In 2021, two years after the devastating 2019/20 summer bushfires, The Paul Ramsay Foundation, Monash University, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation and Metal Manufactures Pty Ltd have come together to explore the question: How can communities lead and shape the action around bushfire recovery, and build long-term resilience?
And, in doing so, is it possible to build from the knowledge of First Nations people, existing community capabilities, social capital and the agency of local communities to strengthen and nourish new opportunities for equity and equality so that everyone’s lives can improve?
How too can we deeply draw on local cultural practices, intergenerational knowledge of the land and 60,000 years of wisdom held by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to support regional communities to be able to self-determine their own process of recovery and restoration? And what are the conditions that need to be in place for this to happen?
It’s these questions that form the crux of the Fire to Flourish: Strength Through Community-led Action report, which we co-authored alongside Monash University.