Over 25 community-led groups in communities impacted by the 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfire event gathered at Portland Golf Club on Saturday 11 March 2023 to showcase local activities, map their networks and connect with funding supporters.
The event showed just how innovative our community members have been in the dramatic three years since the catastrophic Black Summer Bushfires. With community work, over 50 projects have been funded by a range of providers, Government, NGOs and charities. The Showcase had 20 of these groups doing rapid-style storytelling called ‘pecha kucha’, hosted by a Creative Recovery team.
The Groups shared their experience of getting their people through the impacts of drought, bushfires, storms, floods and Covid-19; through it all they developed fantastic projects, submitted for funding and some of these have been funded and are underway, or are being held up by other challenges.
Lithgow’s rural, remote and regional communities include 21 villages, over the seven valleys, escarpments and towns. Many groups working across our landscapes have been funded – but many have not. All are working hard as volunteers in the difficult tasks of putting community needs, post-disaster, into a vision for community futures.
The Showcase helped the groups to see what each other is doing, take some time out from the delivery of projects and be inspired by other communities working on post-disaster and community building activity.
The Mayor Maree Statham praised the work of the communities who are bringing attention and investment into the region. “What terrific work there is being co-designed by our people. Council is proud to partner and assist groups to get the most from their projects over the coming years. Lithgow Council is keen to thank the groups and associations and the funders from State and Federal Government programs.
Council encourages agencies to continue to look at what our community is coming up with for the important task of disaster risk reduction and preparation”. This activity is supported by Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network (NBMPHN) as part of the Australian Government’s response to the 2019/20 bushfires. Wentworth Healthcare is the provider of NBMPHN. Lithgow City Council has hosted the project.