Students respond to humanitarian ‘emergency’ at CDU

28-Jun-2016

Brigadier from the Disaster Commission of Sebedoh RedR Dale Potter the provides logistical instructions to second year Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies student Suzanne Kady as part of 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 as part of the simulation


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 is part of a three-week intensive unit that enables 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.

“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.

“Many of our students are online in other states, or even overseas learning while on field placements,” she said.

“Today’s exercise will give the students an opportunity to put the theory they have learnt into practise and work together as a team to solve problems as they arise.”

Ms Stibral said the contribution of RedR Australia meant that students would have access to highly experienced humanitarian aid professionals who have been deployed overseas to respond to large-scale disasters for many years.

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.

“It will give students an idea of what to expect when they arrive on the ground during a humanitarian emergency,” Ms Fitzgerald said. “One of our trainers has just returned from Fiji, where Cyclone Winston flattened more than 30,000 homes, resulting in more than 60,000 people being displaced; that is 14 per cent of the population.

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.

RedR Australia is an international emergency response agency that recruits, trains and deploys humanitarian staff to international crisis around the world. They currently have 30 people operating in 17 global crises.

For more information about the Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies visit W: cdu.edu.au/health/community-course

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