20:20 Visions - Climate Change Resilience

The City of Sydney launched its C40 Women4Climate Mentorship Program in May, with Mayor Clover Moore stating “Climate action is the City of Sydney’s top priority”, as reflected in the City’s 2030 Strategy and Climate Emergency declaration.

Ahead of the Global Climate Strike called for 20 September, the program’s 20 mentees are taking this opportunity to share their vision for the project that they will present at the global Women4Climate Conference in Sydney in April 2020, and their view on the global climate strike.

Claire Higgins is the Emergency Management Support Officer at Northern Beaches Council.


Climate change resilience


My vision is for a community that is pre-prepared and ready for natural hazards, namely storms, floods, bush fires and heat waves, that will become more frequent and severe with climate change.


To be prepared for natural hazards, people need easy and convenient access to the right information, relevant education, community connections and quality equipment. This is critical to building community resilience and adaptability as climate-related natural disasters increase in both severity and frequency. Prevention and preparation is cheaper, easier and safer than post-disaster recovery processes which are expensive, disruptive and stressful.

My project, delivered through the Northern Beaches Council, aims to develop a culture of natural hazard risk adaptability and mitigation to avoid the hardships of post-disaster recovery. Local government, working with state agencies and community groups, is a perfect fit for coordinating strategic, holistic community resilience programs to meet local needs.

The Northern Beaches Community Resilience Development Program will activate community awareness and engagement in natural hazard adaptability and mitigation, thus reducing disaster risk. The four-tiered strategy will (1) inform community of known hazards, (2) educate vulnerable people on ways to minimise risk, (3) collaborate with all sectors of the community through local champions, and (4) equip the local community with accessible tools and facilities.

By enhancing prevention, preparation, interconnectedness and resourcefulness in the community, the dependency and subsequent demand on emergency services will be saved for critical, life-threatening situations.


On 20 September, I will be with my family and colleagues demanding climate action through better state and national led policies and governance. Climate change is too big for community to adapt, survive and thrive without government structure and reform.

We can do this.

“If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”

Photo sourced from ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)