Due to the fantastic sumissions it was decided there would be a winner and two highly commended awards in 2019.
The Community-Managed Action Plan demonstrates forward thinking by communities of the Kyogle LGA to have a 'Plan B' should a disaster cause them to be isolated from support agencies. This signals a new proactive approach to disaster planning for a whole-of-community response in areas with a risk of isolation. The project has been strongly supported by council and is a collaborative partnership with Red Cross, Department of Communities and Justice and other organisations. The plan is so successful that other NSW communities will adopt similar backup models, to plan for their safety in disaster events.
After learning that a connected community is more resilient to any crisis, this group held a fantastic event to help locals forget about the drought, bringing together nearly the entire population of Merriwa. A great initiative born from this event was a 'credit card' for use only at Merriwa businesses. Since being launched $45,000 has been loaded onto the Merriwa 'Why Leave Town' cards, reinforcing and strengthening community ties to local businesses. Further drought donations raised on the day are being distributed to numerous worthy community projects, schools and sporting groups. Another Bugger the Drought event is planned for October 2019.
Coonamble hosted a very successful social event to give the whole community a chance to forget about the drought, catch up with friends and neighbours, help bridge the city/country divide and raise funds. Research tells us that a connected community is more resilient to any crisis. The event strengthened community connectedness and partnerships which were being eroded by the years-long drought conditions. The event raised over $100,000 which has been invested back into the community, funding local groups and initiatives including sports and community projects and social activities, many of which would not have been able to take place in 2019 without the funds raised from the Rain Dance.