Resilience to Hazards

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Mud Army and SES volunteers working together at the 2011 Queensland floods. Photo: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
Mud Army and SES volunteers working together at the 2011 Queensland floods. Photo: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

Project Status:

This new study, which began in July 2017, will focus on understanding what effective diversity and inclusion is and how this can be measured. This will be achieved through identifying where effective diversity and inclusion is occurring within organisations, the characteristic of this and how it can be implemented and measured at an organisational level. This will be examined from community, organisational and economic perspectives.

Cultural diversity in the emergency management sector encompasses gender, race, disability and cultural diversity. Currently, there are low rates of participation for women and participants from diverse cultural backgrounds in many areas of emergency management. This has ramifications for the capacity of the emergency services to modernise and build future service capability in the face of considerable change and the need to build resilience to this. The 2011 National Strategy for Disaster Resilience identifies the importance of culturally and linguistically diverse variables, the need for disaster services to understand the needs of such communities, and the critical importance of community consultation and partnerships. However there is currently little understanding of community based barriers to inclusion in the Emergency Management Sector or how the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion activities should be measured to support effective management and practice.

Diversity is also an untapped area of potential that can have benefits – not only for emergency management agencies, but also for the broader community. It is important to understand what the value and benefits of effective diversity and inclusion activities are and where and how these can be quantified.

This new study, which began in July 2017, will focus on understanding what effective diversity and inclusion is and how this can be measured. This will be achieved through identifying where effective diversity and inclusion is occurring within organisations, the characteristic of this and how it can be implemented and measured at an organisational level. This will be examined from community, organisational and economic perspectives.

Our research will be undertaking three case studies in collaboration with our end users; one metropolitan, one regional, one rural.  We will investigate this through assessment of current organisational decision making structures, processes and policies and examine the values and narratives that inform these decisions. We will also explore the constraints and enablers in implementing effective inclusion activities, and examine how effective diversity and inclusion can serve to enhance the current objectives and service delivery of emergency management organisations.

The purpose of this research is to develop a practical framework tailored to the emergency management context which will enable organisations to better manage and measure diversity and inclusion programs and activities. The framework will be developed and tested in collaboration with our end user organisations and will build upon the current strengths from within these organisations. The project will assess the different needs across the levels of emergency management organisations to provide an evidence-based pathway for building more diverse and innovative work cultures for the future.

For the first time, emergency services and police across Australia will be surveyed about their mental health and wellbeing
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A new direction of natural hazards research is set to begin, with nine new research projects from the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC.
22 March, 2017
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Diversity and inclusion: building strength and capability
29 Jun 2017

People are one of the most important resources for an organisation. Who is employed and why, and how they are managed, is a key determinant in an organisation's capability to adapt and survive changing circumstances.

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