TOWNS in central Victoria have a chance to bolster their defences against bushfire as part of a program designed to build up "soft skills".
Make a Change Australia is working on the third phase of its Ramp up Resilience program, aimed to help small towns build their ability to respond to disaster.
Co-executive director Sharon Seyd said building connections within the town meant people were safer.
Ten towns from the 13 councils in the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance will be involved, among them City of Greater Bendigo, Central Goldfields Shire Council, Loddon Shire Council, Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Mount Alexander Shire Council.
Councils will nominate a town in their area to take part.
Ms Seyd said towns would build up the frameworks required to recover from an emergency as part of a project.
She said Make a Change aimed to build the soft assets of a community.
Ms Seyd said the project would be focussed on what each small town considered their challenges into the future.
"We know that all regional towns are under resourced, and we know that they're all looking for innovative ways to address the challenges that they're facing," she said.
"A lack of resources is a common theme. But ... being inventive with a little is also a common theme."
Ms Seyd said Make a Change would pull together stakeholders, like the local council, the Red Cross, the catchment management authority, to coordinate efforts to strengthen communities.
She said the organisation would then work with leaders to support their local agenda.
Past projects include planting trees to cool main streets, or agreeing on a community-wide symbol to indicate a property had been evacuated.
Ms Seyd said building connections, through common interests or common infrastructure, meant people were safer in the event of disaster.
She said these soft assets of human assets, and a strong human spirit meant strong communities would follow.
"Our job is to advocate for those soft skills, and the rebuilding of community, or the supporting of the building of community," she said.
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