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

The Heroes of Black Summer

The Heroes of Black Summer

The Heroes of Black Summer

A picture book is playing a role in helping children overcome the ordeals they experienced during the East Gippsland region’s terrifying 2019-20 bushfires. The Heroes of Black Summer picture book tells the stories of the “heroes” who helped protect them and, through this, aims to help children process the trauma without suffering stress, anxiety or depression. Promoting resilience in children, while strengthening their connection with adults in their families as they read, heal and look at the pictures together.

Throughout Victoria, people started ‘paying it forward’ and doing what they could to help others in need. And many heroes emerged. Heroes of Black Summer is a picture book illustrating some of the heroic, brave and kind actions of Australian people during the 2019-20 bushfire season. Each mini story captures a real life experience of the harrowing events from individuals and families living in the East Gippsland region. The book provides fire-affected communities with a tool to manage stress, anxiety and depression to support healing and recovery, and is also a great resource to actively engage with the community to gather and share their stories.

Author: Craig Sheather is a travel and creative writer from Albury in southern New South Wales. He specialises in lifestyle writing about the outdoors, food and wine, luxury, adventure and family travel.

Co-author: Victorian author Kylie Miller has always been a writer, pumping out stories for her parents as a child before embarking on a career as an award-winning journalist and corporate writer.

Illustrator: Karen Erasmus is an artist, illustrator and designer working in a beautiful bayside town near Melbourne, Australia. Her illustrations and designs focus on colour, character and story.

The book was published by Australian Geographic with a One Good Community Wellbeing Grant through Gippsland Primary Health Network.

Vic 2009 Bushfire 10th Anniversary Projects

Vic 2009 Bushfire 10th Anniversary Projects

The 2009 Victorian Bushfires 10 Year Anniversary Community Arts Grants Program provided funding for community led, creative projects that reflected the experience of local communities impacted by the 2009 bushfires.

All projects occurred in one of the 21 local government areas directly affected by the 2009 bushfires.

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