Aus & NZ Disaster and EM conference 2016
Research from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and case studies from the emergency services, local government, education and health sectors, featured at the Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference on the Gold Coast in May.
Keynotes presentations from Commissioner Katarina Carroll, of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, referenced disasters in Australia and in the United States to illustrate points on leadership in crisis situations.
Jonathan Coppel, Productivity Commissioner, presented an overview of the Productivity Commission’s review of Australia’s Natural Disaster Funding Arrangements.
Other presentations covered the topics of health and local government; building resilient cities; mental health of medics and first responders; training and higher education in emergency management; volunteer recruitment and management; and public communications.
There was also sessions dedicated to discussion around case studies on communities, recovery and collaboration following the 2013 New South Wales Blue Mountains fires, the 2015 Ravenshoe café explosion, and other recent disaster incidents.
Other presenters included:
Dr Jim McLennan, from Latrobe University, presented research on the stress and growth experiences of field researchers who interviewed community and agency members after severe bushfires. While some of the researchers experienced stress from conducting interviews with distressed residents others commented on the personally satisfying element of contributing to the greater knowledge of community behaviours under extreme conditions.
Dr Paula Dootson, from Queensland University of Technology spoke about her research on how people understand and react to emergency messages on social media and in the media.
Dr Danielle Every, a senior research fellow at CQ University, has isolated the characteristics of successful community fire groups with her study after the 2015 Sampson Flat fire in South Australia.
Laura Gannon, an associate research student at the CRC, delivered two presentations on the complex issues around land use planning for bushfire risk.
The conference is a joint initiative of four ‘not-for-profit’ organisations: the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, the Australian Institute of Emergency Services, the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association Inc. and the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc.
More information is available on the conference website: www.anzdmc.com.au