First phase of Disaster Training helped us understand housing, trauma-informed approaches, insurance and recovery


In November and December 2023, CLCNSW hosted the first phase of our Disaster Training program as part our work to support the sector with disaster preparedness and response and building a resilient network of community workers, lawyers and organisations.

Our goal with this work is to build the capacity of all Community Legal Centres and Community Legal Centre workers across NSW to be able to provide legal assistance and support during and post-disaster. This is something that all of us should be prepared for, no matter where in NSW we are located.

CLCNSW's first phase of disaster training focussed on initial disaster response. In consultation with the sector, we selected the topics that are most relevant in early days and weeks of a disaster, and foresee offering training in 2024 that builds on these.

The sessions we ran this quarter were:

  • An overview of disaster recovery in NSW
  • Tenancy and housing issues in early disaster response
  • Trauma-informed approaches to working well with clients during disaster
  • Insurance issues in early disaster response.

Future sessions in this series might include identifying and contribution to strategic litigation, long-tail legal issues like insurance, and social security.

Thank you to everyone that attended and committed their time to upskilling in these areas of law and in disaster settings. We had over 100 attendees from across the state (and some across borders!) with many people attending multiple sessions and getting as prepared as possible. 

If you missed out on the training sessions, you can access the recordings here.

If you're interested in staying part of the conversation and building a resilient CLC network, join the CLCNSW Disaster Planning and Response Network. This is going to be a key forum for collaborating and developing the sector’s disaster response work. You can sign up for any of our 19 networks here, including this one.

A key strength of the CLC sector is our ability to come together and leverage each other’s expertise, support and generosity. We can’t individually be experts in everything, but as a sector, we are.

Thank you to the presenters that volunteered their time and shared their expertise:

  • Sally Bryant, Manager, Disaster Recovery Legal Service, Legal Aid NSW
  • Alex Rumore, Senior Solicitor, Disaster Recovery Legal Service, Legal Aid NSW
  • Charlie Wilde, Community Education Coordinator, Tenants Unions of NSW
  • Olivia Nielsen-Gurung, Advocacy Officer, Tenants Unions of NSW
  • Brendan Ross, Coordinator, NORTAAS
  • Emma McGuire, Mid Coast TAAS
  • Yvonne Urry, Manager Trauma Informed Practice, knowmore
  • Elizabeth Nagy, Counsellor, knowmore
  • Amanda Whelan, Director of Client Services, knowmore
  • Alex Kelly, Principal Solicitor, Financial Rights Legal Centre
  • Erin Mullaly, Senior Solicitor, Financial Rights Legal Centre