Last year a group of Nillumbik residents who were concerned about bushfire preparedness in their local area, came together to form a not-for-profit incorporated association to provide information about bushfire risk, safety and preparedness to the local community.
This group, called Bushfire Resilience Inc (BRI) aims to create best-practice webinars which include important topics that are practical, helpful and relevant. BRI uses the best presenters and panel members in Australia – people who can provide information based on science, experience and best practice.
BRI webinars will enable households to acquire the right knowledge so they are better informed and can make better decisions. They also encourage robust audience engagement.
BRI was formed following the widespread destruction caused by the 2019-20 fires. During this time, a North Warrandyte resident who listening to the media was shocked to learn that about 30 per cent of those impacted by the fires were underinsured and a further 30 per cent had no insurance at all.
Spurred on by what he learned, this resident joined forces with other concerned residents to organise a public meeting in Panton Hill in March 2020 to discuss insurance and other bushfirerelated matters. Unfortunately, as a result of the restrictions during 2020, the meeting was rescheduled and moved to an online forum, along with four other
bushfire preparedness webinars.
The five webinars were immensely successful and featured world-leading experts including CSIRO’s Justin Leonard, Research Leader – Bushfire Adaptation, and Associate Professor Kevin Tolhurst, School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne.
Recordings of all five webinars can be viewed on the BRI website –bushfireresilience.org.au.
Following the success of the 2020 series, BRI hosted another five webinars, which began in July 2021, with Justin Leonard discussing how to reduce house and property risk. There were also talks from Dr Rob Gordon (recent recipient of an Order of Australia Medal), Danielle Clode (Flinders University) and Jim McClellan (La Trobe University) who discussed physical and emotional preparedness, and Raphaele Blanchi from CSIRO
who discussed triggers to take action.
Recordings of these webinars are also on the BRI website.
Although BRI is a small, community-led association, it already has a strong community following. This initiative is supported by Valley Community Financial Services Limited (operator of five Bendigo Bank Community Bank branches in Nillumbik), Safer Together, Nillumbik Shire Council, CFA and numerous private supporters.
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