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Scaling Community Resilience Building through partnerships

ResilientCo Managing Director Brett Ellis outlines the opportunity with the development of The Resilience Canopy in this article.

In the past few months we’ve been working on an initiative designed to build the resilience of communities nation-wide.

The Resilience Canopy is actually decades in the making, based on successes supporting communities in the shadow of Black Saturday in Victoria.

It is community resilience building at scale, designed to support community-led planning and connecting communities to corporate partners already looking at how they can make an impact through funding or providing their skills.

It’s not just disaster focussed – we go in with a blank piece of paper and assist communities to explore and 'deep dive' into what will make them more resilient.

It is designed to help build characteristics within a community that will make them more resilient in the face of shocks and stresses.

It is aimed at connecting. There’s already a lot of good work being done in communities by government, agencies, business and not for profits organisations.

We have the opportunity to build a connected ecosystem, something that’s sustainable, works beyond funding cycles, reduces the reliance of communities on government and activates and supports community wisdom, skills and ultimately, resilience.

It’s not something that’s designed to be in competition with anyone else. The aim is to build partnerships, not to duplicate, to support communities all across Australia collectively and provide a sustainable platform accessible to anyone.

The program has four connected pathways:

🌱Developing, upskilling and mentoring community resilience practitioners across Australia to apply a proven engagement model

🌱Supporting our trained practitioners to work with their own communities to develop their own resilience priorities

🌱Connecting communities and their priorities with enabling partners who want to invest

🌱Providing an online platform for the network of Canopy Communities, Canopy Collective Practitioners and Canopy Partners to share insights, and match need with investment

There’s a lot in it and it will continue to develop over the next few years. We’ve been talking to a lot of agencies, local governments, other not for profit organisations and interested partners. There is a definite need for Australia to get in front of future challenges rather than waiting to respond and then pick up the pieces.

The Resilience Canopy is a registered Not for Profit and we’re working through the process to become a registered charity and DGR. We’re about to roll out the first training sessions in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania, we’re developing the first version of the website and building the team we need as we ramp up into 2024.

Founded by ResilientCo and the Minderoo Foundation, with partners including the Resilient Cities Catalyst, we already have a number of other corporate partners and a few councils keen to activate and support communities.

With the initial backing of the Minderoo Foundation, the training is free for a long list of eligible local government areas across Australia. These sponsored training positions will be offered to potential practitioners willing to be upskilled and work with a community.

The Resilience Canopy is designed to deliver sustainable outcomes, supporting the wisdom and knowledge of communities, and connecting them to the power of philanthropics, businesses, government.

We’re so lucky to have a great team behind us to bring this to life.

I’m excited about the opportunity, and to continue to connect to other passionate partners and organisations.

Learn more at and follow The Resilience Canopy on LinkedIn for updates.


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