Emergency Management Australia by nikeborome


									  Emergency Management Australia

Inclusive Emergency Management with
          CALD Communities

          National Workshop

             Mt Macedon
         30 and 31 March 2007

          Proceedings Report

   Prepared by MyriaD Consultants Pty Ltd
The general aims of the two day workshop were to:

       explore current and emerging issues and trends affecting CALD
        communities in emergency management activities.
       review a series of case studies to identify the range of issues impacting
        on CALD communities in a diverse range of emergency management
       explore priority areas for state / territory action learning projects that
        address a range of issues affecting CALD communities in emergency
        management activities.

A total of 28 people, (plus 3 EMA employees and 2 facilitators) attended and
participated in the workshop, representing a range of CALD community and
emergency management agencies from around the country.

For a list of participating agencies and individuals see Appendix C

National Workshop Proceedings
The National Workshop Agenda is included in Appendix A

1.    Introduction to CALD issues
The Day One morning session was targeted at personnel involved in Emergency
Management and included introductory cross cultural awareness training.

Themes covered included:
    Australia‟s demographic profile
    Current government policy in relation to cultural diversity
    Settlement and intercultural adaptation issues
    New and emerging communities
    CALD community engagement protocols and processes
    Cultural diversity and the emergency management environment – setting
     the scene

Participants were also given a comprehensive introduction to Islam by a highly
respected Islamic Community member, Mr Yassar Soliman.

2.    Introduction to EMA
The Director General of EMA, Mr Tony Pearce welcomed all workshop attendees
and reinforced EMA‟s commitment to improving participation of CALD
communities in a range of emergency management activities nationally.

Mr Pierce provided an overview of the background leading to the implementation
of the Inclusive Emergency Management with CALD communities project,
including the National Workshop. He emphasized the importance of the state /
territory based partnerships and action learning projects EMA intended to help
establish and support over the next four year period. Finally, Mr Pierce
encouraged all attendees to robustly contribute to the discussions over the next
two days.

EMA staff then gave a power point presentation highlighting the key roles and
responsibilities, and range of activities, undertaken by EMA.

3.    Group Discussion:
      Identifying issues impacting on emergency
      management and CALD communities.
The second half of Day one was devoted to encouraging all attendees, both from
the CALD sector and emergency management sector, to contribute openly to
discussion around issues impacting on emergency management and CALD

The range of participants allowed for a broad diversity of experiences and
perceptions to be contributed to the workshop.

Key issues and feedback provided by participants representing CALD
communities included:

 CALD community representatives suggested that a map of emergency
  management agencies in each state is developed and distributed. They were
  concerned that these key stakeholders are actually not familiar to community
  members, therefore inhibiting any outreach efforts. They further suggested that
  the reverse should be provided to emergency management services. In other
  words, that a listing of key CALD community agencies and representative
  bodies, including their roles and responsibilities, is provided to agencies
  involved in emergency management to improve their knowledge and

 General acceptance within the group that local government is well placed
  within the context of mobilizing communities. However, it needs to be
  acknowledged that sometimes the demarcation lines between state and local
  government can prevent engagement with communities in this area. There are
  situations where local government do not see emergency management as their
  issue, but a state issue.

 Newly arrived communities may not have a shared understanding of what
  constitutes an „emergency‟ within the Australian context. There needs to be
  continuous reinforcement of the definitions of emergency and emergency
  management as these terms are understood in Australia.

 Key strategies embraced in encouraging volunteerism amongst CALD
  communities include need to take into account the following issues:

          o There are particular resourcing issues for new and emerging
          o Concepts of volunteerism may not be meaningful for all CALD

          o The use of education around promoting benefits of volunteerism as
            potentially contributing to the development of skills that may lead to
            employment should be highlighted;
          o Community concerns around the ongoing use of community
            knowledge through volunteering engagement. Long term strategies
            need to reflect opportunities that will increase paid employment for
            the CALD community members.

 A major barrier to engagement is the perception of emergency management
  services as white and middle class.

 Notions of engagement need to be rethought by agencies involved in
  emergency management. Translated materials do not constitute engagement.

 Translations are useful but limited in their applications. The following need to
  be considered:

          -   concepts and terminology used may be alien
          -   need to market test the concepts
          -   understand the oral traditions which may necessitate preference for
              face to face contact rather than development of written materials

 Agencies involved in emergency management need a paradigm shift in their
  current thinking around engagement as a dialogue process. They need to
  move their focuses to experiential ideas of learning rather than relying on
  current styles for transmitting and promoting messages.

 Realistically, what is needed is dedicated funds and dedicated people that
  drive the process of achieving improved mutual awareness.

 Emergency services need to improve their ability to identify key community
  leaders and appropriate entry points for information dissemination and
  relationship building based on trust.

 Arranging and facilitating forums for discussions around emergency
  management at local levels would constitute better use of local emergency
  management committees.

 Communities must own, design and drive key emergency management
  messages and be appropriately resourced to do this.

 Fundamental to relationship building is the principle that communities must be
  engaged as equal partners. Agencies need to move away from paternalistic

 Empowerment for communities to be able to steer projects is a key ingredient
  in improving CALD community participation.

 The use of radio might be an important information and communication
  strategy for many communities.

 Ensuring grassroots involvement may necessitate rethinking „community
  leaders‟. In other words, ensuring that strategies move past gatekeepers to a
  broader engagement with the diversity characteristic of any given group. Eg.
  Women, youth etc.

 Communities increasingly feeling that they are being serviced or „having things
  done to them‟ but not being empowered to sustain processes and projects.

 The use of the internet as a possible source of information should be
  recognized. However, it may be of limited value to communities where access
  to technology might be an issue.

 The importance of managing expectations with communities needs to be
  considered before initiating engagement. Agencies involved in emergency
  management need to be clear about their capacities before they engage with
  communities, especially determining what is feasible and what is not.

 Long term projects are needed. Participants highlighted issues around
  expectations of bureaucracies that projects can be „completed and finished
  with‟ in 3-6 months is extremely unrealistic.

