Issue 8
Monday, 07 October 2019
Charles Darwin University
Partcipants in the  Emergency Management Volunteer Scholarships program
Partcipants in the Emergency Management Volunteer Scholarships program

Communities gain emergency leadership training

CDU is helping remote Northern Territory communities to be better able to respond to emergencies through delivering accreditied training for senior traditional owners and volunteers.

As part of the Australian Government’s Emergency Management Volunteer Scholarships program, CDU recently trained 28 senior traditional owners and Indigenous rangers, including many women, in emergency management leadership.

Undertaken at Riyala, a residential retreat in rural Darwin, the five-day training program attracted people from Weemol, Katherine, Borroloola, Maningrida, Raminging and Ngukurr.

Nationally recognised units of competency at the Certificate III level from the Business Services package were delivered around leadership, networking and governance. St John Ambulance NT also provided First Aid training as part of the package.

A panel discussion on emergency management volunteering opportunities was joined by key stakeholders including Northern Territory Emergency Service, Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service and the Bushfires NT.

A scenario planning exercise weighed various models for managing emergencies in remote communities and was facilitated by senior researchers from CDU’s Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research.

Partcipants were also briefed on the North Australia Fire Information web portal and other advanced fire management tools and Bushfires NT Executive Director Collene Bremner outlined emergency management planning, recovery and response in rural communities.

Associate Professor in Humanitarian, Emergency  and Disaster Management Studies Akhilesh Surjan said the program was the culmination of more than a year’s effort by CDU’s multidisciplinary emergency and bushfire management experts.

“Participants welcomed the initiative and highlighted the importance of having a meaningful dialogue to manage disaster risks and build resilience among remote communities,” Dr Surjan said.

The program is funded as part of the Australian Government’s $2 million Emergency Management Volunteer Scholarship Fund administered by the Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience.