Places still available on disaster resilience leadership course

A free course designed for community leaders wanting to assist in times of natural disasters will be held in the Manning next weekend. 

There has been a spike in community interest in natural disasters due to local events such as last years’ bushfires at Crowdy Head and Old Bar.

There has been a spike in community interest in natural disasters due to local events such as last years’ bushfires at Crowdy Head and Old Bar.

The Manning Area Disaster Resilience Leadership course is a joint initiative of the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), Greater Taree City Council and the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) and will be held at Club Taree on Saturday and Sunday May 17-18.

The aim of the course is to provide participants with the skills and knowledge required for their organisations to develop practical action plans to improve the community’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters such as floods, storms and fires. Another key objective of the course is to raise awareness of the risks and consequences of natural disasters and to build on the work already undertaken by community leaders during such events.

“We are still seeking participants for the course,” said Gerard José, Greater Taree City Council general manager.  “We would like to see people from voluntary community groups, not for profit service providers, local business organisations, environmental groups and educational institutions attend.

“Council hopes that the course will lead to the development of practical strategies that will help support the great work of many Manning area residents who already volunteer for emergency service organisations such the NSW SES, NSW RFS, Volunteer Rescue Association and Marine Rescue.”

Greater Taree City Council local emergency management officer, Darryl Boye, stated:  “There has been a spike in community interest in natural disasters due to local events such as recent severe storms in March, last years’ bushfires at Crowdy Head and Old Bar and moderate flooding in some parts of the Manning in March 2013. 

“We are hoping to provide course participants with an understanding of the roles Council and other emergency services play during these events and highlight areas in which the community can help,” he concluded.

The course has been successfully run in a number of communities with excellent results. Some the practical action plans to come out previous workshops include a service club providing catering for local emergency services during a disaster, the local football team having a roster of players in place to help fill sand bags during floods, and a local chamber of commerce running business workshops for continuity planning during disasters.

The leadership course will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss the activities their organisation could undertake in reducing the impacts of disasters on their local communities. The first day of the workshop will concentrate on familiarising participants with local emergency management arrangements.  Ways of building community resilience to disasters using an assets- or strengths-based approach will be explored. The second day will be allocated to participants developing their own disaster resilience actions plans based around a cross-sector collaborative approach. 

The course is free, fully catered and has places available for up to 30 participants with the registration period open until Wednesday, May 14. 

People wishing to attend the course can obtain a registration form by contacting the NSW SES Mid North Coast Region Headquarters on 6592 5800 or emailing mnr.admin@one.ses.nsw.gov.au . 

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