Key issues and feedback provided by participants representing agencies
involved in emergency management included:

 There is a lack of direction in relation to how to go about engaging effectively
  with CALD communities.

 There is a general lack of awareness around who the key CALD stakeholders
  in any given region / area might be. Agency representatives are unfamiliar with
  how to access this information.

 What is considered to be effective consultation strategies vary from group to

 Highlighting the importance of allocating appropriate staff to focus on the issues
  to agency leaders in integral.

 Dealing with communities‟ resistance and fear of authority can be very
  challenging and difficult to overcome. Many are not familiar with how to do this.

 Sustainability issues are always a concern. Agencies might be good at tapping
  into communities, but competing priorities for resources impact on ongoing

 How to sustain long term relationships with communities as they adapt and
  disperse is an issue. Contact might be difficult to maintain.

 Governance issues can cause confusion. Using government guidelines might
  vary with what realistic community requirements are.

 Community arrangements might work against initiatives.

 One off face to face contact not enough, based on the experiences of most
  agencies. Key messages need to keep being reinforced.

 The importance of engaging the emergency management sector workforce
  cannot be underestimated. Engendering change management in large
  organizations doesn‟t happen overnight. Further discussions and support is
  needed by peak bodies such as EMA around achieving cultural change in
  organisations where CALD issues are not seen to be a priority.

 Engaging liaison people as champions is effective. However, they also need to
  recognise that there are risks particular to engaging with small communities
  where the same people are continuously called upon. Burn out levels in these
  communities are high.

 Accountability issues are important. Agencies need to determine how they are
  going to measure successful engagement.

 Agencies need to recognize the variety of issues impacting on communities
  and how these will affect community willingness to engage around emergency
  management. eg employment, housing etc. These factors will also impact on
  the capacity to respond to emergencies.

 Agencies must be aware that this is a long term process requiring long term

 Strategies adopted should demonstrate evaluation as a critical component of
  the engagement approach in order to have any valid measure on the
  effectiveness of engagement activities.

4.       Case Study Workshops
On day two of the National Workshop, participants were divided into four groups
including a mix of CALD community and Emergency Management agency

Each group was given a different case study and asked to review their case
study and consider the following areas:

        Identification of emerging emergency response issues relating to the
         range of CALD communities referred to in the case study
        Identification of agencies roles and responsibilities in managing these
        Development of a series of strategies to address the issues identified.

The case studies reflected key emergency management roles including:
    Planning
    Response
    Recovery

The range of emergency incidents represented included an earthquake, bushfire,
cyclone and chemical disaster. In each incident, a diverse range of CALD
communities were impacted.

Copies of each case study are included in Appendix B.

Feedback from each working group is detailed below.

4.1      Group One: Bushfire (Recovery)

Identification of emerging emergency response issues relating to the range
of CALD communities referred to in the case study:

        Morale is low. The community is feeling desperate that there may be no
         future in the city.
        Leadership needs to be demonstrated to maintain and promote positive
         morale amongst the community at desperate times.
        Five different CALD communities are represented. What assumptions are
         we making about the communities being able to engage with each other?
        Do we need to address needs individually?
        Categories of „Ethiopian or Eritrean‟ may not adequately convey the
         cultural and ethnic differences. Agencies should not assume their
         religious affiliations (are some Christian/ and some Muslim).

      Immediate issues emerge around the provision of food, material aid etc.
       Most of the uninhabitable properties (15) are Ethiopian and Eritrean.
       There will be cultural issues around appropriate catering/support services
       such as debriefing and who should be involved in this process.
      Issues emerge around where they might be housed. Some families might
       need to be moved around and broken up so they can stay with other
       community members.
      Potential problems around accommodation.
      Classroom damage needs to be communicated to the CALD communities.
       There will be some urgency around getting the schools open , including
       logistical issues.
      Issues around Middle Eastern communities. Their religious requirements
       will need to be addressed. This should be understood before an
       emergency actually strikes.
      Funeral arrangements for the Kurdish and Ethiopian families must be
       addressed. What outside support can be brought in from their own
      Who within the communities could be identified to be spokespeople? The
       role of religious leaders might also be important.
      Local government will set up the recovery response. If they had
       community programs with the affected communities already set up then
       they would call upon those established contacts to:
           o Work out the first immediate priorities such as food, clothing and
               shelter (there might be Department of Community Development
               involvement for evacuation centres)
           o Work out recovery arrangements in advance – eg issues around
               mixed sexes.
      Getting information to the communities and establishing effective
       communication strategies will be critical. Everyone focuses on those who
       are badly affected, and ignores those who are less impacted but may still
       be traumatized.
      Knowing who your communities are is critical. There are complexities
       around tracking the movement of communities, particularly around new
       and emerging communities.
      Issues around the nature of psychological support for groups of people
       that might be re experiencing trauma. Issues of post traumatic stress
       response should also be recognized and addressed.
      Issues around who caused the fire might generate bad feeling in the
       community. Managing community responses particularly if there are any
       potential backlash issues, will be important.

Identification of agencies roles and responsibilities in managing these

      The fire brigade would be involved in the first instance. The local
       government emergency management committee will also be convened.

      Need to have a map of what everybody‟s role would be. This happens
       differently in different jurisdictions.
      In this community, agencies in general should know what to do and have
       establish relationships to respond effectively.
      There is generally a recovery committee that is usually convened by local
      Depending on the community, they usually get the town mayor to act as
       the chairperson or respected community leader.
      Local government has an executive role.
      Because it‟s a fire – there would be a fire and emergency agency.
      Public works might also be involved eg. Housing and infrastructure
      If the disaster is big enough then they might activate a state disaster
       response. It is important however that the local recovery committee are
       clear on their roles and strongly identified as the key point of contact.
      Representation on the committee is critical. Agencies need to ensure that
       there is representation from the communities or at least a community
       development officer who would be aware of the diversity of communities
       and how to contact them. An outreach strategy should be in place.

Development of a series of strategies to address the issues identified.

      A response framework would include having a plan that is cognisant of the
       diversity of communities
      Strategies around prevention and how to promote the concept. We talk
       about the risk and not necessarily the hazard. When the hazard interacts
       with the environment, then that causes the risk. It might be more useful to
       talk about risk management with the communities, as prevention can
       sometimes be a concept that is resisted – eg. „God‟s will‟.
      Building community resilience. Seeing broader issues impacting on the
       community and how to help make the community stronger means
       addressing issues such as poverty, state of accommodation etc. When
       communities are vulnerable, this can heighten the impact of the hazard.
      Preparation and building community capacity around the issues.
      Establishing community contacts, especially with a representative who is
       available and is able to immediately provide advice in relation to material
       and basic needs/spiritual needs, and able to outreach to the community
       very quickly.
      Developing effective communication strategies that demonstrate an
       awareness of oral traditions and the reliance on word of mouth.
      Need to engender knowledge in the community about the services that are
       available to support them in these situations.
      Knowledge is needed around what emergency management services can
       deliver to the range of communities.

      Knowledge about what changed behavior is required once there is an
       understanding of the parameters of what emergency management can
       provide. This requires a behavioural change process eg. Making sure that
       people have a disaster plan, have enough food available for three days,
       cleaning gutters etc
      It is essential to be aware of local arrangements because they are critical
       in the recovery process.
      Implement simple education activities around interventions eg. how to
       reduce the risks.
      Mutual understanding of both community needs and emergency services
       is required. To get to the grass roots of the community it would involve a
       lot of preparation and building of awareness. Agencies should start with
       small and then growing towards an understanding of larger scale
      Working with communities around possible scenarios, for example, local
       grassroots activities. Building CALD community confidence around the
       frameworks in existence and ensure that communities know that they are
       on the radar in the response and recovery framework.
      Ideas of recovery should include preparedness, prevention etc. They are
       all linked and it is not necessarily a linear process.
      Disasters can divide communities or bring them together. The key
       objective should be ensuring community „togetherness‟.

4.2    Group Two: Cyclone (Response)

Identification of emerging emergency response issues relating to the range
of CALD communities referred to in the case study:

      Communication
       Issues to consider will the„newness‟ of the community, age groups,
       numbers of interpreters will be required, relevant dialects etc.
      Delivery of services
       Particular human services needs such as culturally sensitive food & food
       Allocation of a liaison officer to address issues / sensitivities.
      Pre-planning
       Will the emergency response plan work for the CALD communities? Has
       the pre-planning work been done with them?
       Have the CALD group been involved in the Welfare Sub-group of the EM
      Assumptions
       Will the CALD groups come to the evacuation centres or do what the
       authorities ask them to? Anglo communities won‟t necessarily do this
      Information about the hazard

       How will hazard-specific information be effectively imparted?
       Eg. “Even though it‟s calm, don‟t go out there yet”
      Available CALD support information
       Communication with the Local Government body about where this is
       located. It would only be available if effective planning has been
      Prepared information
       Information needs to be prepared and ready before an emergency event.
       It should be in a format that can be sent out with the Recovery workers.
       Information needs to go out in a timely and accurate fashion.
      Education for the EM workers
       Agencies need to understand the different ways in which the communities
       will respond.
      Recovery
       How do we connect at a personal level after the event during the long,
       hard, slog of recovery and negotiation with housing providers, insurance
       claims etc.?

Identification of agencies roles and responsibilities in managing these

Relevant agencies in this scenario would include:
    Department of Communities – functional lead agency
    Department of Health – mental health services. But secondary health
      areas may be involved.
    Lifeline
    CentreLink
    Red Cross
    Migrant Resource Centres to access key people in the various
    Media – avenue for imparting correct information. Information needs to go
      out in a timely and accurate fashion.
    Bureau of Meteorology to provide up-to-date information.

Development of a series of strategies to address the issues identified.

      Preparation
       Personal preparation for CALD communities. eg. How you can look after
      Local Government
       Needs to have relationships and planning in place for CALD communities.
       Needs to be recognised as a key player as EM is part of their strategic
      Partnerships
       Partnerships between the MRC and Local Governments is critical for the
       new and emerging community groups.

    Representation on LEMC from CALD groups as this will enable
    information to travel in both directions.
    Representation of CALD communities on Recovery / Welfare sub-groups
   Contacts
    Check CALD community contact details regularly, including for exercise
   Information
    The information needs should be dictated and “owned” by the
    communities themselves.
    Liaise the community to determine strategic approaches towards
    delivering information.
    Use an MRC worker rather than an interpreter as there is a history, trust,
    understanding etc.
   Planning Exercises
    Include CALD communities in regular exercises that are conducted. This
    will help in feeding information back to the communities themselves.
   Relationships
    Multicultural representative needs to be on higher level EM committees
    such as at State or Regional level.
   Generational change
    Accessing ethnic schools and working with them to develop their own
    communication strategy.
    Utilising this link to get information into homes.
   Youth Leadership Network
    Establishing a national network of youth to develop and share information
    around EM.
    Bringing people together to train them to be leaders – possibly providing a
    career path.
    Information can be fed to parents; peer groups; new and emerging
    Barriers between uniforms and youth can be broken down by showing
    parents how the EM services respect their children.
   Schools Education
    Programs and activities that are undertaken in schools are already part of
    the curriculum in EM. A component on working with CALD communities
    should be built in to these.
   Associate EM workers
    Use younger people to act as agency associates within the community. As
    this helps to build bridges.
   Building professional relationships
    EM professionals and CALD sector professionals working together to
    ensure that each other‟s expertise is understood and respected.

