Bushfire Recovery Project

Supporting community organisations in the recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires

Perspectives from the frontline

VCOSS Bushfire Recovery Project Consultation Report

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For more than 10 years VCOSS has worked to provide the community sector with information about emergency management and resilience, and to inform state government policy and program development for future emergency management approaches.

We aim to complement existing emergency management policy development with perspectives from the community sector and disadvantaged and vulnerable people to help inform and improve approaches and processes.

In 2020, VCOSS received generous funding from the
Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation to undertake a new
Bushfire Recovery Project, focused on supporting community organisations that were affected by the 2019-20 bushfires.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, VCOSS will be working closely with community organisations in bushfire affected areas to:

  • build the capacity of community and social sector organisations to support their communities’ resilience and recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires
  • advocate for the recovery needs of community organisations and vulnerable people impacted by bushfires
  • contribute to effective current and future emergency and disaster recovery planning.


This includes the following 6 projects:

1. Engaging community sector organisations

VCOSS consulted with more than 20 community organisations in bushfire affected areas to explore their role in recovery and to understand the barriers and opportunities for improved recovery processes and approaches.

The findings of these consultations have helped inform the following projects and will be published in a new report soon.

2. Evaluation Framework

VCOSS is developing a Community Sector Disaster Recovery Evaluation Framework to help identify and measure the contribution of community organisations in emergency and disaster recovery.

3. Collaborative, place-based emergency and disaster recovery

VCOSS is undertaking work to document and showcase recovery initiatives that embrace community organisations as key members and as drivers of effective place-based recovery initiatives.

4.  Community-led resilience

VCOSS is working with key partners to enable strong cross-sector cooperation between community members, emergency services, governments, community organisations, researchers and the private sector to support and enable communities to lead their own resilience efforts, enabling them to better cope with and manage day to day issues, broader community challenges, as well as the increasing threats of climate change, bushfires and other natural disasters.

5. Building the emergency and disaster recovery capacity of community organisations

Through a new series of Disaster Recovery Conversations and Bulletins, VCOSS is supporting the capacity of community organisations in bushfire affected areas by providing and sharing regular relevant emergency and disaster recovery advice and information.

6. Emergency and disaster recovery needs of remote communities

VCOSS is undertaking research to identify the recovery needs of people and communities living in remote areas of Victoria to help inform future emergency and disaster recovery planning.

Please contact us for further information about any of these projects.


Do you or someone you know need support? These services are here to help you

Victorian Bushfires Case Support Program1800 560 760

LifeLine: 13 43 57

Beyondblue: 1300 224 636 

Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre: 1800 015 188 

Mensline: 1300 789 978

Nurse-on-Call: 1300 606 024

Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger dial 000