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Canopy Communities

We're on a mission to activate and empower 500 Canopy Communities across Australia to begin their resilience building journey.

We’re building a nation-wide community of practice to achieve this mission.

Each Canopy Community member will continue to teach and share their resilience building knowledge and skills within their own communities, passing on wisdom to equip future generations to better deal with unexpected natural events and challenges.  

Our first 25 Canopy Communities will be practical examples of ‘how to build resilience’, providing guidance, learnings and inspiration to other communities.

2000 trained community resilience practitioners  will be able to lead conversations and guide their communities towards resilient futures.

Become a practitioner.

200 partners from across the business, government and non-profit sector will support community actions by providing their time, donations or expertise.

Contact us if you can help.

Supporting Australian communites to thrive means our most vulnerable don't get left behind when disaster strikes

The Resilience Canopy is open to all Australian communities to:

Take part in training and become part of the practitioner network - the Canopy Collective 

Use the resources and learnings to undergo the six-step community resilience building process 

Connect with business, government and other partners to help match their goals with the right cash or in-kind support

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Is Your Community Ready?

All communities are vulnerable to shocks and stresses, but some more so than others. Some communities experience a range of social or environmental disadvantages that need a guiding hand to build resilience to future challenges. Poverty, social isolation, disability or cultural barriers can put these communities at risk of greater disadvantage when disaster strikes.

We’re looking for communities to join us who need help to build their social connections and identify how they can better withstand future challenges.

Fire and flood affected towns are welcome to join the movement. We strongly suggest that communities that are still in active disaster recovery may not yet be ready to embark on long term resilience building.  

Our training program will help you to assess community readiness for resilience building by guiding you through the theory.

Get in touch with us by registering to become a Canopy Community and together we can assess their suitability for the program. 

Seed funding is available for communities to deliver on their resilience plan actions when applying the Six-Step Future Ready Communities Engagement Model.


Activation grants of up to $25,000 are available.






Who can apply? 

Any Australian community within a sponsored Local Government Area that meets the eligibility criteria below and is ready to engage is ideally suited for this Activation Grant. Applications can only be submitted by a Canopy trained Practitioner.




Your community must:  

  • be located in a sponsored Local Government Area*

  • have a Resilience Canopy trained Practitioner**

  • be registered as a Canopy Community

  • be able to accept and manage grant funds

  • demonstrate a commitment to applying the Six-Step Future Ready Communities Engagement process

*This funding has been donated by Minderoo Foundation to support communities in identified high-risk Local Government Areas across Australia that also have high levels of social disadvantage.  Under special circumstances, communities that are not located in a sponsored Local Government area may be eligible for consideration.  Contact our team to discuss your community further. 

**Completing the training or connecting with a Canopy trained Practitioner is a pre-requisite to apply for an Activation Grant.

When are grants open? 

Future grant rounds will be announced quarterly or as required through our website and eNewsletters so ensure that you are subscribed to receive updates on when the grants are open.

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Activation Grants





What can I do now? 

Register to become a Canopy Community and we will be in touch with further information on how you can become involved in the Program.


Resilience in Action

The Millgrove Story

The Millgrove community in Victoria’s Yarra Valley  is just one community using the Six Step Future Ready Communities Model to success. 

With a little support to guide them through the engagement process, Millgrove turned their own ideas about a stronger future, into key plan of activities and actions.  

As a project with ResilientCo, AIDR and the Minderoo Foundation, they activated their community to develop a community resilience plan.

It's now being put into action as their big thinking projects have sparked interest by philanthropic and corporate organisations keen to support.  


View Millgrove's Resilient Community Plan 

Our Canopy Communities


VIC (Wurundjeri)

6- Review and 2. Deep Dive

Warburton, in Victoria's Yarra Ranges, is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the risk of fires in particular. Its geographic location and topography in the Ranges, the singular road in and out, have heightened the awareness of residents toward their risk of emergency. They're also aware of the impact of tourists in the area complicating response processes, and the relative difficulty accessing services.

The Warburton Emergency Planning Group are a highly engaged group of locals, seeking to help the town prepare for future disasters and build strong social connections in the community. The group has been through a process of building disaster resilience before, but this revisit and review will see them build on earlier strengths and set clearer resilience goals that reflect community need.

