Blue Mountains – Prepare Respond Recover

Blue Mountains – Prepare Respond Recover

Resilience & Recovery Handbook

Arts & Nature nourishment for disastrous times

Ordinary Actions for (not so) ordinary times

It really has been a tough few years here in the Blue Mountains – we’ve experienced everything from drought, bushfires and floods to a worldwide pandemic! Living with natural disasters and climate change takes its toll, let alone the financial, social and emotional impact of these events in our individual lives and on our health. It’s a lot. It’s exhausting. And still we go on! More than ever it is vital that we cultivate our personal and collective resilience by focusing on small, time-honoured, everyday actions.

This handbook celebrates our resilience, creativity and care in the face of disastrous times, and acknowledges the constant cycle of bushfire risk and recovery we live with here in the beautiful Blue Mountains.


This handbook has been created by Springwood Neighbourhood Centre Co- operative Ltd under the Resilience and Recovery Hub Project. This is a Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund project proudly funded by the Australian and NSW Governments.



Learn Paint Grow

Learn Paint Grow

Stillness through Art

A guide to overcoming eco-anxiety

Stillness Through Art, a Guide to Overcome Eco-anxiety is a practical guidebook that uses art to support Australian’s mental health. Those who have suffered from bushfires and the ongoing drought in Victoria need to alleviate their trauma and build self-care skills. This guidebook helps them achieve just that.

It was created by experts in the field of mental health, art, science, and naturopathy. Some of these experts include Pr. Katherine Boydell from the Black Dog Institute and Dr. Rob Gordon.


to read
Youth Creating Disaster Recovery and Resilience

Youth Creating Disaster Recovery and Resilience

Youth Creating Disaster Recovery & Resilience (YCDR)

YCDR is a research project for youth affected by disasters. YCDR is connecting with youth in disaster-affected communities in Canada and the United States. They are using art, video, and storytelling to hear directly from youth about what they need, the challenges they have faced, and how they might contribute to helping their friends, families, and communities recover from disasters.

YCDR began with an idea and a belief in the capacity of youth. They saw the important role that youth play in helping communities to heal and recover following a disaster. They wanted to learn from youth about their personal and collective stories of disaster recovery & resilience (e.g. how were they affected, what worked to support their recovery, what didn’t, and what would they do differently) and also provide a platform for youth to share their wisdom, creativity, and inspiration, with other youth and communities affected by and/or recovering from disasters. As researchers they also wanted to highlight and inform how youth can be more involved in community disaster recovery. With that, Youth Creating Disaster Recovery & Resilience was born.

Through our engagement with youth in disaster-affected communities, we continue to be humbled and inspired by their unique stories, insights and creativity. We encourage you to check out their disaster stories.

Together we have so much to learn.

Resounding – ‘A Singing Thing’

Resounding – ‘A Singing Thing’

Resounding – ‘A Singing Thing’

Resounding – ‘A Singing Thing’ is an arts-based creative recovery project, supporting communities impacted by the bushfires of February and March 2019 in the Bunyip State Park in Victoria.

The Resounding project is led by Performance Artist and Creative Recovery Facilitator, Gülşen Özer and began with community consultation and a postal project in early 2020.

From this early engagement the idea for ‘A Signing Thing’ was hatched and a suite of singing workshops for community were planned by Özer along with the aim of writing a song for and with community.

‘A Singing Thing’ workshops took place in March 2021 in between COVID 19 lockdowns and were delivered by Choirmaster and Songwriter Stephen Taberner.

The project is proudly supported by Cardinia Shire Council, Lifeline Gippsland and The Creative Recovery Network.

Special thanks to ‘A Singing Thing’ participants interviewed for this video:
Alan Blackwell, Recovery Centre Volunteer
Daniel Hower, Garfield North Resident
Louise Hunter, Tonimbuk Resident

Film by Tim Stone, Gather Media

Big Stories, Small Towns

Big Stories, Small Towns


Big Stories, Small Towns is an evolving multiplatform documentary project launched in 2008.

Big Stories, Small Towns is a unique model of community engagement and participation. Professional filmmakers live in a small town and work with local people to bring their stories to the screen. The project is shaped through extensive local consultation and participation to create stories made by both filmmakers and community members – full of love, humour, family and belonging. Through workshops, exhibitions and screenings we use the story making process and stories as a catalyst for discussion, reflection and inspiration.

Big Stories focuses on those caring for and creating their own community. On this website we aim to build a diverse and inspiring global portrait of country life and to showcase some of the extraordinary tales of resilience and innovation of the small towns we’ve visited.

The town of Strathewen was a focus town for this project


Every community has a living memory, an awareness of a collective identity woven from a thousand stories

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