Members of the Clonbinane Community Action Group have received funding for their program which will teach women to use chainsaws in case of emergencies. Pictured is below are members of the community group, back, Eva Bower, Lizette Snaith, Cathy Soulsby, Lesley Grass, front, Sharon Hibbert, Kreston Mahoney and Glenda Farnay.

CLONBINANE Community Action Group has been awarded more than $9000 for its community empowerment project by Australia Post’s Community Grants program.

The grants program awarded close to $500,000 to 75 not-for-profit community organisations across Australia to support their projects, with the majority of recipients in rural and regional areas.

The Clonbinane group focuses on disaster preparedness in a region that is prone to high fire risk, and the grant will be used to train women in the community to use chainsaws.

Group president Janelle Morgan said Clonbinane was severely impacted by the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires.

“The Women’s Chainsaw project aims to empower women living in rural and high fire risk areas to mitigate against feelings of isolation that were prevalent post Black Saturday, provide training that increases capacity, self-confidence and self-reliance, and strengthen social networks,” Ms Morgan said.

“The program will consist of three modules: Certificate III in the safe use of chainsaws ‘Trim & Crosscut’, Design and chainsaw carving sculpture course, and Emergency preparedness.

“The program will support women living in this rural township with skills, awareness and knowledge for both emergency situations as well as day to day use.”

Australia Post head of community Nicky Tracey said the grants were aimed at strengthening communities by assiting the groups who were best positioned to address local needs.

“Each recipient organisation embodies the aim of the program, which is to provide targeted support for what matters most to local communities,” Ms Tracey said.

“We believe that people working together have the greatest impact, and we are proud to provide funding to activities that help people connect, reduce barriers to participate in community life, or develop skills and leadership capability to strengthen community networks.”

Community consultation commenced this month while the project by Clonbinane Community Action Group is due to be in place in February next year.