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Ocean Shores gets future ready through $40,000 in grants

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Two Ocean Shores community groups are sharing $40,000 in grants for projects that will help the community to better withstand and recover from any future disaster,  through the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready (DR:FR) Get Ready NSW program.

Initiated by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), the DR:FR program is a multi-stage, place-based program that enables communities to receive support for the needs and priorities they identify as important to help them be more resilient in the face of natural disasters.

Ocean Shores is one of three NSW communities, along with Wee Waa and North Richmond, that is participating in the program. Through community consultation over the last 24 months, Ocean Shores residents identified their priorities as building social connectedness and community resilience and preparedness, and leveraging the knowledge and experience of local Elders and Indigenous peoples to support environmental land care and management.

FRRR’s DR:FR Program Coordinator, Fiona Bradshaw, says FRRR has been heartened by the eagerness and determination of local leaders to come together and collaborate to address the needs of the community.

“I have been so impressed with the enthusiasm of Ocean Shores’ residents to take this program and run with it. Byron Youth Service and Ocean Shores Community Association will work together to respond to what is important to their community and support one another in the process,” said Bradshaw.

Byron Youth Service’s Ocean Shores Youth Response Team (OSYRT) project will focus on empowering local youth to engage in community life and play a role in the disaster preparation process.

With their $25,000 DR:FR grant, the OSYRT project will offer local youth five weeks of skills-building and awareness workshops, including sessions from a local Indigenous facilitator. The aim is to boost their morale and self-confidence and provide an opportunity to role model positive behaviours for younger students and enhance a sense of community spirit whilst raising awareness around disaster preparation in the community.

The Ocean Shores Community Association (OSCA) received $15,000 to support its Ocean Shores and District Community Information Flooding Map project, a priority identified during the DR:FR roadshows.

Having been severely affected by flooding and inundation from Cyclone Debbie in 2017, the map will improve community flooding preparedness and resilience and develop community connections and networks.

OSYRT workshop participants will also support OSCA’s project by gathering stories of resilience and lived experiences during natural disasters from both older and long-term local residents, which will be incorporated in OSCA’s map.

FRRR has been able to develop and implement the DR:FR program with the generous support of partners including NSW Government, The Maple-Brown Family Foundation, Doc Ross Family Foundation, Ronald Geoffrey Arnott Foundation and a number of private donors. 

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