It has been remiss of me not to share our time at the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference held in Meanjin/Brisbane recently.
The ARLF team (myself and Philanthropy Manager Vivienne Johnson) showcased the impact of the Regenerate Nambucca and Snowy Valleys programs in these bushfire affected regions, through collaborative leadership. The ARLF is committed to strengthening regions and putting community leadership in the box seat, as we did at the conference.
Like all good conferences, our ‘work’ and the value came from sharing meals, wandering the exhibitor space including ‘Resilience Lane’, debriefing sessions and making new connections of people, colleagues ‘think you should meet’.
A highlight was joining a session in which LARC (Leading Australian Resilient Communities – Northern Rivers region) alum Melanie Bloor was a panel member, the topic being ‘Community perspective on resilience reimagined’. The panel shared how many small, community led organisations emerged in response to disasters, their solutions for adaptation and resilience, and how they worked alongside other stakeholders as partners and advocates. Melanie shared her Uki community/flood experiences and spoke of just how important hyper-local leadership is.
Post session she shared how she’d travelled with three LARC alumni who would not have known each other otherwise. Melanie also shared that they continue to catch up, got funding for one project soon to finish up and are now generating a new project in order to stay connected. They will meet up in the next few weeks and continue to be grateful for their LARC experience and connections.
It was fantastic to see ARLF participant, Jordan Nye of the Regenerate Eurobodalla program, also part of a panel on First Nations leadership in disaster recovery. And to also catch up with LARC – Wide Bay Burnett alum Melinda Jones on behalf of the Red Earth Community Fund; the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s (FRRR) Nina Obrien; and Leadership Victoria’s Katherine Ellis.
A reminder of just how expansive the ARLF network – alumni and our collaborative partners – is across our regions.