Community Development Program

Since January 2020, the funds from the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal have been used to support affected areas in the ACT & surrounds, including Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, and the Snowy Valleys. Thanks to the support of the community, the funds allowed this program to run until 31 December 2022.

Two men smiling at the camera outside the Narooma Men's Shed.

How have we helped?

Our Community Development Program was introduced to build cohesiveness, resilience and capacity within the Bega Valley, Eurobodalla and Snowy Valley communities so that they will cope more effectively with future disasters.

How do they do it?

  • Phase 1 - The Vinnies Bushfire Recovery Program is now in its final phase. The initial phase was the provision of emergency relief (money, food, clothing, accommodation, etc.) to those who had been affected by the Black Summer bushfires.
  • Phase 2 - The second, overlapping, phase was the provision of three rounds of grants to community organisations for projects that will assist their local communities in recovering from the various impacts of the bushfires.
  • Final Phase - The final phase, which also overlaps the first two phases, involves working in bushfire affected communities to promote cohesion, resilience and preparedness. This is the Community Development phase.

The Community Development phase is being carried out by five Community Development Officers (CDOs’) working in the Eurobodalla, Bega Valley and Snowy Mountains Shires (link to meet the team).

The selection requirements for these officers:

  • they lived in the respective shire at the time of the fires,
  • possessed the personal and organisational skills necessary to work effectively in small communities
  • demonstrated a passion to contribute to community recovery.
Trees Growing in South Coast

They work with the Vinnies ethos of “a hand up rather than a handout” to promote skills that will have impacts beyond the lifetime of the Vinnies Bushfire Recovery Program.

The work undertaken by our CDOs includes community cohesion and wellbeing events, assisting the community in generating ideas for community development, developing project plans and assisting with implementation, as well as assisting communities to apply for suitable grants.

Working with the community

  • Our CDOs work with community organisations in their local areas to continue the work of rebuilding the communities and supporting those in need.
  • The CDOs also work with other bushfire recovery agencies (such as Red Cross, local councils, Rotary and Anglicare) on joint projects to avoid duplication and develop synergies where possible.

While our bushfire grants finished on 30 December, our recovery work in communities across our surrounding region is continuing through our Conferences (volunteers).

Please call 13 18 12 for support and advice.

A sincere thank you once again from St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn.

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