I have been working in emergency management since 1997. I have worked with Red Cross twice, and until 2007, I was the State Recovery Manager in the Department of Human Services in Victoria. I really cut my teeth on the Bali Bombings, and ended up coordinating recovery support for a range of major and minor disasters, including the Bali Bombings, Drought, Alpine Bushfires in 2003 and 2006 and Grampians Fires in 2006. I also oversaw the first major review of the State Emergency Recovery Plan in 15 years.
Until January 2006, I chaired the Disaster Recovery Sub-committee of the Community Services Ministers Advisory Council which was the peak recovery body for Australia. I was fortunate enough to represent Australia at the United Nations International Recovery Platform meeting in Kobe, Japan, and was part of the Australian Government Forward Assessment Team sent to Washington in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I also attended the Australia 2020 summit in April 2008, the only emergency manager selected as part of the 1000 delegates.
Returning to Red Cross in 2007, I have been reshaping the way we approach household preparedness in this country. In the aftermath of the Black Saturday Bushfires, I was privileged to volunteer to co-facilitate a Bereavement Support Group, which ran for three years after the fires. This privilege also extended to the small community of Strathewen, which was severely affected by the bushfires, where I helped plan their bushfire memorial, which was dedicated in September 2012.
In 2010-11, I was part of a writing team that re-wrote the Australian Emergency Management Institute’s Community Recovery Manual. I have also had an article published on disaster memorials. I am an Honorary Fellow of the School of population Health at University of Melbourne, part of a research team researching the effects of the Black Saturday Bushfires.
I write on disaster management in my occassional blog, Sastrugi.
National Emergency Medal