QRA partners with First Nations councils

QRA regularly works with all 17 First Nations local councils and many First Nations organisations around the state to assist them recover from recent natural disasters and plan to make them more resilient to future ones.

Most recently, Principal Resilience and Recovery Officers Louise Robertson and Siobhan Hessing travelled to Bloomfield in North Queensland to meet with Elders and members of the Dabu Jajikal Aboriginal Corporation to help create a Cyclone Preparedness Community Plan.

During phase one of the project, Louise and Siobhan met with Elders, received a tour of the region and the Traditional Owner Group was formed to provide cultural guidance for all aspects of the project.

This awareness and capacity project is anticipated to improve the resilience of the community and increase the community’s ability to mitigate, avoid and withstand tropical cyclone in the social environment by developing a ‘Cyclone Preparedness Community Plan’ tailored for and driven by the Dabu Jajikal people.

Some of the project activities include collaborating with community, documenting the Dabu Jajikal people’s oral histories, language and knowledge, providing educational workshops on country and to produce a co-designed a ‘Cyclone Preparedness Community Plan’ to be completed by June 2024.

Speaking about the project in the lead up to NAIDOC Week 2023, Louise said the theme ‘For Our Elders’ was fitting with their work to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander councils and their communities.

“NAIDOC Week provides an opportunity to stop and reflect on the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, recognise and continue to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and celebrate and acknowledge their achievements,” Louise said.

“Throughout my career I have had the absolute privilege to work for, work alongside and be mentored by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders.

"It's really exciting to be part of this project at QRA which will benefit the Dabu Jajikal community by way of preparing a culturally informed Cyclone Preparedness Community Plan to reduce risk and improve the resilience of the community against tropical cyclone events."