The Council’s bushfire recovery, reconstruction and resilience program has been nationally recognized; announced this week as the winner of the NSW Local Government category at the Resilient Australia Awards.
The program will now be considered for the national award against winners from local governments from other states and territories.
Bega Valley Shire Council Acting Executive Director Anthony McMahon said the award recognizes the dedication of Council staff and their commitment to working with the community on the road to recovery.
“It’s great to see the tireless work of so many people across our organization recognized with this award,” said Mr. McMahon.
“Led by our former Executive Director, Leanne Barnes, our recovery effort has focused on the foundational principle that people matter, with the goal of rebuilding better to build our community’s resilience to future disasters.
“We have worked closely with the Government of New South Wales to establish the Bega Valley Local Bushfire Recovery Committee and Recovery, Resilience and Reconstruction Program, and have supported those who have been affected by their recovery journey, which for many is still ongoing.
“Looking ahead, we are fully aware that disasters will continue to occur; and we focus on improving disaster preparedness and putting aid, resilience and recovery at the heart of our business.
Bega Valley Shire Mayor Cr Russell Fitzpatrick said the county had been the worst-hit disaster in the state in recent years, with the Tathra and District bushfires, Yankees Gap and Black Summer, multiple floods and the pandemic challenging us to an unprecedented level.
“It is under the most difficult of circumstances that the character and strength of a community is put to the ultimate test, and what has been accomplished here is nothing short of remarkable,” said Cr Fitzpatrick.
“We certainly still have a long way to go on our collective recovery journey, but such recognition reaffirms that we are on the right track.
“I would like to commend Council staff for their dedication and commitment to supporting the community throughout these challenges.
Now in their 22nd year, the Resilient Australia Awards celebrate and promote initiatives that build the resilience of the entire community to disasters and emergencies in Australia, as well as images capturing resilience in action. The awards recognize collaboration and innovative thinking across all sectors.
The Resilient Australia Awards are sponsored by the Australian Government in partnership with States and Territories and administered by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience.