Session speaker announcement: Ms Heather Crawley, Manager, Centre for Emergency Management Studies, TAFE NSW Riverina Institute on the state of training

Heather Crawley PhotoWe are pleased to announce session speaker Ms Heather Crawley, Manager, Centre for Emergency Management Studies, TAFE NSW Riverina Institute who will speak at the 5th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference 30-31 May 2016.

Ms Heather Crawley will speak in the Open Topic stream on ‘The State of Training’.

Ms Crawley will examine the state of Vocational Education and Training (VET) offerings for non-operational/leadership roles for emergency management in Australia. The state of training and education is reviewed in light the convergence of an industry that is ‘set to grow’ given the impacts of climate change, with a training system that has diminishing resources and minimal structure.

The industrial landscape, the role of VET, and the current state of training and education in emergency management are discussed in turn, and suggestions about a possible future are proposed.

To inform this paper, research was undertaken on the characteristics of the existing training system, the expansion of the sector, and the existing levels of provision of VET and higher education. In addition, a survey was conducted to provide a snapshot of views from stakeholders about what training might be required for the future and what barriers exist to accessing it. This research barely ‘skims the surface’ of the field of understanding required to underpin a strong and responsive workforce, but points to growing gap in systemic training arrangements, and a growing training gap.

The implications of these gaps, is a workforce unprepared for the leadership challenges ahead, and the potential to compromise the growth of shared responsibility for disaster risk reduction. This is turn could exacerbate the challenges for a sector trying to match scarce resources to growing needs.

There are well-documented reasons to focus on preparing future leaders for catastrophic disasters, and the majority of people who will take up these roles will come from within the sector. Building the skills and knowledge of the workforce to provide leadership for future disasters must encompass the spectrum of training opportunities from VET through to Higher Education, enable access, and offer entry points and pathways to progress the professionalization of the sector.

The 5th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held at Jupiters, Gold Coast, QLD on the 30-31 May 2016.

The Conference theme ‘EARTH, FIRE and RAIN’ will continue to examine issues that impact preparedness, resilience, response and capability. To register for the conference CLICK HERE.