Growing community connection: a story of renewal after the Beechmont bushfires

In 2019, Jessica Brown established The Little Pocket nature play space from her home in the peaceful hinterland village of Beechmont to reduce isolation and nurture connections between young families.

She had no idea that a few months later, this network of community members would evolve into much more when they collectively they faced a catastrophic bushfire event that marked the beginning of Australia’s Black Summer fire season.

In this episode, Jessica shares her story and we follow the process of activating a grassroots arts-based recovery project within a disaster impacted community.

We explore the integral role of local government in the recovery process and how the Scenic Rim Regional Council worked hand-in-hand with Jessica and other community members as they developed what would become the ReGeneration Creative Bushfire Recovery Project.

Scenic Rim Councillor Virginia West and Cultural Coordinator, Bronwyn Davies, join us to discuss what an authentically ‘community-led’ response looks like when it is implemented with meaningful local government backing and how councils can support community members to step into positions of cultural leadership.

The project provides a model for how investment in culture and the arts has the capacity to strengthen the social fabric of communities which, in turn, supports recovery and builds resilience for what the future may hold.


Jessica Brown, Little Pocket Association Founder

Bronwyn Davies, Coordinator of Cultural Services at Scenic Rim Regional Council

Councillor Virginia West, Scenic Rim Regional Council

Special thanks to Adi Brown and Scott Chrisman for their assistance


Produced by: Jill Robson and Scotia Monkivitch

Edited and Mixed by: Glen Morrow

Beechmont Field Recordings by: Tiffany Dimmack

Related links

Little Pocket Association

Beechmont Murals

ReGeneration Exhibition

Scenic Rim Regional Council Arts and Cultural program

National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (via the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience)

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