The Lifeline Community Leadership Program is an initiative begun after experiencing the devastation from the 2019-2020 bushfires that impacted many regions on the Mid North Coast of NSW, destroying homes, property, and the natural environment.
The tragedy of death was felt with lives lost. These losses were further impacted by the loss of livestock and our local fauna and flora. Here on the Mid North Coast of NSW, our Koala population has been brought to the brink of extinction.
Lifeline Mid Coast was invited by a number of local Councils to become part of their Disaster Recovery Teams which included: Red Cross, BlazeAid, RAMHP, the Army Reserves, Council employees and a National Disaster Recovery Coordinator.
During these visits, we quickly discovered that the natural leaders of our communities were already providing crisis support as part of their leadership activities. However, many were overwhelmed with the events of the bushfires and were struggling to cope with the enormity of the devastation.
With input from our communities impacted by the bushfires, Lifeline Mid Coast developed the Lifeline Community Leadership Program designed to provide training, and ongoing support to community leaders and possibly, community teams.
After some research, Psychological First Aid (PFA) training was considered to be the most beneficial resource to offer along with a program of ongoing support that includes: debriefing, reflective style supervision and community meetings that allow development of skills and celebration of milestones.
Steve Prohm, is Lifeline Mid Coast’s Community Leadership Coordinator. His role is to develop community relationships, coordinate training, debriefing and reflective supervision. As part of the community meetings, he is there for guidance and may offer other professional development alternatives depending on community need.