Lessons Learned by Community Recovery Committees of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires

Advice offered to communities impacted by disaster.


Resource details
Title Lessons Learned by Community Recovery Committees of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires
Owner Community Recovery Committees of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires
Date last updated May 2011
Resource type Reflection

What is this about?

This report was developed by members of Community Recovery Committees from the 2009 Victorian Bushfires. It shares the lessons of impacted community members who directly contributed to their communities' recovery and renewal. It provides valuable insights for communities, organisations and all levels of government.

Who is this resource for?

  • State Government
  • Local Government
  • Community Service Organisations
  • Non Government Organisations
  • Community Recovery Committees

Table of contents


  • Start communicating ASAP
  • Build trust and confidence through communications and constantly repeat key messages
  • Try to reach out to everyone in your community and use a range of mediums
  • Consider communications beyond your own community

Community leadership

  • Identify community leaders
  • Ensure community leaders have legitimacy
  • Run your community recovery committee meetings with a clear structure and agenda
  • Enable community leaders to access support and development

Community planning and identifying priorities

  • Take the time to develop a recovery plan properly and engage others
  • Be clear about the process to create your plan and to set priorities

Community health and wellbeing

  • The community will recover in ‘stages’ and recovery will vary for every person
  • Cater for the different recovery needs of different people in your community
  • Look after yourself and those around you

Working with Government

  • Lead your own community recovery – be bold!
  • Actively build and value your relationships with government

Building effective relationships and networks

  • Recognise and develop your relationships
  • Think big!