Systems change makers come together for maximum impact

In 2019, the Menzies Foundation Bushfire Appeal raised over $25,000, and matched by a grant from the Foundation, supported a collaboration with Dr Ariella Helfgott, now Director of Strategic Foresight in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, South Australia, to explore citizen leadership in the context of disaster.

Partnering with Anecdote International, the initiative focused on a review and synthesis of research on citizen leadership and worked with bush fire and coronavirus affected communities to understand the impact of citizen leadership on community resilience. We are delighted to share these findings in the recently released report; Citizen Leadership and Community Resilience: An exploration of Australian disaster affected communities.

Building from this Report, The Menzies Foundation is delighted to announce a new partnership with Collaboration for Impact and Centre for Just Places, Jesuit Social Services. With a continuing focus on citizen leadership and community resilience, this initiative will explore and identify opportunities and conditions that affect local agency and power, with a specific focus on addressing inequities in the context of a changing climate.

The Climate Justice Discovery Project will listen and learn from diverse communities and other decision makers experiencing a range of complex climate related challenges. The aim is to explore climate justice across the spectrum of climate change interventions, with a specific focus on prevention, response, and recovery.

Menzies Foundation CEO, Liz Gillies said “Further development and progression of this important work is key as we work to more deeply understand how to support citizen leadership to contribute to community resilience. There is no more important context for this than the climate crisis.”

Collaboration for Impact is an Australian not-for-profit organisation with a vision for an equitable and inclusive society where people, place and planet thrive. Complimenting this mission, Centre for Just Places enables and supports place-based approaches to social and ecological problems through research, collaboration, engagement, and knowledge exchange.

The Menzies Citizen Leadership Incubator aspires to explore increased rates and efficacy of citizen leadership, community-led change, and resilience in response to climate-related disasters. This includes place-based approaches, collective impact, systems change and greater alignment of efforts within place and across jurisdictions for greater impact.