Victorian Government funds our Trauma Support Program

July 8, 2020

Black and yellow road closed sign with blackened trees along the side of the road

The Government’s Bushfire Mental Health Fund has committed $55,000 to funding trauma support and resilience programs for Victorian community radio stations and broadcasters impacted by the 2019/2020 summer bushfires.

Developed and delivered in partnership with the DART Centre for Journalism & Trauma (Asia Pacific), the funding will enable training in trauma literacy, managing the ripple effect of trauma and its manifestations within communities and developing interviewing and reporting skills when dealing with traumatised community members.

The Bushfire Trauma Support Program will build expertise and resilience in communities to deal with traumatic events in their own communities. The program will:

  • establish a knowledge bank of local trauma resources to inform local community in times of disaster
  • develop station leadership skills in dealing with trauma exposed volunteer broadcasters reporting hazardous events
  • promote the creation of a station culture where discussion of the effects of trauma is acceptable and de-stigmatized
  • educate volunteers in psychological first aid, self-care and peer support strategies around psychological injury in relation to trauma exposure at community broadcast stations.

Our program partners

The Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma is the only provider in the world that focuses solely on the nexus between journalism, the media and psychological trauma. With over 25 years of specialist training on this topic, the Dart Centre is the leading global expert in supporting the media industry dealing with trauma and building resilience.

Training will be conducted as in-community and/or online workshops with specialist DART trainers as facilitators. Specifically tailored for broadcasters and journalists working in community radio, this program is the first of its kind in the Australian community broadcasting sector.

Tracee Hutchison, CBF Partnerships & Projects Manager, says, “At the height of the 2019/2020 summer bushfires, community broadcasters in fire-affected communities found themselves at the frontline of a national disaster. We know the impact on lives and livelihoods has been significant, and ongoing.

“This funding will enable the CBF to deliver much-need trauma literacy and resilience support to our volunteer broadcasters in some of the critically impacted communities in Victoria.”

The CBF gratefully acknowledges the Victorian Government as the major funder of this inaugural initiative, supported by additional funding from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and the Australian Communities Foundation (Beeton Family Fund) for roll-out in other states.

Photo: Buckenbowra State Forest by Tracee Hutchison