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Recovery, the Community Enterprise Foundation way.

23 May 2023

Whenever a natural disaster occurs, Australians are quick to lend a hand, raise funds, and do anything to help our communities.

We find homes, food, clothing, and we support.

But then what?

After the media dies down, the first responders go home, what happens to the people left behind. The people who need to try and get on with their lives.

That is where Community Enterprise Foundation comes to play.

The Foundation is there, with the locals, for the long haul. Not just weeks or months, they're there for years.

Recovery is not a short-term thing, it can take years. 3, 5, 10 ... more.

Listen to David Impey, Foundation CEO, as he explains just how involved they are.

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Recovery the CEF way
Recovery the CEF way

Australia has faced disasters for thousands of years.

And when we would think about community recovery, we often think about that immediate aftermath and that first six to 12 months. But through lived experiences and, and major disasters we've come to realise that the short, medium and particularly the long term recovery is just as important as is how we respond in the immediate aftermath.

Our role is really to assist communities and organisations in creating funding streams that allow for local communities to set their own priorities.

When you’re talking about this size and scale, recovery is a marathon, its not a sprint.

We also need to recognize that for a lot of these individuals and communities, it's a very personalised journey that will evolve over time. So for these communities, we need to actually work at their pace, not pace set by policy or industry, government or the philanthropic sector.

Our position is how do we continue to support communities post that first 12 months?

one of the great things that the likes of East Gippsland Community Foundation and Border Trust do in, in having that intimate knowledge around some of those needs and evolved needs of those communities is their ability to be able to respond very, very quickly and provide those support services.

Our model actually allows us to partner with any type of charity in Australia, so we are there to feed into the prosperity of communities, not off communities.

Broadly, we need to ensure that it's a community-central approach, and the community is at the centre of the entire decision-making and allowing them to set what those priorities are.

When we think about recovery, there’s a lot we could learn from the actual resilience that is in these communities, and I think we don’t give that enough credit.

And the innovation, creativity, expertise, intellect that operates in these local communities to me is the greatest success.

At the end of the day, it is all about the people and the relationships we have with those people and I think importantly, how are we listening to those people and actually learning from their experience in that regard.

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