4.3    Group Three: Potential Chemical Disaster (Planning)

Identification of emerging emergency response issues relating to the range
of CALD communities referred to in the case study:

      The Emergency Planning Committee needs to be as inclusive as possible.
       The traditional committee structure is all government representatives. In
       this case they would need to include others on the committee, especially
       CALD community leaders.
      Different people on the EPC do not yet understand each others roles and
       responsibilities. So it is important to define those roles and responsibilities
       and make sure that each person understands these. This is important to
       minimize confusion between the EPC internally and minimize the potential
       confusion with CALD communities.
      There are people in the community that may not speak English. So, what
       are the message languages that need to be used? How do you deliver
       these messages?
      An Emergency siren system may need to be adopted.
      A computerised telephone warning system is an option to alert people,
       including CALD communities, in their own language.
      Accommodation is an issue. Where will you accommodate people in case
       of an evacuation? You will have to find a place outside the 2 km zone.
       Also, in terms of accommodation, is there any friction between the
       Vietnamese and Turkish Communities? If you put people who do not get
       on with each other together then you will have other significant problems.
      Are there enough culturally appropriate food supplies, eg Halal food for
       the Turkish Community?
      Decontaminating people means undressing which may offend or stress
       certain communities or religious groups.
      Transport is an issue. It is likely that some of the people within the 2 km
       range do not have transport. How do you transport them outside the 2 km
       zone. How much transport do you need? Where will the pick up points be?

Identification of agencies roles and responsibilities in managing these

A working group comprised of the following would come together to draft an
emergency evacuation plan:
    Chemical Plant Representative
    Police
    Fire
    Ambulance
    Neighbourhood Watch Representative
    Prison
    Schools

      Health Representative
      Education Department
      Community Groups
          o Australian Turkish Association Representative
          o Turkish Women‟s Association Representative
          o Vietnamese Communities Council Representative
          o Migrant Resource Centre Representative
      Local Government
      Industrial Areas
      Transport companies
      Community Services Agencies

Development of a series of strategies to address the issues identified.

      Engage CALD representatives to help educate and communicate with
       their communities. These representatives should also be used to direct
       communities to the assembly areas.
      Each of the Emergency Services, Police, Ambulance, and Fire Brigade
       etc. need to develop expectations of each other in a charter.
      Develop a targeted awareness and education campaign to spread
       understanding of CALD communities within agencies who have a role in
       emergency management.
      Develop capacity amongst communities to establish especially trained
       leaders or coordinators that can lead in case of an emergency. This is
       more effective and more important than just imparting information.

4.4    Group Four: Earthquake (Planning)

Identification of emerging emergency response issues relating to the range
of CALD communities referred to in the case study:

      Communication includes two spheres, oral and literal. Both will be useful
       in getting messages across.
      How to contact and work with identified leaders
      Post traumatic stress will require use of counselors
      Timing of the incident may implicate religious requirement and affect
       community reaction
      Evacuation and transport requirements
      Need to include these people in the planning, so the plan is reflective of
       their needs
      Manage all the following with Urgency/Immediacy:
           o Food shortages
           o Safety, water and sanitation

          o Volunteers/experts within the community may be affected
            personally, need to alert surrounding towns to draw on resources
          o Dignity, separate areas for men and women
          o Displaced people
          o Insurance issues – those insured vs those uninsured

Identification of agencies roles and responsibilities in managing these

Key stakeholders identified include:
    SES
    Department of Infrastructure (use of school buses etc)
    Fire brigade (become heavy lifters in emergency)
    MRC
    Centrelink
    Department of Health rep (to coordinate counselor)
    Department of Families and Communities
    Local Government
    Council of Churches
    DIAC as part of settlement process
    Local emergency planning committee

Development of a series of strategies to address the issues identified.

      Preparedness
           o Have the CALD communities experienced an earthquake before
           o Pre-identified individuals as contacts
      Emphasis needs to be on urgency
      Training for EM agency staff to communicate with and effectively respond
       to CALD communities.
      Identify appropriate evacuation locations
      Working with the MRC to identify leaders in the community
      Need to link into the communication structure that is already established in
       the community (informal networking). In this case it would probably be
       through the MRC
      Recovery committee to include CALD community representatives
      Bi-cultural community workers in the Department of Health to be employed
       on sessional basis
      Clearly documented engagement processes in government agencies to
       avoid the loss of information due to personnel turnover

5.     Preparing for the Action Learning Projects
The last part of day two of the National Workshop was devoted to discussion
around the state / territory based Action Learning Projects to be implemented in
the second half of 2007.

The Action Learning Project process was explained to participants and project
criteria clearly set out.

Action Learning Project eligibility criteria includes:

1)     must be informed by overall objective of bringing EM sector agencies and
       CALD community agencies and communities together

2)     emergency situations / areas to be addressed in the proposed projects
       should reflect „emergency‟ as it is defined by EMA

3)     a multi agency response / contribution is essential

4)     project should fit into prevention, preparedness, response or recovery

Most participants were keen to be personally involved in the action learning
projects rather than nominating other representatives from their respective

Participants were divided into smaller groups to explore ideas around possible
projects to be developed and implemented at state / territory levels.

Next Steps

Workshop participants were then invited to submit a two page submission
detailing the following areas:
   a) Project Idea – detailed description
   b) Project aims and objectives
   c) Who should be involved
   d) Methodology and approach including a 4 year timeline of activities
   e) Expected outcomes

Submissions were also expected to include commitment/auspice arrangements
and anticipated resource requirements.

However, subsequent discussions held by the project consultants and
EMA representatives following the workshop, resulted in the decision to
run state / territory based workshops to plan the Action Learning Projects.
This decision reflects key concerns raised by participants and, importantly,

will allow for wider input across the range of stakeholders in each state /
territory who will be part of the collaborative partnership arrangements.

The state / territory workshops will be conducted throughout May 2007.

                             APPENDIX A
                  Emergency Management Australia
                     National CALD Workshop

                          March 30 and 31, 2007

                          Mt Macedon, Victoria

Day 1:     Friday 30 March 2007

Time     Topic

10.00    Welcome Emergency Management Personnel

10.30    Introduction to CALD issues (for EM personnel)

12.00    Lunch – formal opening of workshop

1.30     Group activity – Agency introductions

2.30     EMA:
           -     Introduction to EMA and Emergency Management
           -     progress on CALD work undertaken to date
           -     overview of the action learning projects
           -     EMA CALD Guidelines
           -     2007 projects

3.30     Afternoon tea

3.50     Open discussion:
         Identifying the issues impacting on emergency management and
         CALD communities.

5.00     Close of day 1

Day 2:     Saturday 31 March 2007

Time     Topic

9.00     Case Studies Workshop

         Participants will work in small groups to discuss and address a series
         of case studies. These will be based on key issues identified.

         Groups will be required to:
            - Identify emerging issues
            - Identify roles and responsibilities in managing these issues
            - Develop a series of strategies to address issues

10.45    Morning tea

11.00    Group presentations on Case Study findings

12.00    Lunch

1.00     Group Discussion:
         Drawing from issues emerging from the case studies, explore
         possible action learning projects that require a multi-agency

2.45     Afternoon tea

3.00     Identification and nomination of agencies and individuals to participate
         in action learning projects.

3.30     Role of national workshop participants as mentors / resource for
         action learning project participants.

4.00     Close

                                   APPENDIX B

Recovery - Bushfire

                       CASE STUDY ONE:                WENDON

Profile: Town of Wendon
Wendon is a town on the rural urban interface in a State in Australia. It is typical of most
towns of this type throughout the country in that it combines a mixture of industries and
employment as well as a diverse range of individuals and families.
Cultural diversity within the town‟s population includes a growing number of Ethiopian
and Eritrean Communities. There are currently 320 Ethiopian‟s and 122 Eritrean‟s living
in the town. The Ethiopian and Eritrean communities started arriving in Australia in large
numbers in the 1990‟s. They have arrived as refugees from a region that has suffered
immense hardship due to drought, famine, floods, civil conflict and war. Many Ethiopian
and Eritrean families in Australia are made up of women without partners and with large
families. Most of the men have been killed in civil conflict and war. It is not uncommon
for families to have ten or more children.
The town has a small growing number of hobby farms as well as the original sawmill,
which was the basis for the town‟s establishment in the early 20th century.
In addition there are also a number of families now living in the area whose income
earners commute to the capital city (50 K away) on a daily basis. There is a regular train
service, however, a number of these people also drive to and from the city.
Towards the end of a particularly hot summer, a bushfire burns through the area. Initial
assessments indicate the following impacts:
      3 people deceased (1 is Ethiopian)
      4 people hospitalised
      approximately 38 houses destroyed or uninhabitable
      The destroyed or uninhabitable homes include approximately 15 houses
      occupied by Ethiopian and Eritrean communities
      property damage to an unknown number of hobby farms and some damage to
        the saw mill
      train service still operational
      three of the six classrooms at the primary school have been badly damaged
      cause of the fire is unknown, however there is some suggestion that it may
        have been caused by a burn off on a hobby farm.
The situation
As the event unfolds additional demographic information for the affected community
emerges. It becomes evident that a number of groups are vulnerable, because of their
disaster experiences. These include the following:
       A small Indigenous community was living in the affected area in poor
          accommodation. During the fire one of their elders was killed. This has had a
          significant impact on the community.

          Another of the deceased was a member of a recently- arrived Kurdish family.
           The family does not speak English and has no other friends or relatives in
           Australia. A coronial inquest is proposed. This may cause difficulty for the
           family in making funeral arrangements appropriate to Kurdish culture.
          In recent years there has been an influx of people to the community looking for
           work at the sawmill. The majority of these people are recent migrants from the
           Middle East. They have little or no command of English but have the same
           information requirements as the rest of the community

  1.        What do you think are the emerging issues in this case study?

  2.        Which agencies / services do you think will have a key role / responsibility in
            managing the range of recovery issues you have identified?

  3.        What kinds of strategies could be developed to address the range of issues
            this situation presents?

Response - Cyclone

                         CASE STUDY TWO - INNISFAIL

On 20 March 2006, the North Queensland region surrounding Innisfail was devastated
by a category 5 cyclone, Tropical Cyclone Larry. With wind speeds of up to 290 km/h
cutting a swathe over 150 km wide, Cyclone Larry caused extensive damage to
residential, industrial and agricultural property over an area half the size of Tasmania. In
the worst affected areas, up to 99 per cent of homes, 50 per cent of private businesses,
and 25 per cent of Government buildings sustained significant damage. Electricity supply
and road and rail access to the region was also severely disrupted.

Article from ABC News Online 20/3/2006

Damage widespread as cyclone moves inland

There is widespread damage across far north Queensland as cyclone Larry moves inland
after crossing the coast this morning.
Gale force winds have uprooted trees, lifted roofs of houses and flattened crops.
Larry's eye has passed over Innisfail, south of Cairns and the winds are intensifying again.
Many homes in the community of Kurramine Beach, south-east of Innisfail, have been
severely damaged.
Yvonne Cavey from the local motel said she cannot see a tree left standing in the town.
"There's two houses behind the motel, what we can see, the sheds are gone and the house on
our left is only a shell," she said.
Innisfail motel owner Amanda Fitzpatrick said it looked like an atomic bomb had gone off.
"I live across the road from the river that had huge big trees, they've all just been uprooted
and flattened," she said.
"It looks like something has just gone through and cut down everything - just ripped things
out of the ground, it's just flattened".
Millions of dollars worth of crops like cane, banana and pawpaw, have been wiped out.
Murdering Point cane farmer Alf Strano said he expected to lose his entire crop.
"It's terrible actually just looking out the window," he said.

"It's as flat as, it couldn't get any flatter."
Larry is now heading west inland.
Queensland's Emergency Services Minister Pat Purcell said the Prime Minister has pledged
every assistance in the face of the cyclone.
He said the military is on stand-by, including Blackhawk helicopters based at Hughenden.
"We're going to have a fly-over of some F-111s up and down the coast to get some pictures ...
as soon as the rain passes and we can see and then we'll make a decision on where we go
with the Blackhawks and what assets we move back in there," he said.
Greg Connor from the Bureau of Meteorology's Townsville office said although the cyclone
had been downgraded it was still not safe for residents to go outside.
"The cyclone has reduced to a category four and we do expect it to weaken a bit further
during the day as it moves westward towards the Tablelands," he said.
"It's still a dangerous situation, it's still a strong cyclone and there's some heavy rain
coming into the region."
Premier Peter Beattie was warned that the worst of the cyclone may be yet to come.
Mr Beattie, who is in north Queensland for a Cabinet meeting, said the Bruce Highway has
also been cut in parts.
However, Mr Beattie said more damage was expected as the heavy winds buffet the coast.

