On Saturday 1 February a group of local residents who work in emergency management roles came together to organise a community conversation space that focused on living in Woodend in Summer. Research shows that communities that are connected are more resilient and recover better after disasters. Local groups and organisations like the library, neighbourhood house, churches, shire, Red Cross, CFA and SES were also engaged with a focus on what would happen in Woodend if we were affected by an emergency event.
A number of different activities were used to welcome people and to get their thoughts and ideas including face-to-face discussions and asking everyone to write their ideas onto large posters. The discussion focused on:
- What we love about Woodend
- The people of Woodend
- The local groups of Woodend
- How prepared everyone felt
- How ready do residents feel to leave at short notice
- How can we help each other immediately after a disaster
- How can we support each other longer term.
We heard from those who came along that they appreciated the chance to talk about this important topic. There were suggestions to continue the conversation by having more community discussion forums, seek advice from community elders and get involved in MRSC Cool changes for 3442 on March 2.