Gender, Disaster and Financial Wellbeing (GDFW) Project

The Gender, Disaster and Financial Wellbeing Project has developed free two-part gender responsiveness training for Victorian financial capability workers and financial counsellors in bushfire and other disaster affected areas throughout 2021. 

Australia is a land of extremes and can be affected by a range of disasters, including bushfires, floods and extreme weather events. The Gender, Disaster and Financial Wellbeing Project created proactive training for community workers and financial counsellors in disaster response.

The project also developed a checklist of essential financial considerations for women before, during and in the recovery from disaster, such as bushfire. This is a tool that individuals can use themselves, or that financial counsellors and financial capability workers can guide clients through.

The training was originally planned for face-to-face delivery, however due to COVID restrictions they were held online. The restrictive conditions of the pandemic actually increased the reach of the training, with participation from every state in Australia. Training participants’ professions spanned state and local governments, insurance, community service and aged care.

The wide and enthusiastic interest demonstrated a clear need for the project, which is why we are currently translating the training into online self-paced courses in partnership with RTO ICAN Learn and Financial Counselling Victoria. 

What participants said about the Gender, Disaster and Financial Wellbeing training:

[The training has] broadened my awareness, access to resources and given me the heads up. Really informative and well run” Financial Counsellor

“So many supplied resources for future reference; having access to information and noting the important steps in the process, understanding the barriers before and after disaster” Financial Counsellor

“[The training increased my] awareness of how gender and intersectionality do have impacts on the lived experience of women and non binary/non gender conforming folks in disasters/financial hardship” – Welfare Advisor

“I feel better equipped to take a whole of person approach to providing support” – Team Leader, Community Services

“It gave me a better understanding of intersectionality and the importance of considering each individual’s experience as they engage with and are impacted by different power dynamics. It will help me advocate for policies that support the diverse needs of women and access to services” –  Financial Capability Worker

“Very very useful – it was helpful to understand how it can be practically implemented and hear from practitioners regarding their own insights on what works and what doesn’t, and [what I learnt today will help me] apply a lens of intersectionality to clients and research” –  Research Assistant

“I learned what financial counsellors do, the overlap between what I do and what they do, and how I can speak to clients about getting help. [I now have a] clearer focus on preparing clients for disaster and helping them after the disaster” Financial Advisor

This project is funded by the Office for Women (Department of Families, Fairness and Housing), through Bushfire Recovery Victoria.

For more information about the Gender, Disaster and Financial Wellbeing Project contact Ella Reed ereed@wire.org.au

Download the Checklist

Preparation for Disaster - Financial Considerations

Download the Checklist

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