Innisfail resident David Quinlan said the winds had started to pick up again.
"I'm in the hallway with mattresses on top of me and the kids," he said.
"Just had the roof rip off ... I'm a bit concerned but what can you do?
"Just get the kids, make sure they're safe and hope nothing comes through the roof."
Cairns resident Christine Howes said although they were on the edge of cyclone Larry, they
had only just started to feel the effects of the winds this morning.
"It's a little bit deceptive where we are because we're on the northern side of a hill and we've
been protected for most of the night but it's swung around a bit now," she said.
"We've had a look out the front once or twice and ... most of the trees along the street seem
to be stripped and there's just debris everywhere.
"We've been listening to the radio and there are reports all over Cairns of people driving
around and having a look at things which is just unbelieveable.
"And they're doing things like driving onto private property to go around trees which are
on the road."
Samantha from Mourilyan, near Innisfail, said the side had blown off her house and she
was now sheltering next door with her parents.
"You just sort of wait for something to hit the house and everyone braces," she said.
"My mum has my son underneath the bed, we have mattresses covered all over them and
my dad is holding one of the windows shut - that's the room that they're in."

Innisfail’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities

According to the Johnstone Shire Council, the multicultural locals speak around 50
languages. The Shire enjoys remarkable diversity and harmony among its people of so
many cultural traditions, making up its rich tapestry.

Innisfail‟s CALD communities include Chinese, Malay, Greek, Spanish, Maltese and
Italian. Some of these groups have been there for many generations. For example, the
Chinese began arriving in the late 1800‟s with many of the other following after WW1.

The Innisfail Greek community maintain strong ties to their heritage, hosting regular
cultural celebrations and participating annually in Kulture Karnivale.

One of the most recent migrant arrivals are the Hmong people, who came to Australia
from Laos via Thai refugee camps. The first Hmong in Innisfail were sponsored by the
Catholic church and arrived in the late 1980‟s. Today around 500 Hmong live in the area.

The Johnstone Shire Council has a „PEOPLE Reference Group‟ which provides advice
to Council on multicultural issues. The group have worked together providing input into
the Shires Community Relations plan, and with events such as Innisfail's Harmony Day
seminars and Refugee Week functions in the Shire.

The latest initiative of the Johnstone Shire Council is the establishment of language
services within Council. So far, the following has been achieved:-

- training for customer service staff in using telephone interpreting services
- training in identifying when an interpreter is needed
- installation of a two-way phone at the main customer service desk for using telephone
interpreting services when required

There are also a number of CALD community organisations operating in and around
Innisfail. These include:

       Filipino- Australian Lingkod Bayan of Innisfail Inc
       Greek Orthodox Community of Innisfail and North Queensland
       Johnstone Shire Cultural Association
       Hmong Queensland Association


   1.       What are some of the emerging emergency response issues you can identify
            in relation to the range of CALD communities living in Innisfail?
   2.       Which agencies / services do you think will have a key role / responsibility in
            managing the range of recovery issues you have identified?
   3.       What kinds of strategies could be developed to address the range of issues
            this situation presents?

Planning – Potential Chemical Disaster

                   CASE STUDY THREE - DALTON

     The inland city of Dalton has a population of some 42,000 people. It was
     founded over 150 years ago, and today is an administrative and
     commercial centre surrounded by rich agricultural districts which produce
     wool, beef, grains and wine. The city is 175km from the capital of the
     state to which it is connected by a major State highway and a duplicated
     rail link.   Both road and rail routes are part of major interstate
     thoroughfares, and a by-pass road route has been under consideration for
     some years.

     Dalton‟s secondary industry is based on a mix of private and government
     enterprise. In the private sector, firms engaged in wool scouring, cotton
     products, footwear, heavy and light engineering, building, retail
     distribution, concrete products, and air-conditioning can be found. State
     and Commonwealth Government workshops exist for public works, road
     authorities, railways, electricity and telecommunications.

     A major prison was established in the city in 1949 and today houses some
     750 high-security inmates. The prison workforce constitutes one of the
     main employment opportunities in the city with over 400 people directly
     employed in a variety of related tasks. Flow-on employment opportunities
     from the prison are enjoyed by many commercial organisations in the city,
     including bakeries, butchers, transport companies and educational groups.

     The Dalton Community

     The community of Dalton is known for cohesiveness, and the City Council
     has a long and proud history of developing local infrastructure to the
     benefit of its residents. The Council has ensured that adequate facilities
     are in place for needy persons, and that the State Government is well
     aware of community requirements. Strong lobby groups exist at every
     level to help those who live in Dalton maintain a reasonable standard of

     Dalton is also the focal point for regional Police, Fire, SES and Ambulance
     administrations. There is an Emergency Management Plan which has
     been developed in accordance with the State Emergency Management
     Act 1983. This plan was recently exercised and the subsequent debrief

clearly indicated the need for an evacuation sub plan. Cooperation exists
between the city‟s emergency full-time and volunteer groups, a
cooperation which was founded through experience during calamitous
flood and wind damage by Cyclone Harry in 1998. However the networks
between the local government council and emergency agencies are not
strong. Police, fire, SES, ambulance, local government and human
services groups rarely interact with one another except during operations,
and on the occasional exercise. Emergency roles and responsibilities are
not well understood and accepted.

Culturally and linguistically Diverse Communities in Dalton

The community of Dalton is also represented by two key culturally and
linguistically diverse communities – the Vietnamese community and the
Turkish community.

The Vietnamese community in Dalton began arriving as immigrants in the
mid 1990‟s and make up about 8% of the local community. The
community includes elderly, middle aged and youth. Many people within
the local Vietnamese community are still struggling with improving their
English language proficiency, unemployment and a low skills base, having
come from rural areas. Most adults within the community still speak only
Vietnamese although the children speak mostly in English.

