Community Resilience Forums



Concerned about climate change and its influence on drought, bushfire and water availability?

Interested in regenerative agriculture or how the media is changing in your town?

Feeling forgotten and voiceless after the disasters that have hit you and your community recently?

This has been a difficult year. First the drought and summer bushfires, that tore through communities and blanketed our communities in smoke for months. And just as we got through the bushfires, COVID-19 struck, shutting down the economy. 

The online Farmers for Climate Action Community Resilience forums will present information on a topic relevant to each area, explore the impacts of climate change that communities are already facing and discuss strategies to help people communities through the next few weeks, months and years.

We are in the middle of a huge moment of disruption and we have the chance to envisage and create a better world on the other side of it. The forums will also provide the community with tools to go out and create the community change they want to see.

These forums will open with an address by Wendy Cohen, CEO of Farmers for Climate Action, speaking on the value of communication and how to be successful at it. Wendy will be followed by Dr Rob Gordon, a clinical psychologist with vast experience in the impact of disasters on community resilience (bios below).

Each forum will have a local focus on a topic of value to that region:

  1. Wagga Wagga 12/5/20 with Dr Mark Howden, ANU, talking on the latest climate change impacts for drought and dryness across the Riverina (RSVP for the Wagga forum here).
  2. Bega and South Coast 19/5/20 with Greg Mullins, Ex NSWFR Commissioner, talking on climate change and its impact on fire intensity, frequency and behaviour (RSVP for the Bega and South Coast forum here). 
  3. Bairnsdale 26/5/20 with Lorraine Gordon, Re-gen ag SCU, talking on grazing recovery and Regenerative Agriculture after bushfires (RSVP for the Bairnsdale forum here).  
  4. Shepparton 2/6/20 with Dr Peter Hayman, SARDI, talking on climate change and its impact on river systems and water availability (RSVP for the Shepparton forum here).  
  5. Lismore 9/6/20 with Mr Matthew Ricketson, Deakin Uni, talking on changing rural media, fake news, climate change and the impact on rural isolation. Lorraine Gordon will also give a short talk on becoming involved in re-gen ag and it’s delivery via Southern Cross University (RSVP for the Lismore forum here).  


The forums will then wrap up with a talk and discussion by Denis Ginnivan, talking on how each local area might organise to take future action for themselves and to grow resilience in their areas (bio below).

Farmers for Climate Action look forward to assisting our supporters develop resilient practices for their local communities.

Please click the link to the forum(s) that interests you to register your attendance.


Guest speakers at all five forums:

  • Dr Rob Gordon - Dr Gordon is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the field of disaster recovery since Ash Wednesday in 1983. He is a consultant to Red Cross and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and has worked with people and communities after the Port Arthur shooting, the Bali Bombing, Black Saturday, the Christchurch Earthquake as well as numerous floods, fires, cyclones and other events throughout Australia and New Zealand. He will talk on the impact of disasters on weakening the social fabric of communities.
  • Denis Ginnivan - Denis is a grassroots political leader, who is the immediate past president and a foundation member of Voices for Indi, a community group based in northeast Victoria, which seeks to encourage citizens to engage and participate in politics and democracy. Denis occupied key senior leadership roles in the three successful independent Indi campaigns of 2013, 2016 and 2019. He is also deputy-chair of Totally Renewable Yackandandah, another community group, which maximises opportunities for renewable energy uptake in his beautiful country town. Denis will work with the community to explore the type of actions and future directions participants might like to take or strengthen to increase the resilience of their community into the future. Denis will work with participants on how to take meaningful action in their local communities.
  • Wendy Cohen - Wendy grew up in various small townships across rural NSW where the challenges and rewards of farming were part of everyday life and the importance of community identity and fortitude was written into her DNA. Wendy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Charles Sturt University. In 2002 she took up the role as CEO of Equestrian NSW and over the next 11 years worked with rural and regional communities to grow the Aussie icon of horse sports and ownership. When equine influenza hit Australia Wendy spearheaded the NSW response to the crisis, championing members and horse-related businesses as the industry struggled to cope with the financial and social impact of EI, including distribution of over $25 million of Commonwealth relief funds. Most recently Wendy was CEO of Country Education Foundation of Australia where she fought for better outcomes for education in rural and regional communities including greater participation of country students in jobs pathways via university, TAFE and apprenticeships.


Photo credit: Angus Emmott Photography.