Resilience is a relatively new concept that is receiving attention from cities and communities across the world as they face growing challenges and pressures from increasing urbanisation and globalisation. At the same time cities are also facing significant impacts from climate change. Addressing the risks, opportunities and challenges as these issues interact requires a shift in our thinking and planning. 

Urban resilience is defined as the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. Taking early action to manage challenges and reduce impacts to individuals, the environment and the economy can offer access to multiple benefits including cost savings, cost avoidance and other benefits across systems and communities. 

Shocks are sudden events or short term disruptions that threaten or disrupt our day to day life and include things like bushfires and severe storms. Stresses are long term systemic disruptions that grow over time and impact a city on a daily or regular basis and include increasing demand for health services and a lack of public transport options. Shocks and stresses are not experienced in isolation and when they interact they often amplify the impacts on a city and its communities.   

A comprehensive project is currently underway for Metropolitan Sydney to identify the key shocks and stresses the City is likely to face into the future and to start to develop a strategy for how we deal with these in coming years. Most, if not all, of the shocks and stresses that have been identified as part of the Resilient Sydney project are relevant to Penrith and should be considered in our long-term planning for the City, and our decision-making processes. 

The Committee will meet at least 4 times each year. 

The Committee is made up of 3 Councillors, 4 professional members and 4 community members:

  • Councillor John Thain
  • Councillor Karen McKeown OAM (Chair)
  • Councillor Kath Presdee
  • Carina Fernandes (Community)
  • Nevin Sweeney (Community)
  • Helen Ryan (Community)
  • Michelle Tormey (Community)
  • Suzanne Dunford – NSW Office of Environment & Heritage
  • Assoc. Prof. Bradley Forssman – Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, NSW Health
  • Duncan Challen – Celestino Pty Ltd
  • Dr Teresa Swist – Western Sydney University

Council has adopted Terms of Reference for the Committee. Copies of the business papers and minutes for these meetings are available – please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. on 4732 7803 for more information.

In 2015 Sydney won a place in the 100 Resilient Cities initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. 100 Resilient Cities provides technical support and resources for cities to develop and implement strategies to help them survive, adapt and thrive in the face of the challenges of the 21st century.

Resilient Sydney is a collaboration with all the councils of metropolitan Sydney and the NSW Government, and hosted by the City of Sydney. The team in Sydney includes a Chief Resilience Officer, Deputy Chief Resilience Officer and research support from a consultant team.

In 2016 the Resilient Sydney Team conducted research and engagement to assess Sydney’s strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. This information was used to identify the key challenges Sydney needs to tackle for our city to become strong, just and ready for anything. Throughout 2017 the Resilient Sydney team have conducted community and stakeholder workshops to gather ideas. These will form the Resilient Sydney Plan which will be launched later in 2017.

For more information visit the Resilient Sydney website or contact the Resilient Sydney team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 9265 9333.