Community in Emergency Management – enabling a community-based innovation

Commencement date: 2011
Project status: Ongoing
Partners: Australian Emergency Management Institute
Since 2011, in partnership with the Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI) that offer a course called Community in Emergency Management, Dr Yoko Akama (RMIT University) has been sharing her research funded by the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre. Part of her research explores fostering a ground-up dialogue for community-centred engagement, based on the work she has undertaken in Victoria and Tasmania. Various professionals participate in AEMI’s course from all over Australia, from federal government, state-based emergency services, police, ambulance, NPOs such as the Red Cross and volunteering organisations and council staff. It is an intense, four-day program that takes the participants through a learning process on community engagement in urban and rural settings, with culturally and linguistically diverse communities and engendering a culture of responsibility in agencies and communities towards collective resilience. The two-hour workshop run by Dr Akama is nested within this program. It’s a hands-on process of learning-through-doing to ensure the participants get the ‘feel’ for what the methods enable.
This footage was taken in September 2013. Macedon residents were invited to Dr Akama’s workshop that centres on valuing and sharing the local knowledge. Playful Triggers (objects like matchsticks, toy soldiers and plastic animals) are used to indicate people and infrastructure on a local map, facilitating a discussion on potential fire hazards, risks and resources. Demonstrating this workshop enabled learning and awareness for the local residents, and also for the emergency management course participants who are learning about community-centred engagement.
Thank you to the participants from Macedon, Community in Emergency Management students, RMIT design students, Bushfire CRC and Design Research Institute at RMIT University. This video is directed and edited by Emma Thornhill, music by Khristian Mizzi.

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