The Vietnamese community value modesty and humility and harmonious
relationships with others. Seeking to avoid conflict or embarrassment with
others they will rarely admit to disagreeing or not understanding what is
being said by another person. Making direct eye contact when talking to
someone is considered impolite and most Vietnamese will usually speak
in a low tone.

The Vietnamese community sometimes appear to say „yes‟ to all
questions. This is not always a sign of agreement and may be a polite
way of saying “Yes, I am listening”, or “Yes I am confused” or “yes I do not
want to offend”. Similarly, members of the Vietnamese community may
smile to show all sorts of emotions from happiness, to anger and grief.
Strong emotions are shared only with family or very close friends.
The dominant religion amongst Dalton‟s Vietnamese Community is
Buddhism. In the late 1990‟s the community impressively sought much
support and funding and have contributed to the building of one of the
largest Buddhist Temples in the region.

There is also a strong aspect of ancestor worship in many of the local
Vietnamese families and it is common to see the best place in the house
dedicated to the ancestor‟s altar. Families burn incense and food at the
altar and try to act in ways that will please their ancestors.

The most important festival of the year for the Vietnamese community is
Tet, celebrated on the first new moon of the year, usually late in January
or early February. Tet brings in the New Year and is considered
everybody‟s birthday. People start afresh on Tet, paying off old debts,
being in their best behaviour and wishing each other happiness, luck and

A range of community based organisations have been established
representing different groups and interests within Dalton‟s Vietnamese
Community. All these organisations are members of the peak Vietnamese
body in Dalton, the Vietnamese Communities Council.

The Turkish community in Dalton began arriving in the mid 1980‟s and
make up about 5% of the local community. The community includes
elderly, middle aged and youth. Most of the Turkish community arrived
with very limited or no English although many of the men within the
community have developed some level of English language proficiency.
The younger generation are all proficient in English. Because most
people in the Turkish community migrated with an understanding of being
guest workers, the importance of employment was paramount for both
men and women, whilst learning English was a low priority, given that they
thought they would be returning to their homeland. The community has
faced a number of settlement difficulties due to factors such as low
English language proficiency, a cultural and religious base that is very
different and a lack of support services.

Dalton‟s Turkish community all follow the Islamic faith and have
established a local Mosque. The Mosque is similar to a church in that it is
a place of worship. All Mosques are built so that the worshippers face
Mecca when they pray. When entering a Mosque, shoes must be removed
and a ritual washing occurs as a mark of respect to God. Prayers in a
Mosque are led by the Imam and the sermons take place on Fridays.
There are no special ceremonies such as weddings or baptisms held in a

The major religious festival celebrated by the Turkish community is
Ramadan which occurs towards the end of the year. Ramadan involves a
month of fasting between dawn and dusk. At the end of the month
Muslims rejoice by wearing new clothes and exchanging gifts. There are
festivities and celebrations involving visiting friends and family and sharing
meals and sweets.

Some Turkish women wear the hijab (head scarf) as a sign of their faith,
custom or equality. Not all Muslim women wear the hijab and it should not
be misinterpreted as a sign that they are culturally repressed. In fact,

Islam accords men and women as having equal rights and status within
the relationship and the community.

Dalton‟s Turkish community have also established a range of community
based organisations, including a Turkish language school, Women‟s
Association and a senior citizens group. Again, these community groups
are all members of the peak Turkish body in Dalton, the Australian Turkish

A number of Dalton‟s City Council staff have developed good relationships
with the local Turkish community and recognise the importance of
observing certain protocols when engaging with this community group.
Many of the Turkish adults have limited English and lose their confidence
in unfamiliar and stressful circumstances such as a Police interview, even
when an interpreter is used. A number of Council staff have been trained
on how to use an interpreter correctly, which ones are good, which ones
are not, and which ones to use in particular circumstances. They have
also undertaken cross cultural training specifically about the Turkish
community and have the knowledge and skills to handle conflict within the

By identifying contact points within the community and adopting step by
step processes, Council staff have been able to eliminate many negative
outcomes in service provision. They are aware that there is a set of
networks within the community that require respect and understanding.

A major event held annually in Dalton is the Vietnamese community Tet
Festival. The festival has grown to become a major tourist attraction due
to the significant number of cultural dance and music performances, food
stalls and international Vietnamese performers appearing at the festival.
The Tet Festival is held on the first new moon of the year, usually late
January or early February and brings a great amount of money into the
city. The festival regularly attracts over 20,000 patrons including not only
Vietnamese community members from across the State but also people
from diverse range of backgrounds who enjoy the cultural experience.
Many of the visitors stay with friends or relatives in Dalton or a variety of
lodgings ranging from local motels and hotels, caravan parks, B&B‟s or
makeshift camps around the edge of the city. Others are accommodated
in nearby towns such as Amberfield, Archer, Bonner and Bass, who also
benefit from the Festival. Musical and cultural performances take place
daily and nightly over three days at the Showgrounds, which is located
400n metres south of the prison. There are also open days and tours at
the Buddhist Temple and a number of Vietnamese community centres in

On the first day of celebrations many members of the Vietnamese
community visit their relatives. Most of the Festival is spent socializing
and eating, always with the sound of firecrackers and the drum beat of the
dragon dance in the background. The streets are decorated with flowers
and Vietnamese homes display the Signal Tree which is supposed to keep
away evil spirits. The tree is a bamboo pole with a basket on top
containing areca nuts, betel and woven bamboo.

Recent Developments

A chemical plant (Agsure Pty Ltd) was established adjacent to the prison
in 2001 to the anger of some residents. The plant manufactures
insecticides (organophosphates and thiodicarbs), which are necessary in
the agricultural and building industries in the State. They have a
workforce of 240 people, their own fire truck and a team of 14 employees
who train part-time in rescue and fire-fighting drills at the factory.
Residents in a close proximity to the plant have registered complaints in
relation to foul odours and headaches. This has resulted in the formation
of an active environmental lobby group.

