We are 12 months on from the devastating floods that impacted the lives and livelihoods of so many across our region.
While understandably people don’t want to turn their minds to what could be to come, the reality is we must invest in communities to save lives as natural disasters become more frequent and more impactful.
A 2021 Deloitte report estimated the costs of natural disasters in Australia to be $38 billion each year on average, climbing to a staggering $73 billion by 2060. Yet a mere 3% of this budget goes towards building community preparedness and capability.
Knowing and understanding this scary statistic means our community needs to be adequately prepared and have the social capital to respond in times of crisis. Our community knows our community best and is always best placed to respond, a reality we have demonstrated time and time again.
That is why Greater Shepparton Foundation, the community Foundation for this region, invested in our frontline non-for-profit and community organisations to scale up operations in the critical early days of the emergency. We were on the ground, nimble and able to act quickly to support.
It is why we were able recognise a need to work swiftly work with our multicultural community to disseminate in-language information to warn of the risks of mosquito borne disease and provide prevention options.
It is why we understand the value of community sport to the fabric of this community and understand the need to subsidise participation and encourage people to re-connect with those lifelines of normalcy and routine during overwhelming upheaval in other areas of life.
Our community knows our community best.
After working with our first responders during the height of the emergency, Greater Shepparton Foundation established the Greater Shepparton Flood Recovery Campaign, a campaign to raise funds and promptly distribute these funds to where they were needed most.
The community, as it always does, responded and generous donations were received from near and far to support those impacted by the devasting floods. In fact, more than $300k in generous donations were received and supported community recovery over the past 12 months.
This wonderful support was a collaborative approach with funds coming in via 200 individual donations, 8 philanthropic partners and 40 businesses and organisations.
The question is how do we adequately prepare community for what is to come?
Greater Shepparton Foundation will continue to collaborate and work closely with frontline service agencies to identify ways to better equip our region for times of emergency and natural disaster.
A holistic approach will help ensure our community can not only recover from emergency and disaster, but it will better prepare us for when it does.
To read more about the support provided as a result of the Greater Shepparton Flood Recovery Campaign please visit the ‘Major Projects’ page on our website here.