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Citizen Leadership and Community Resilience

The Foundation’s commitment to supporting local communities impacted by the devastating fires of 2019/2020 and subsequently, our interest in supporting COVID impacted communities underpins our work in citizen leadership and community resilience.

The Menzies Foundation Bushfire Appeal raised over $25,000, and with this contribution being matched by a grant from the Foundation, we are delighted to be partnering with Dr Ariella Helfgott, CEO, Collaborative Futures and network member of Collaboration for Impact to review and synthesize existing research on citizen leadership, work with bush fire and coronavirus affected communities to understand the impact of citizen leadership on community resilience and then develop a set of guidelines and implementation plans for supporting these communities to better respond to crisis and disaster.

Initially focused on five communities:

  • Kangaroo Island, South Australia
  • Beechworth, Victoria
  • Burnie, Tasmania
  • East Gippsland, Victoria
  • Mallacoota, Victoria

The members of these communities are to collect, record and reflect on their own stories. The power of these stories and wisdom they contain will deepen our collective understanding of what leadership means contextually and will guide the development of approaches to support and empower these citizens leaders and their communities. The initiative will develop a repository of resources which will be made available to other communities across Australia.

In March 2021, the selected community members joined in a introduction to this storytelling initiative, led by Dr Ariella Helfgott and Mark Schenck, Managing Director, Anecdote International.

Recently, Liz Gillies, CEO of Menzies Foundation, sat down with Ariella Helfgott, and discussed this important work and the contribution that the insights will have for both Australian communities coping with the crisis and the national leadership discourse. We invite you to listen here.


Community in Crisis | Leadership in Crisis