Non-clinical supports in bushfire-affected regions

COORDINARE are investing $2.6m to improve wellbeing and community connection for bushfire impacted people in the Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Shoalhaven, Queanbeyan Palerang and Snowy Monaro.

Late in 2020, we completed a wide-reaching consultation with communities, local councils, service providers and the National Bushfire Recovery Agency (NBRA).

Feedback from the five local government areas indicated a desire for locally-led recovery initiatives including funding to:

  • Improve the wellbeing of children and young people under the age of twelve, and
  • Ensure vulnerable people in rural areas have access to flexible wellbeing supports.

Funding was also distributed based on COORDINARE population data together with bushfire impact information from the NBRA taking into account the area of land burnt in each region, properties damaged and impacts on the local economy.

COORDINARE has partnered with the following organisations to deliver services for bushfire impacted people until June 2022.

Bega Valley (30% of funding allocation):

Eden Community Access Centre will employ two Rural Support Workers to provide outreach service to rural and regional communities across the Bega Valley. This service will build on programs already in place to have a chat, assist with practical needs and link with bushfire counselling, parenting programs and other support services.

In addition, Mission Australia will provide a Child and Family Support Worker to deliver outreach support to bushfire impacted children and families to:

  • Navigate and link with local services and supports, and
  • Work in partnership with existing early childhood providers including supported playgroups.

Eurobodalla (30% of funding allocation):

Eurobodalla Shire Council will expand its existing Volunteer Program to recruit, train, nurture and support a team of volunteers to provide practical non-clinical supports to bushfire impacted people living in the region. Through the expansion of the program, volunteers will be trained in Mental Health First Aid building community resilience for the longer term.

Katungul Aboriginal Corporation will provide three Aboriginal Recovery Officers to assist with improving the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people impacted by the bushfires. These positions will facilitate direct supports and provide cultural mentoring to mainstream services to improve engagement, connection and sustainable outcomes.

In addition, Marymead Child and Family Centre will deliver their Revival program of services which provides grassroots community-led, wellbeing, cultural, spiritual, recreational, and psychosocial supports for children and families within the Eurobodalla.

Queanbeyan (10% of funding allocation):

Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council will provide a non-clinical Rural Support Worker to accompany asset rebuilding teams in outlying areas. This program will provide additional resources to the existing Farm Gate Counsellor to have a chat, assist with practical needs and help link into bushfire counselling, parenting programs and other support services.

Shoalhaven (20% of funding allocation):

The South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation will provide two Aboriginal Support Workers based in Nowra and delivering outreach to the lower Shoalhaven areas of Ulladulla and surrounds. Joining the Wellbeing Team, these workers will identify and implement solutions to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal people and communities affected by the bushfires. *pending approval

In addition, Save the Children will provide a Child and Family Supports Worker to:

  • Support recovery and strengthen resilience of children and families affected by bushfires
  • Build the capacity of local early childhood providers, and
  • Deliver supported playgroups to support healthy child development and the capacity of parents.

Snowy Monaro (10% of funding allocation):

The Monaro Family Support Service will provide:

  • A Child and Family Support Worker to partner with local early childhood and education providers to deliver programs and activities in a range of community settings. This support will have a particular focus on smaller rural towns and communities.
  • A Rural Men’s Program Coordinator and program funding to support initiatives that assist rural men. Activities will build engagement and strengthening social connections through adventure therapy and social-emotional wellbeing approaches.
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