Skip to main content

The Building Resilience for Emergency Responses Project has developed resources for social sector services.

Find out more about disaster resilience and how other services have responded to disasters.


Community-led Disaster Recovery: supporting local organisations to plan & prepare

Increasingly, local organisations are using the skills they have built as part of their day-to-day activities to support the wellbeing of their community during and after disaster. NCOSS, the NSW Mental Health Commission and the University of Canberra developed the Community Resilience, Wellbeing and Recovery Project Resources to enable community organisations to be a key part of community-led disaster recovery.


Beyond the Bushfires: Recovery, Resilience and Post-Traumatic Growth

Post-Traumatic Growth refers to the strengths people have, or can develop, as a consequence of and in the aftermath of traumatic experience. This often unanticipated change can be one of the many responses to trauma that a person may experience. The webinar will cover

  • Understanding of Post-Traumatic Growth, the positive changes which can occur, the types interventions which allowed for these transformations to occur
  • stories of post-traumatic growth shared by people who were personally affected by the 2009 Victorian ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires.


Disaster Recovery in NSW

The aftermath of a disaster is a chaotic time and the impacts of a disaster last long after the threat has passed. Local community services provide vital support during this time but it can be hard to find out what recovery support is available, how support is coordinated and how your service and your community can have a voice. In this session we look at:

  • How is disaster recovery organised in NSW?
  • What is the role of your service in disaster recovery?
  • Engaging in disaster recovery – opportunities and barriers
  • A local service active in disaster recovery
  • Useful resources


Malindey Sorrel, CEO, The Family Place Moruya

Malindey is the CEO of The Family Place in Moruya on the NSW South Coast. The Family Place works with the region’s most vulnerable people using a trauma informed case management model, particularly in the housing space and in early intervention with families.   

Malindey discusses the challenges of engaging in a busy disaster recovery space after the 2019-2020 Black Summer Bushfires and maintaining support for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Malindey highlights the integral, but often overlooked, role of local community organisations in disaster recovery, the community-focused activities they have delivered and opportunities for the service’s growth after multiple disasters. 

Angela Van Dyke, CEO, Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre

Angela is the CEO of Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre & Community Aid Service (RNC), a community hub for Blacktown and the Northwest of Sydney. RNC is a non-profit community organisation operating since 1977. RNC’s services include emergency relief, child and youth programs, casework, social support, training and development, and activities to enhance the health and wellbeing of older people, people with disabilities, and carers. 

Angela discusses the impacts of COVID-19 and floods on the local community and the ways in which RNC and partners provided support and promoted connection.  

Angela highlights the need for understanding and connecting with community after a disaster in order to identify needs and actions to address them. To identify your organisation’s role after a disaster, Angela recommends networking broadly to identify partners to work with the ways in which each can contribute.  


Wendy Knight & Michelle Rogers, Ngunya Jarjum

Wendy is the CEO and Michelle is the Partnership and Engagement Manager Ngunya Jarjum Aboriginal Child and Family Network. Ngunya Jarjum was established in 1995 by Bundjalung Elders and community members to address the need for Aboriginal kinship and foster carers. Ngunya Jarjum works within the Bundjalung Nation encompassing the Clarence, Richmond and Tweed areas. 

Wendy and Michelle speak about the impact of the floods, COVID-19 and bushfires on communities and the challenges to maintaining service delivery. 

Wendy and Michelle highlight that Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations should be trusted and listened to – they are able to lead with culture and sensitivity to respond to their community during crisis.


Nemat Kharboutli, Manager Linking Hearts, Muslim Women Australia 

Nemat is the Manager of the Linking Hearts Service at Muslim Women Australia (MWA). MWA is a representative body for Muslim women working to enrich humanity, advocating for the rights of all women, through authentic leadership based on Islamic principles. MVA works with communities in Sydney and South Western Sydney providing settlement services, family domestic violence and homelessness support, case management and capacity building community and development for older women and young people. 

Nemat discusses the breadth of mental health, economic and social impacts experienced by communities during COVID lockdowns and the importance of two-way communication for coordinated, meaningful and effective action during disasters. 

Nemat highlights that community organisations played a key role in creating a sense of calm during and the pandemic created opportunities to innovate in responding to community needs. 

Case studies

Additional resources

Australian Disaster Resilience Knowledge Hub is a national, open-source platform that supports and informs policy, planning, decision making and contemporary good practice in disaster resilience.

The After the Disaster Podcast was developed by the ABC, Australian Red Cross and the University of Melbourne.  The podcast is for people who have been affected by disasters. In the podcast, host Kate Brady and guests provide easy to understand, reliable information from people with lived experience, and people who have professional experience.

Australian Red Cross provides disaster recovery resources and webinar recordings for psychosocial support after disasters.

Creative Recovery Network’s Creative Responders In Conversation podcasts are one-on-one conversations between Creative Recovery Network’s Scotia Monkivitch and the creative leaders, emergency management experts and community members on the frontlines supporting disaster impacted communities.