Issue 3
Monday, 30 April 2018
Charles Darwin University
E-news
RedR Australia capability director and CDU alumnus Emma Kettle recently returned from a Rohingya settlement at Cox’s Bazar. Photo: RedR Australia
RedR Australia capability director and CDU alumnus Emma Kettle recently returned from a Rohingya settlement at Cox’s Bazar. Photo: RedR Australia

Disaster expert flags need for crisis workers

By Ellie Turner

A crisis training expert who recently returned from Bangladesh after assessing the training needs of aid agencies in response to the Rohingya refugee emergency has advocated the use of civilian specialists to help manage disasters. 

RedR Australia capability director Emma Kettle said the organisation’s alliance with CDU allowed it to tap into the next generation of aid and development workers.

“It’s important for people whose work or study is not necessarily aid-focused to know there is a need for crisis workers in areas including child protection, sanitation, health and logistics,” she said.

“Standby roster deployments and the use of civilian specialists in disaster preparedness and response are crucial in relief efforts before, during and after disaster or conflict.”

Ms Kettle, who was the first Master of Emergency and Disaster Management graduate at CDU, has worked in more than 20 countries to design and deliver training.

According to UNHCR, more than 671,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh.

RedR Australia, in collaboration with the Bangladeshi Government, has deployed 15 specialists to support United Nations agencies and local aid organisations since August, 2017.

The camp at Cox’s Bazar is the largest refugee settlement in the world.

“We work to preserve the dignity of people who have lost everything,” Ms Kettle said.

CDU Humanitarian, Emergency and Disaster Management theme leader, Associate Professor Akhilesh Surjan said long-term deployments in challenging conditions required physical and mental resilience.

CDU and RedR Australia have signed a new memorandum of understanding to continue the partnership, which includes a collaborative intensive unit for Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies students.