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May 18, 2022

Community building and disaster resilience

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 18 May, 2022

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Dr Jean Renouf.

If you’ve ever wanted to be a volunteer, the Community Carers and Responders might be where you can lend a hand.

Community Carers and Responders (CCR) support people by assisting with critical aspects of community building and disaster resilience – volunteers will receive free training in first aid and psychological first aid. They also learn about disaster resilience and community wellbeing, plus food, water, energy and housing security.

CCRs contribute to building community resilience and implement resilience projects of their own inspiration to support an atmosphere of caring within the community, and become conduits between emergency agencies and the community when needed.

Funded by Resilience NSW, via the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund, the project was initiated by Resilient Byron and has support from the Australian Red Cross, the RFS, FRNSW, SES, Police, Ambulance, community organisations, local councils and media. 

Generating inspired action

CCR Training Facilitator, Dr Jean Renouf says that it’s all about generating inspired action. ‘The 2020 Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements was very clear. It said “Australia’s disaster outlook is alarming”, and, “in significant emergencies and disasters, emergency management personnel do not, and never will, have the capability and capacity to solve the emergency threat for every individual at risk.” It’s on us to ensure we are prepared for the next waves of disasters.’

Dr Renouf says it CCRs goal to increase capacity for on-the-ground care in times of disaster and crisis, while also creating better connected local communities. ‘This will lead to communities and neighbourhoods that are better informed and prepared for disasters, improved resilience, wellbeing and goodwill.’

The CCR is well placed to create this network. Dr Renouf has spent years working in international aid, often in war zones, responding to disasters. He is also a firefighter, the co-chair of Resilient Byron, and lectures on the topic of Community Resilience at Southern Cross University. 

CCR Training Facilitator Ella Rose Goninan, has been extremely proactive locally as the Director of Renew Fest and the co-founder and president of COREM a community energy organisation in Mullumbimby.

Creating a network of caring people

‘We aim to create a network of caring people, who are passionate about acting now to create a more cohesive and resilient future, so if you know of anyone who you think would be a great fit, please let them know,’ said Ms Goninan. 

Applications to become a CCR officially open on February 1. Training will be happening in each Shire and the team is calling for a diverse, inclusive group of people from across the Northern Rivers including Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed LGAs. 

You can express your interest early by visiting the CCR website. There is a sign-up box at the bottom of the page which will ensure you receive all the key information about this training.

You can also join Dr Renouf and Ms Goninan in an online information session, where they will answer any questions you may have.

For more information and dates for the training in each Shire. Applications open February 1 at ccrnetwork.org.


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