Building climate resilience in the community sector project (ongoing)
Funded by local governments. Seed funding through a Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Community Climate Change Adaptation grant.
Community service organisations work on the frontline supporting people during extreme weather events, but they – as organisations – are also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. For example, during times of heightened community need, such as heatwaves, concerns for staff health and safety, power outages and transport delays can affect an organisation’s ability to reach community members. For the most part, community service organisations are not prepared for ongoing and worsening disruptions to their services under our changing climate.
To meet the need for capacity building the Centre is delivering place-based climate adaptation and resilience workshops which bring together local government and community service organisations in the areas of housing and homelessness, health, settlement, community development, education and gender justice, as well as religious leaders. To date, the workshops have been delivered on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Boon Wurrung country in the City of Greater Dandenong, Brimbank City Council, City of Yarra and Darebin City Council.
- Create a shared understanding and language around climate change (climate literacy)
- Facilitate discussions about specific risks and vulnerabilities in a community
- Build community resilience by encouraging ongoing collaboration across diverse local sectors to spark community-led solutions to local problems.
The project has opened channels for meaningful engagement with community members affected by extreme weather, which will help inform local government adaptation policies and programs. It has also inspired a network of neighbourhood houses to create a collaborative climate action and resilience plan.
Workshop participants receive practical resources to continue their work, including the Jesuit Social Services’ Climate and Ecological Justice Resource Pack. Participants report leaving the workshops with a deeper understanding of climate vulnerability and their responsibility to adapt.