The foul smells are due to the chemical breakdown product mercaptan
(related to rotten egg gas). Whilst distressing to some people mercaptans
are not toxic. However their strong smell even at low concentrations can
give rise to „perceptions of poisoning‟.

Due to increasing political pressure and community perceptions about
risks associated with the plant an emergency risk management study was
undertaken. One of the recommendations was the evacuation of residents
within in 2 kms of the plant for a period of 12 -24 hours was required in the
event of a major on-site incident. A major site incident has been defined

  an explosion resulting in fire and escape into the atmosphere of
   potentially toxic fumes and/or dust
  a spillage of liquid chemical greater than 100,000 litres

In the event of a fire or major spillage the emergency risk management
study recommended that;

  residents are kept away and upwind until the spillage or fire has been
  persons exposed to contaminated smoke should be examined by a
   doctor for symptoms of poisoning.

     The 2 kilometre evacuation zone includes the prison, one primary school,
     one high school, the industrial area, 3,500 residential homes (most of the
     local Vietnamese community live in this area), and the local Mosque.

     The Emergency Planning Committee has the responsibility of developing
     the evacuation plan for the residential and business community adjacent
     to the Agsure Chemical Plant, a sub-plan of the Dalton Emergency Plan.

  1. What are some of the emerging issues, especially as they relate to Dalton‟s
     CALD communities, that need to be addressed in the emergency management
     planning activities?

  2. Which agencies / services do you think will have a key role / responsibility in
     managing the issues identified in your planning process?

  3. What are some strategies that can be implemented to address these?

Planning – Earthquake

                     CASE STUDY FOUR - MERLING

The City of Merling is one of the state‟s most populous municipalities, with almost
163,000 residents. It is located 30km south of the CBD in the state‟s fastest
growing population corridor. The City includes a large industrial area with many
food and car manufacturing factories. The majority of the population are working
class and the level home ownership is considerably lower than the state‟s

The City‟s culturally diverse population is also increasing. Up until the 1990‟s
culturally diverse groups were represented mainly by older established
communities such as Italians, Greeks and Polish groups.

Since the early 1990‟s the number of residents in Merling has increased due to
the arrival of an many Bosnian migrants. The Bosnian community in the city
arrived under special humanitarian provisions, having experienced food
shortages, forced repatriation, torture, rape, the death of family members and
other trauma before their arrival.

Most of the Bosnian members in Merling are Muslim and therefore follow certain
religious and dietary requirements. Some of the rules of Islam include:

   must not eat pork
   must not drink alcohol
   must not gamble
   must be kind and not act in an aggressive behaviour
   must not take part in criminal activities
   must not use or sell drugs
   must not commit adultery

The major religious requirement followed by the Bosnian community is Ramadan
which occurs towards the end of the year. Ramadan involves a month of fasting
between dawn and dusk. At the end of the month Muslims rejoice by
participating in a range of festivities.

The level of English proficiency among the Bosnian community varies according
age and education, with younger people tending to be more proficient. They are
experiencing a number of psychological stressors as they try to integrate into the
local Merling community. Many do not have the support of extended families and
are socially isolated because of low English language proficiency levels. A
significant number in the community have professional backgrounds and
educational qualifications that are not recognized in Australia and are therefore
also experiencing reduced social status and earning capacity. The stigma of

their refugee status is also destroying their sense of being part of the general

Staff from the local Migrant Resource Centre in Merling, have been working with
identified leaders in the Bosnian community to help improve their community
participation. They have learnt that displaying a positive and warm approach is
helping break down the barriers.

The Situation

Forecasters are predicting a fierce earthquake is shortly due to hit the region with
much damage expected to result within the City of Merling.

The local Emergency Management Planning committee is meeting to decide how
to inform and prepare the community without causing widespread panic. They
will also need to look at how they approach specific community groups with
special needs.

       1. What are some of the emerging issues, especially as they relate to Merling‟s
          new and emerging CALD communities, that need to be addressed in the
          emergency management planning activities?

       2. Which agencies / services do you think will have a key role / responsibility in
          managing the issues identified in your planning process?

       3. What are some strategies that can be implemented to address these?

                                              APPENDIX C


Project 4 - National Workshop March 30-31st 2007


SA              Ronnie Faggotter                   Department for Families & Communities

SA              Francie Tonkin                     SA Metropolitan Fire Service

NSW             Steven Pearce                      NSW Fire Brigade

NSW             Kevin Blackwell                    Sydney Nth District Police Emergency Management Officer

TAS             Kevin O’Loughlin                   Dept Health & Human Services

TAS             Craig Waterhouse                   Dept Police & Emergency Management

QLD             Mike Shapland                      Department of Emergency Services

QLD             Helen Rowlands                     Department of Communities

VIC             Sue Davey                          Department of Human Services

VIC             Ian Danahay                        Met Fire & Emergency Services Board

VIC             Loriana Bethune                    Office of the Emergency Services Commission

WA              Vivienne Gardiner                  FESA

NT              No Nomination

ACT             Matt Harper                        Emergency Services Authority


Project 4 - National Workshop March 30-31st 2007

CALD Participants as nominated by MyriaD Consultants

NSW          Ms Kiri Hata                              Pacific Island Women’s Advisory and Support Service

WA           Mr Michael O’Hara                         Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre WA

WA           Ms Pendo Mwaiteleeke                      Curtin University of Technology

SA           Ms Tina Karanastasis                      Migrant Resource Centre SA

TAS          Mr Kiros Zegeye                           Migrant Resource Centre TAS

SA           Mr Stephen Brock                          Multicultural SA

VIC          Elleni Bereded-Samuel                     Vic Multicultural Commission

TAS          Clare Wiseman                             Multicultural TAS

ACT          Mohammed Berjaoui                         Muslim community rep

ACT          Kabu Okai-Davies                          Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre

ACT          Conrad Gershevitch                        Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission

NSW          Kemal Ismen                               Islamic Council of NSW

QLD          Anas Abdalla                              Muslim youth rep

QLD          Donna O’Shea                              Qld Multicultural Affairs

VIC          Eddie Micallef                            VIC Ethnic Community Council


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