Issue 11
Monday, 04 July 2016
Charles Darwin University
E-news
A Brigadier from the Disaster Commission of Sebedoh (Dale Potter from RedR) provides logistical instructions to second year Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies student Suzanne Kady during the simulation
A Brigadier from the Disaster Commission of Sebedoh (Dale Potter from RedR) provides logistical instructions to second year Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies student Suzanne Kady during the simulation

Students respond to humanitarian ‘emergency’

By Leanne Miles

Students have provided humanitarian aid to 15,000 internally displaced people in the fictitious country of Sebedoh as part of a simulated humanitarian disaster event at Charles Darwin University.

The activity was part of a three-week intensive unit for students to gain hands-on experiences and skills in providing life-saving relief as part of the Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies.

CDU lecturer and course coordinator Adriana Stibral said the unique intensive was delivered in collaboration with humanitarian aid and training organisation RedR Australia as part of the CDU/RedR Alliance and brought together 25 students from nine countries.

“The operational planning exercise is a full-day field simulation that immerses the students in an emergency scenario and provides them with the essentials of humanitarian practice.”

She said the intensive brought students together from around Australia and overseas as part of the second year of their undergraduate studies and gave them an opportunity to put the theory they have learnt into practise and work to solve problems in a pressured environment.

Taking on the role of one of six organisations, the students worked in teams to provide logistics, food, health, protection, shelter and liaison between government organisations.

Former police officer and second year student Suzanne Kady from Coffs Harbour said that after 30 years in law enforcement she enrolled with CDU because she wanted to use her skills to work in the field of humanitarian and disaster management.

“It has given me a real insight into international politics and policies, and the importance of negotiation,” Suzanne said.

“In a situation like this where you have distressed people from varying cultural backgrounds and you need to negotiate logistics surrounding providing transport and provisions with local governments, your thought processes need to be clear and concise.”

RedR Australia Senior Trainer Paula Fitzgerald said the exercise was an opportunity for students to gain insight into the complexities of humanitarian action by providing them with essential, first-hand practical experiences.

She said the RedR Australia trainers were practicing emergency response workers with experience working in complex humanitarian operations including the civil wars in South Sudan, Afghanistan and East Timor, and the recent cyclones in Fiji and Vanuatu.