Alicia S. Cook


Selected work

Trash Cult
Women Rising
Small Property Conservation
Allan’s labour of love
Fellowship & Food

The Blue
Radio Interviews


Women Rising


EARLIER this week, an exhibition and report to illuminate the gendered experience of natural disasters was unveiled at the Cohuna Gateway to Gannawarra Visitors Centre. 
Women Rising comprises information and stories from women in the Loddon Mallee Region who were affected by the 2022 floods in Northern Central Victoria.

Spearheaded by Womens Health Loddon Mallee, the report is aimed at understanding the impact that disasters like floods can have on women’s health and wellbeing.

CEO of WHLM Tricia Currie said the report had highlighted that every story is different.

“Although it might be the same flood, every woman’s experience of it is her own,” Ms Currie said.

The report has opened the door for WHLM to connect with policy and decision makers who can use the information gathered to inform future disaster preparation and recovery measures that benefit women.

“This beautiful, foundational piece of research then supports the capacity building that can happen within the emergency services sector,” said Ms Currie.

The research model used for the project is called Being, Belonging, Becoming model and looked at the factors that affect women’s experience of natural disasters.

“The stories that we captured from women really speak to all stages of floods,” said Dr Karen Anderson, the senior health promotion, population, and public health officer for WHLM.

“I think our hope is not just that this will have an impact at the policy level,” she said.  

“I think there’s step before that in terms of the research that academics and others are doing in this space and ensuring that women’s voices are captured in that research.”

One element of the data that surprised researchers was the impact that gender roles had on women’s experience of the floods.

The burden of care often falls to women and their essential work of caring for the family during a crisis, can keep them isolated from a community that is coming together around a common goal in the wake of disaster. 

“They talked about feeling helpless in doing things like sandbagging because they felt that they were stuck at home caring for kids and that somehow wasn’t as important,” said Dr Karen. 

 The report from Women Rising can be viewed at  

The exhibition of works created by the women who shared their stories is currently on display at the Cohuna Gateway to Gannawarra Visitors Centre.