What is Fire to Flourish?
Since the devastating 2019/2020 summer bushfires, there’s been a growing movement for community-led responses that reflect the priorities of local communities and respond to local context.
TACSI is proud to be a foundation program partner in Fire to Flourish, a five-year, $75m partnership between Monash University, Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF) and Metal Manufacturers Limited, designed to grow the power of community-led action in bushfire-affected communities by developing novel approaches to strengthen community resilience.
Working closely with communities affected by the 2019/20 summer bushfire, the program seeks to:
Develop, test and refine a new model for community-led resilience that supports communities in bushfire recovery areas to co-create the foundations of long-term resilience and wellbeing
Build an evidence base to demonstrate what can be achieved when communities are not just recipients of bushfire recovery funds, but are supported to lead their own resilience-building
Connect with government, agencies and other stakeholders, and provide mechanisms for shared learning and coordinated action
We lead the Innovation Team, who is responsible for designing and demonstrating new practices, mindsets and ways of working in partnership with diverse communities.
We help communities build holistic resilience, through a strength-based, community-led approach. Our team is busy designing, delivering, and integrating the innovation work into the broader program.
Our current focus
Building new capability within communities, co-designing innovations and helping potential leaders step into new roles
Focusing on mindset and real adaptive problem-solving by fostering learning across communities, and connecting them at a national level to learn from one another
Using participatory granting, which means community participants will decide where the bucket of funds allocated to them gets spent
Designing, documenting, replicating and scaling tools, processes and resources for supporting community-led resilience building
Our key community engagement activities
Designing and delivering capability building activities
Leading community foresight through ‘Now, Future, How’ processes
Leading engagement with Indigenous communities and institutions;
Convening community leadership teams in co-design groups;
Designing and implementing participatory granting process.
The key components being designed and tested
Capability building: What kinds of local actions deepen community-led capacity to cope, adapt and transform their social, economic, built and natural environments?
Network learning: what kinds of local actions deepen community-led connection and adaptive learning?
Participatory granting: What kinds of local actions deepen community-led agency, sustainability and long-term access to resources?
Innovation ecosystem: What kinds of local actions foster community-led innovation ecosystems that influence systemic change?
Our impact (so far)
The Innovation team is testing and learning about new ways of working with fire-affected communities to co-create the foundations for equitable, long-term resilience and wellbeing, including participatory grant-making activities.
Recently, we have been working in Clarence Valley with a small group of community change-makers exploring new ways of self-organising around strengths and mobilising towards desired futures including:
Community-led practices, problem solving, and participatory decision making processes
Building networks and learning alongside communities facing similar challenges
Imagining resilient and sustainable futures
Specifically, in each community we are testing and learning about ways to:
Deepen resilience capability to see strengths, imagine futures differently, and create and invest in new ways of getting there
Seed a creative and participatory innovation ecosystem
Build an adaptive learning network across communities
We’ve also been supporting the development of a research program that will build an evidence base for how community-led resilience building can be achieved in practice.
Our incubator work in Clarence Valley is informing the design and scaling of the impact program and design of research that will be part of the broader Fire to Flourish program activated in subsequent communities.
Our commitment to First Nations First
We’re weaving First Nations thinking into this initiative by:
Following the core principles of Foregrounding Aboriginal Wisdom and Healing
Using a co-developed approach to cultural awareness training for communities, facilitating collaboration between local First Nations knowledge and the William Cooper Institute team at Monash University
Creating a cultural safety plan
Our current interdependent First Nations activities include:
Indigenous relationship development including with NSW Aboriginal Lands Council, NSW Aboriginal Affairs, Bushfire Recovery Victoria and Clinton Schultz
Developing a Cultural Foundations Plan with Dr Brian Martin
Review and advise on an Indigenous Engagement Project Officer role job description
Active members of the Indigenous Partnership Group, including relationship development between meetings.