BCG supports launch of extreme weather volunteer training initiative

21 December 2021 3 min. read

With BCG among its partners, the Minderoo Foundation has launched a training program for volunteers who want to help build community resilience against extreme weather events.

As warnings mount over an upcoming summer of extreme weather across Australia, the recently launched Australian Resilience Corps continues to recruit and train community volunteers to aid in disaster preparedness against the threat of bushfires and flooding. The Corps is an initiative of the Minderoo Foundation, with NRMA Insurance, Optus and Boston Consulting Group among its initial private sector partners.

A recent briefing from the Bureau of Meteorology, which the government was accused of trying to keep under wraps, outlined an increased risk of widespread flooding and an above average number of cyclones over the coming months, together with a heightened risk of bushfires in other parts of the country.

BCG supports launch of extreme weather volunteer training initiative

The Bureau of Meteorology has since warned of a ‘heat dome’ settling over Australia’s interior, while La Niña continues to drench the East Coast.

The goal of the Resilience Corps is to help reduce the potential for such natural disasters and mitigate their impacts, by bringing together trained community members with volunteer and disaster relief organisations. Those wishing to volunteer can complete a number of online training modules, including on subjects such as disaster resilience, landscape management, property maintenance, and mental health.

The Corps form part of the Minderoo Foundation’s broader Fire and Flood Resilience initiative aiming to shift the focus from disaster response to readiness, which was established by Minderoo co-chairs Andrew and Nicola Forrest with a $70 million commitment in the wake of the devastating bushfires that swept the country in 2019-20. According to the organisation, 97 percent of all disaster funding in Australia is spent after the event.

“Seeing the outpouring of help following the Black Summer bushfires and hearing from communities themselves inspired us to work with partners to provide opportunities for Australians to direct their goodwill to off-season activities,” the Forrests said. “By coming together to prepare each year for fires and floods we can make the seemingly impossible possible, and make our communities resilient to the devastation caused.”

Boston Consulting Group – a global strategy consulting firm with four offices in Australia – supported the foundation with its initial Fire and Flood Resilience blueprint, which includes the ambitious ‘Fire Shield’ goal of ensuring that by 2025 no dangerous bushfire in Australia would burn for longer than an hour.

To achieve its ‘moonshot’, the organisation will leverage emerging technologies such as data analytics, AI and automation to detect and predict fires and their behaviour sooner.

“This is a really fantastic initiative from Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience moonshot,” said Boston Consulting managing director and partner Wendy Mackay on LinkedIn. “Sign up if you want to learn about disaster resilience and help your local community build resilience. We’re encouraging staff and friends and families from (BCG) to do so, but it is open to everyone!”