Inclusive and effective response and relief: Meeting the needs of all the communities

Up in the Jim Stynes Room, we were talking about the challenges, and rewards of working with those hard to reach communities. Leading off first is my wonderful colleague,  Danielle Every who gave a fabulous overview of the research that we undertook. Rather than recount, here’s a link to an earlier blog . One of the key outcomes is using existing

Sandra Astill, undertook research in far north Queensland on the issues of older adults in communities affected by Cyclone Yasi.  These communities have high proportion of older adults, and the impacts of Yasi, had an impacts on services, economy, and the ability to provide basic services. Ageing in place is good, but has its challenges as who is responsible for supporting people.

Stuart Stuart from the Victorian Council of Churches, starts with suffering is not what destroys us, suffering without meaning destroys people. People are social beings. How do i make meaning, how to i make sense of what is happening. In human nature help us navigate the world. We have created in our minds that things are safe. In disaster, these are challenged. What does this mean with faith, ethnicity, worldview. Language is important. Symbols are important. Bourke St had a range of different symbols and memorials, to represent their feelings and grief. Faith and culture are intertwined.

Our former Resilience Coordinator in SA, Michael Arman outlined the People at risk in emergencies framework for South Australia. He’s brought his usual enthusiasm to a fantastic piece of work.  SA has grappled with planning for people who are more at risk or more vulnerable. A recognition of impacts are disproportionately affected.  All people have strengths that form the basis of their resilience, organisations outside of the EM sector do and can play critical roles in supporting people at risk.

The focus of the work was to consult outside of the EM sector, as well as having CFS on board as well. The community services sector want to have a conversation about emergency management, so there was good response to 8 workshops. Then there was a sensemaking process, before testing with with another round of workshops, and an implementation plan.

One of the key concepts is this idea of fluidity of resilience and vulnerability, which means that people’s risk changes regularly. We don’t recognise this in a list based approach to “vulnerable people”


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