School building community with disaster funding

Last summer many towns across Australia suffered due to devastating bush fires.

The Rockhampton and Livingstone regions shared in these insurmountable losses throughout their community – and has since been in a constant state of disaster recovery.

Carinity Education Rockhampton is helping the community to become more resilient both before and after natural disasters.

The school is one of several Queensland community groups and councils to share in almost $2 million in one-off grants provided for disaster recovery under a federal and state government program.

“After devastating natural disasters such as fires, floods and cyclones, communities find their strength in banding together, becoming one in support of each other and their community,” Carinity Education Rockhampton Principal Lyn Harland says.

“An integral part of the healing process is dealing with the grief and loss to build resilience.”

Carinity Education Rockhampton has received $140,000 in Community Recovery Challenge grants funding, as announced by Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry.

The funding is targeted at running group activities and facilitating training and education over the next 11 months, to aid in building community capacity and resilience.

“The Community Recovery Challenge to be held next April will be the final item in a year-long program aimed at building community capacity both pre and post disaster,” Lyn says.

“The initiative will include emergency services, police, fire and ambulance services competing against senior school students from across the Livingstone Shire region.”

Part of Carinity Education’s grant proposal was that any funding awarded to the school would be used to benefit the whole Livingstone Shire community.

“At Carinity Education we believe in unconditional positive regard, meaning everyone deserves opportunity regardless of background or circumstance,” Lyn explains.

“We thought the funding offered an amazing opportunity to show people in the community what a special assistance school such as ours can achieve when working collaboratively within its community.

“Our students are normally the ones requiring community support, but our Community Recovery Challenge project provides us an opportunity to show that adversity can be overcome – and that it only makes us stronger when we work together.”

While COVID-19 may have put group meetings on hold, Carinity Education Rockhampton is keen to begin the search for steering committee members to assist in the funding allocation process.

“If you are an individual community member or a member of a small organisation who maybe has a fantastic idea about building community resilience, the school would love to hear from you,” Lyn says.

Enquiries can be sent via the Carinity Education Rockhampton website.

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