Resilient Marong

VIC (Dja Dja Wurrung Country)

Step 1. Foundations

Marong is a growth community, 15km west of Bendigo, surrounded by forests and farming lands. As young families continue to move to the area and grow the population, Marong has a strong opportunity to grow its social connectedness and work toward community goals.

Marong's Community Action Group hopes bringing these groups within the community together will help empower residents to also make the best decisions around preparing and living through emergencies and stresses such as fire, floods accidents and more.

Far South Food Resilience

TAS (Melukerdee and Lyleuquonny people)

Step 1. Foundations

In the far south of the Huon Valley, the rural and close-knit community encompassing Dover and Southport are deeply connected to their pristine natural surroundings. They are also aware of the vulnerabilities of food security during natural disasters, such as fires which can cut them off from external supply chains.

Given the significant role and opportunities of agriculture, fishing and aquaculture for the region, this community will be looking to boost their resilience in areas of food security and production.

Resilient Rainbows, Huon Valley

TAS (Melukerdee and Lyleuquonny people)

Step 1. Foundations

In the Huon Valley, the 'Resilient Rainbows' aims to create a supportive and inclusive environment where LGBTQIA+ individuals feel valued and empowered, reducing isolation and vulnerability in rural communities where support networks may be limited.

Recognising the unique vulnerabilities faced by the LGBTQIA+ community during natural emergencies and disasters, the community aims to address their specific needs during crisis by working together with local authorities, emergency services and community organisations.


VIC (Wurundjeri Country)

Steps 4 & 5. Implement & Partner

On the Yarra River, surrounded by mountains, Millgrove's small but active community have been working closely together for many years bringing their vision of a safe, vibrant and welcoming community to life.

Recognising the threats posed by fire and flood, residents group MRAG led the community in developing their first Community Resilience Plan - with initiatives they believe will make the most difference to their community in being prepared and connected.

At the centre of a Resilient Community

What characteristics does a resilient Canopy Community have in common? 
Connection, respect, empowerment, and wisdom, also known as CREW. 


Social connection has a critical role in creating communities that are resilient to shocks and stresses - with neighbors and friends, and also people with influence.


Along with Inclusion, we give respect and receive respect, to ensure everyone is listening to all those involved.


Create the space and opportunities for community to step up to the plate and solve their own challenges.


Beyond knowledge, wisdom is 
the communities’ capacity to act with insight and experience. 

  • Going through the Resilience Canopy process is a long-term journey.  The six-step engagement process can take some communities two or more years.  Continued relationships inside the community and with partners should be developed to be enduring, so that if a disaster strikes, that community is challenge-ready.

  • There is no defined end-point for communities striving to live more safely with natural disasters or stresses.  Our communities are always changing: new residents are moving in, economic drivers ebb and flow, and natural vegetation continues to grow.  


    The traits that determine a resilient community in the face of hardship are based on the CREW principles  

    • Connections 

    • Respect  

    • Empowerment  

    • Wisdom 


    Collaboration with local partners (including residents, community organisations, agency partners and more) often helps communities identify and mitigate their changing risks. 

  • When natural hazards are hardship becoming more frequent occurances, all communities in Australia need support to become resilient toward future challenges.  We exist to strengthen and connect ALL Australian communities.

    However, some communities are more at risk than others.  The Resilience Canopy is heavily focused on supporting communities that are at risk of natural hazard-induced disasters and where economic and endemic stresses provide an additional layer of difficulty to recover and rebound from disasters when they strike again. 


    The most disadvantaged, such as those experiencing homelessness, poverty, domestic violence, disability along with First Nations people are most vulnerable to the impacts of disasters.  Our focus is to improve social vulnerability and community capacity outcomes within challenged, at risk communities across Australia.

  • Sponsored community funding is weighted toward communities that are most vulnerable and most disadvantaged when disasters strike.  The Resilience Index, created by the Minderoo Foundation, examines relative exposure to disasters like fire and flood, social vulnerability indicators such as levels of poverty, mental health wellbeing and community health overall.  The LGAs listed within our 'Sponsored LGAs' section have been identified as high-risk according to the Resilience Index indicators of vulnerability to disaster.


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