FAQs - DisasterWISE
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DisasterWISE is a national, community-led learning network and a movement of people committed to community-led resilience approaches for thriving futures.

DisasterWISE aims to build a movement of people who are committed to strengthening disaster resilience through community-led approaches and action across Australia.

Disasterwise Communities Network will provide a unique, innovative and dynamic space to connect, learn and drive change by:

  • Building connection across diverse membership – including community members, research, agencies and government.
  • Learn from story, varying ways of knowing, lived and learned experience.
  • Driving change. Working together to enable community-led approaches, to influence policy, to make an impact – by acting as an enabler for strengthening resilience for thriving communities across Australia.

A growing movement of people who are building disaster resilience through community-led action

DisasterWISE is a team made up of a diverse group of people. Some are people who have gone through a disaster before. Others are people who can help communities get ready for a disaster or recover from one. Some are both. DisasterWISE brings together what these people have learned to help communities be better prepared for future disasters.

The DisasterWISE Communities Network is growing with each new member who joins, connects with others, shares resources and knowledge, learns through new perspectives and is open to conversations that will build community resilience and strengthen the way disaster recovery will look in the future. 

“Learning networks are a form of collaboration that enables groups of stakeholders to cultivate connections across communities and organisations, and to strengthen a whole system simply by focusing on the potential for participants to share information and learn from one another. And while new collaborative action is not the primary goal of a learning network, action is often a byproduct of the deeper connections and shared learning that result. In this way, building a robust learning network can itself serve as an effective strategy for creating change” (Ehrlichman and Sawyer)

DisasterWISE will bring people together to share and learn about community-led resilience and disaster recovery. The network is a place/platform for people to connect, learn and drive change

You can:

  • Search the website and online library for relevant stories and resources
  • Connect and participate in the discussion forums in online knowledge communities
  • Use the online mapping/GIS system to discover/explore a showcase of active communities throughout Australia (in progress!).
  • Share your stories and information from lived and learned experience.
  • Participate in network events, conversation and projects.
  • Generate self-organising local networks and events with support.

DisasterWISE will convene regular network events to connect communities and organisations across Australia.

DisasterWISE has a centralised website with interactive forums, resources and tools to assist information sharing, providing collective knowledge for community action. 

DisasterWISE is a community-led network.

The foundations have been established by a group of people with lived and learned experience. Together, we have begun prototyping the network, centralising voices closest to the context and shifting power through deep democracy and dynamic governance. DisasterWISE will be testing ways of working around the following principles:

Being community-led,

Foregrounding Indigenous knowledge and wisdom,

Honesty and transparency,

Relationships built on trust and respect and,

Generating hope.

The agenda is by community for community. DisasterWISE is about enabling people and process over products. DisasterWISE challenges ‘business as usual’ by showing up as humans first and building relationships around trust and respect. Organisations are invited to become part of an innovative community-led process as allies and enablers.

DisasterWISE are committed to emergent ways of doing, learning and testing as we go to make space for continuous improvement for stronger, meaningful impact.

The DisasterWISE Communities Network was co-designed with people of lived and learned experience, forming the foundations for a national learning network that strengthens community resilience.

Find out more here.

The network will be supported by a community-led governance structure, DisasterWISE Ltd. with enabling support by funding partners.

On behalf of the members and broader network, DisasterWISE Ltd. is a not-for-profit organisation. It will:

  • Act as a enabler for the DisasterWISE Communities Network, 
  • Providing innovative governance and stewardship
  • Support day to day operations of the network
  • Seek broader partnerships, funding and support
  • Report upon performance against an agreed strategy, and 
  • Continually improve the community led company and national learning network.

Story is central to the network. There is so much to learn from communities who have experienced a disaster event and lived experience is often a missing part of the puzzle in the disaster space; by centralising the people closest to the context, we will raise a platform for community voices to influence learnings and policy.

DisasterWISE has been informed by evidence across a transdisciplinary approach; social innovation and human centred design, systems change, disaster resilience, community development, networks, Indigenous knowledges and lived experience.  

DisasterWISE is creating new ways of working to enable communities to lead. By building a platform for community voice and championing the pioneers in the community-led space, we can create a new emergent system through knowledge brokering, story sharing and deep listening. 

We envisage DisasterWISE as an integral piece of social infrastructure connecting people to others and to new knowledge in which they can adapt for their own communities – collective knowledge for community action.

As a movement, we hope to see a growing membership base of active communities working to develop their own local networks and actions on the ground for disaster resilience.

The DisasterWISE Communities Network is seeded by the Fire to Flourish program with funding from Monash University, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, The Paul Ramsay Foundation and Metal Manufactures Pty Ltd.

Connect, Learn, Change: Sign up to the website today, have conversations with members, share your knowledge around disaster resilience, attend network events, join on social media – help drive the network’s vision and start something in your neighbourhood  #disasterwise

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