Meet the locals who’ve lived through disaster in new podcast
  • Monday 27 September 2021
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A bushfire destroying your home. Testing positive for COVID-19. A tree smashing through your front verandah during a severe storm.

Sunshine Coast Council’s new Get Ready Sunshine Coast podcast immerses listeners in these real experiences, sharing lifechanging stories and unravelling the impacts.

It also arms its audience with tips and advice on emotional wellbeing, building resilience to disaster in children and how neighbours can support each other during tough times.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the podcast was created to help our community better understand and manage through the impacts of disasters and he encouraged everyone to get prepared.

“That’s why it’s called Get Ready Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“We want every resident to make plans and know exactly what to do when a disaster or emergency happens.

“Podcasts are now one of the most popular ways to consume news and information and it’s important that we make disaster preparedness information easily accessible for our community across all platforms.

“Each episode introduces people who have first-hand experiences with the topic, whether that be as a community member, first responder or expert and takes the listener on a journey through that disaster or issue.”

Mayor Jamieson said many residents would recognise the host’s voice, well-known Sunshine Coast personality Caroline Hutchinson, who injects humour and empathy into each episode.

“Caroline, together with our guests, local audio producer Josh Newth and council’s disaster management team, have created a podcast that not only shares information and experiences but is gripping entertainment.

“I encourage everyone to download all six episodes, they’re 20 to 40 minutes each, so perfect for the drive to work, your next road trip, while you’re cleaning the house or exercising.

“Tell your friends and family about the podcast and what you learn about disasters. It could be lifesaving information.”

In February 2020, pandemic episode guest Paul Williamson and wife Coralie were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. The Meridan Plains couple were among the first Australian residents to be treated for COVID-19.

Mr Williamson said he was pleased to share his experiences on the podcast and hoped they would empower others.

“When something like that happens, life changes very quickly, so it’s important to have strategies in place to cope with stressful situations and not feel overcome by fear.

“The podcast is a great way for people to learn about preparation for all kinds of disasters from people with lived experience and expertise.”

Federal Minister for National Recovery and Resilience Senator Bridget McKenzie said sharing experiences is not only part of the recovery process, but helps households and businesses prepare for future emergencies.

“Every episode allows members of the community to tell their stories and provide insights into how they faced extreme situations and how the experience has changed their lives,” Minister McKenzie said.

“The podcast is a valuable public information tool made possible through the Australian Government’s Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA),” she said.

Federal Member for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien MP said the podcast provides a unique opportunity for Sunshine Coast residents to learn from each other.

“The resilience of those who have experienced disaster provides a unique perspective on how we, as individuals and as a community, can support one another in times of need,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Sunshine Coast is unique in its ability to pull together and support each other in times of need.

“Learning from the difficult experiences of others is one of the ways a local community grows and builds resilience, and this is something the Sunshine Coast displays time and time again, including the Peregian bushfires.

“The Federal Government was pleased to provide more than $2.8 million to Sunshine Coast Council as part of its disaster recovery funding and I’m delighted to see this podcast series as being one of the initiatives supported by this funding.”

The Get Ready Sunshine Coast podcast is available now, please visit www.oursc.com.au.

The $13,500 Get Ready Sunshine Coast podcast is funded under the Category D Bushfire Recovery Exceptional Assistance Immediate Support Package through its Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). For details visit: Disaster Assist.

Image: Get Ready Sunshine Coast podcast launch - Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson, Sunshine Coast Council Disaster Coordinator Cathy Buck and Audio Producer Josh Newth.