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Lismore News

Lismore City Council leads the way in emergency management with key appointment

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Council's newly appointed Emergency Management Coordinator Georgina Burgess.

Lismore City Council leads the way in emergency management with key appointment

 

In a significant step towards enhancing community resilience and emergency preparedness, Lismore City Council has established a new dedicated position of Emergency Management Coordinator to bolster readiness for future emergencies.

This initiative aligns with the NSW Government’s recent streamlined funding process aimed at expediting financial support for flood restoration efforts, signalling renewed optimism and confidence in Lismore’s future.

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Recognising the evolving challenges of emergency management, Lismore City Council is setting a precedent as one of the few councils nationally to allocate full-time resources to this critical area. Lismore City Council General Manager Jon Gibbons announced the appointment of Emergency Management specialist Georgina Burgess to this new role. Mrs. Burgess brings extensive experience in environmental planning, resource management, and emergency response to Lismore.

“This strategic decision builds on the foundational work done by Council’s Community Recovery Officers, appointed following the February 2022 natural disaster,” said Mr. Gibbons. “These officers have been instrumental in rebuilding community bonds, identifying gaps in response strategies, and collecting valuable insights to improve local disaster readiness.”

Under NSW legislation, the SES leads during weather and flood events, while the NSW Rural Fire Service leads during bushfires. However, Lismore City Council is committed to enhancing community preparedness. This effort aims to ensure Lismore is not only ready to face future challenges but also positioned as a regional and state leader in emergency management practices.

Council’s approach will involve collaboration with key stakeholders, including the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) and regional planning bodies. This coordinated approach will help build a comprehensive framework for disaster response and resilience.

This appointment not only better prepares the Council for future challenges but also demonstrates a proactive approach to protecting and empowering the Lismore community. Along with streamlined recovery funding and an intensified focus on emergency preparedness, confidence in Lismore is rising.

“Her recent tenure with Waikato Regional Council as the Regional Flood Liaison Officer has equipped her with a deep understanding of disaster preparedness and the importance of community-centric emergency management frameworks,” added Mr. Gibbons.

“Mrs. Burgess’s role will focus on engaging with key stakeholders to develop a robust framework for disaster preparedness and response, aligning local initiatives with legislative requirements and broader strategies such as those of the NSW Reconstruction Authority.”

This strategic move by Lismore City Council represents a significant commitment to the safety and resilience of the community, paving the way for enhanced emergency management and preparedness.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

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Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with North-Tracks Works Chair Patrick Higgins, Secretary/board member Kevin Bell and Mr Bell’s working dog Maezzie. - Youth Crime Prevention

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

 

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has successfully secured a $30,000 grant for North-Tracks Works, a Lismore-based organisation dedicated to empowering vulnerable young people. This funding will enable the expansion of their life-changing programs to engage more youth in Goonellabah, Coraki, and Casino.

Ms. Saffin expressed her gratitude to NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley for approving the grant following her advocacy on behalf of North-Tracks Works. She praised the organisation, which operates out of a shed in South Lismore, for its impactful work with young people aged 11 to 18, offering one-on-one support, mentoring, and practical learning opportunities.

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“I previously secured a $44,000 Local Small Commitments Allocation grant to help North-Tracks purchase equipment and materials for skill-building,” Ms. Saffin said. “This additional grant will allow North-Tracks to employ youth workers and expand their proven youth program, which is supported by Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner.”

Patrick Higgins, Chair of North-Tracks Works and a local real estate agent, thanked Ms. Saffin for her efforts in securing the additional funding from Minister Catley. “We don’t fit in the box for normal funding. Our approach is about creating a sense of belonging and purpose through our skills program and training working dogs. It’s the work with the dogs that bridges the gap,” Mr. Higgins explained.

“At North-Tracks, we spend 10 percent looking back, 10 percent at where you are now, and 80 percent looking forward. We help them chase their dreams and goals,” he added. “Our team has three basic goals: keep them safe and alive, keep them out of jail, and help them move forward to live a full and productive life.”

This funding is set to sustain and expand North-Tracks Works’ impactful initiatives, providing more opportunities for at-risk youth to gain essential skills and find a sense of purpose and for Youth Crime Prevention.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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Lismore City Council Mechanic Awarded Cory James Scholarship

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Cory James Memorial Scholarship

Lismore City Council Mechanic Awarded Cory James Scholarship

 

In celebration of NAIDOC Week, Lismore City Council awarded the annual Cory James Memorial Scholarship for Indigenous staff to fleet services mechanic Shannan Caldwell. The scholarship honours Cory James, a young Indigenous Council employee who passed away suddenly in 2019. Cory was dedicated to promoting his culture and heritage within the community.

