laugh. She offered him a biscuit.

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