Bellingen’s collaborative crisis response

Published on Friday, 3 July 2020 at 10:00:00 AM

One of IT Vision’s New South Wales customers, Bellingen Shire Council, has been praised for their swift and innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic after establishing a Pandemic Response Group in early March 2020. 

The group described as a “local and vocal response to COVID-19” is facilitated by Council and consists of various community and specialist groups working together.

The group aims to focus efforts collectively in the following key areas:

  • Clinical support
  • Community preparedness ad resilience
  • Community information and support
  • Business support services
  • Maintenance of Council’s essential community services

"It’s all about helping the community help itself. We don’t know what we’re facing, we just know we’re better if we do it together” said Dean Besley, the Council appointed facilitator of the Bellingen Shire Pandemic Response Group.

The Bellingen Shire Pandemic Response Group is made up of action groups and representatives from the following:

  • Bellingen Shire Council
  • Clinical Action Group – consists of representatives from the medical and health profession within the Shire and their primary objectives are the operation of the Bellingen COVID-19 Clinic
  • Neighbourhood Care Network – a initiative of the Pandemic Response Group with initial start-up and framework development funded by Bellingen Shire Council
  • Business Support and Adaptation Action Group – consists of representatives of the Bellingen, Urunga-Mylestom and Dorrigo Chambers of Commerce supported by Bellingen Shire Council
  • Services and Support Action Group – lead by the Bellingen Shire Neighbourhood Centres and supported by various service agencies

“We workshopped with the Pandemic Response Group members and came to the realisation that whilst each group was providing great support and doing some amazing things for our community, what was missing was a central hub,” said Michelle McFadyen, Deputy General Manager Corporate and Community at Bellingen Shire Council.

“There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes in terms of coordinating local resources and expertise to establish this group, which will be working together with our community to deliver initiatives, actions and information to provide a local response to this global crisis.”

During the height of the pandemic, the Pandemic Response Group was meeting every few days with each sub-group taking actions around their areas of expertise and interest.

IT Vision’s CEO, Nigel Lutton said “Bellingen’s collaborative response to the pandemic was no easy feat and that their prioritising of local needs and services was admirable. It is very pleasing that the introduction of a new Altus ICT platform tangibly underpinned their ability to work digitally, remotely and collaboratively.”

Bellingen Shire Council’s General Manager, Liz Jeremy said IT Vision’s support in updating the Shire’s IT infrastructure was integral to their successful response to the pandemic.

“We first became an IT Vision customer back in 2019 and in order to implement IT Vision’s Altus platform, we needed to make a number of changes to our IT environment. Without the move to IT Vision and the subsequent updates we’ve made to our IT environment, Bellingen would never have been able to support a remote workforce and continue to deliver the level of service provided during the pandemic to our community.”
– Liz Jeremy, General Manager at Bellingen Shire Council.

Read more about the collaboration between IT Vision and Bellingen Shire Council here

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