Aunty Jenny presented the scholarship to Shannan, 33, at a ceremony held at Council’s Brunswick Street Depot. This scholarship will enable Shannan to pursue various training options to enhance his technical skills and broaden his career opportunities.

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Shannan expressed his gratitude for receiving the scholarship, noting the significant impact it will have on his career. “I am so humbled to have been awarded this scholarship,” he said. “This opportunity will allow me to select training courses to grow my technical knowledge as a mechanic and equip me with the skills I need to continue to advance my career. It opens pathways for my career as a mechanic, which is a job I love.”

Shannan also emphasised the importance of sharing his knowledge with his community in North Casino. “Passing knowledge to my community so they have basic understanding of keeping their car running smoothly is important to me. You never know, they might find the same passion as me and pursue a career as a mechanic, which is a very rewarding industry, especially at Lismore City Council.”

Lismore City Council’s General Manager, Jon Gibbons, highlighted the significance of the Cory James Memorial Scholarship. “This scholarship not only honours the legacy of Cory James, a young Indigenous man dedicated to promoting his culture and heritage within our community, but it also reflects our commitment to supporting the growth and development of our Indigenous staff,” he said. “By enabling Shannan to enrol in quality advanced training opportunities, he can further advance and thrive in his career. By investing in our employees, we are investing in the future of Lismore.”

Council will continue to use National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week to recognise the achievements of Indigenous staff and support their development and career pathways.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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Enhanced domestic, family and sexual violence support for women in Lismore

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Pictured, from left, are NORWACS project manager and non-fatal strangulation pathways site coordinator Emma Siegel, NSW Minister for Health and Regional Health Ryan Park, Lismore MP Janelle Saffin, NORWACS CEO Kelly Banister and Deputy Secretary Regional Health, Regional Health Division, NSW Health Luke Sloane.

Enhanced domestic, family and sexual violence support for women in Lismore

 

Women in Lismore and surrounding areas will benefit from improved access to domestic violence and sexual assault support services, with a $130,000 funding boost for Northern Rivers Women and Children’s Services Incorporated (NORWACS).

NORWACS is a community-based charity which provides trauma informed care and services to support women’s health and wellbeing.

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The investment will help to better meet the needs of local women following experiences of sexual, family or domestic violence. It will complement the significant work led by NSW Health Northern NSW Sexual Assault Services in supporting victim-survivors of violence in the region.

The NSW Government is committed to strengthening relationships between primary care, community-based care and the public health system to develop robust local referral pathways and responses for women.

Quotes attributable to Regional Health Minister Ryan Park:

“The NSW Government is pleased to support NORWACS, which has provided confidential, compassionate health and wellbeing assistance for women in the Lismore region for more than 25 years.”

“As Minister for Health, it is one of my priorities to ensure we’re improving access to healthcare services for women, especially vulnerable members of the community who may be impacted by domestic violence.”

Pictured, from left, are NORWACS project manager and non-fatal strangulation pathways site coordinator Emma Siegel, NSW Minister for Health and Regional Health Ryan Park, Lismore MP Janelle Saffin, NORWACS CEO Kelly Banister and Deputy Secretary Regional Health, Regional Health Division, NSW Health Luke Sloane.

Pictured, from left, are NORWACS project manager and non-fatal strangulation pathways site coordinator Emma Siegel, NSW Minister for Health and Regional Health Ryan Park, Lismore MP Janelle Saffin, NORWACS CEO Kelly Banister and Deputy Secretary Regional Health, Regional Health Division, NSW Health Luke Sloane.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison:

“This funding boost will help NORWACS continue the important work they do in the Northern Rivers, providing targeted, trauma-informed support for women and children, especially those who have experienced domestic or sexual violence.

“In addition, their work with other health professionals and services, including the four NSW Health Sexual Assault Services in the area, improves awareness and promotes understanding of the impacts of sexual, family and domestic violence.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin:

“I welcome this extra funding for NORWACS that recognises its great work supporting the health and safety of local women and children.

“In particular this is timely support for NORWACS project addressing the dangers of non-fatal strangulation in sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

“NORWACS is working to educate the community about the serious risk of brain injury from non-fatal strangulation and is identifying gaps in diagnosis and treatment and delivering training for GPs and health workers to get them up to speed on this issue.

“The extra funding will also allow NORWACS to increase its hours of vital DV outreach work in our region.”

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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