Rural Support Workers Program

Rural Support Workers Program

The Rural Support Workers Program is a service for people and communities impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires. It targets non-clinical support to individuals, families and communities in remote areas across the Bega Valley Shire.

Our Rural Support Workers provide informal and practical support to individuals in their homes or within the community. Our team is drawn from the supported communities.

A feature of this program is time spent with those who need it most, taking a genuine and timely interest in each client, building trust and staying engaged over time or until additional support can be identified. Time for a cuppa and chat is a deliberate and important part of our

Funding for the Rural Support Workers Program has been extended through to the end of 2022. We continue to locate fire-affected people in need, identify support gaps, and make connections to the right assistance.


The Rural Support Workers program addressed a need for people to be reconnected within their own communities following the trauma experienced by many during and after the 2019-2020 fires and as a result of the ongoing disruption and dislocation created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program offers one on one support for local disaster affected individuals and families delivered by locals who care and who understand the difficulties faced. We assist people and advocate on their behalf to help get them back on their feet.


A key feature of this program is an approach that draws on the principles of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). ABCD identifies and draws on the strengths that exist within communities.

Our focus is on taking a sensitive approach to identifying and strengthening the relationships that bring about healing and health by:

  • Providing company and a chat
  • Promoting wellness
  • Providing and organising practical support
  • Facilitating reconnection with community
  • Establishing connection with interest groups
  • Assisting with access to services
  • Providing outreach to the more rural and remote areas of the Bega Valley Shire.
  • Taking part in local recovery and community meetings.


Funding of $580,000 has been provided by Coordinare through the Public Health Network.


The Rural Support Workers project connects to the following ECAC objectives:

  • An inclusive environment encouraging participation from all groups and fostering positive relations
  • Build community social and economic capacity
  • Develop local solutions to local problems
  • Raise the aspirations of individuals and unlock the potential of community


If you live in the Bega Valley Shire area and were affected by the 2019/20 bushfires please make contact with us.

We do not share any information we receive from you with anyone without your written consent. This includes when you ask us to contact other services on your behalf.

Yes, if you need assistance with a bushfire-related issue we are here for you.


Chicks with Chainsaws

Chicks with Chainsaws empowers women’s confidence and independence in bush settings.

The two-day training course helps women build their skills and confidence in the safe handling of machinery for property maintenance and in emergency situations.

The program has been created for women wanting to become more self-sufficient on the land.

Participants gain skills to enable them to competently and safely trim and cut felled trees and to deal with typical hazards encountered in a bush setting.

Chicks with Chainsaws is an initiative of the Eden Community Access Centre’s Rural Support Workers Project, delivered by Walan Miya and funded through Smart and Skilled NSW.

Other projects

Other projects include support and development of the Community Garden Project and Tool Library in Cobargo which has been instrumental in providing residents with practical assistance as they struggle with rebuilding their homes and their lives.

Art Therapists have been engaged in Eden and Bega to support bushfire-affected community members who feel more comfortable expressing themselves through their art. Participants don’t require art skills and there is no age limit, you just need to contact us if you wish to participate in this program.

We support other services in the area to deliver their programs in various locations and we
are always looking for ways to support our communities.


Carina is the ECAC manager.

You can email Carina at or phone 0264963970 or email