This short blog focuses in on Australian bushfires and floods. It is updated in late 2022 when much of the east coast of Australia (as well as Tasmania), is being challenged by unrelenting La Nina influenced floods. Whilst the majority of examples relate to bushfires, the principles behind them apply equally to floods (as well as to other Australian hazards such as tropical cyclones and drought). This blog is written by Chris Piper, an Australian-based Global Humanitarian Practitioner (GHP) and Teacher/Trainer/Facilitator. With regards Australian bushfires and floods he has been involved in coordinating volunteer recovery responses to the 2009 Victorian bushfires and 2011 floods, as well as acting as Bushfire Recovery Adviser (BRA) to the Baptist Union of Victoria (BRA) following the 2020/2021 bushfires.
The Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Diagrammatic Framework is a very useful approach to better understanding disasters, particularly as they pass through their Normal/Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Emergency Response & Recovery Stages. See the enclosed article here.Download
The Australian 2019/2020 bushfire season was unprecedented in its intensity and geographical spread. Following the fires, Chris worked from March-May as BRA for the BUV, this involving him visiting and supporting affected communities in the east of Victoria. The following two links highlight some aspects of his visits to the field.
BUV Video on Corryong, 5-6th March 2020
BUV Video on Gippsland, 11-12th March 2020
In January 2020 Chris prepared an article on the bushfires for the March 2020 edition of the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria’s (GTAV) quarterly ‘Interaction’ magazine. This includes some suggested Classroom Activities for Secondary level students. This gives a good overview of the Emergency Response Stage of the bushfires; some comments on the recovery challenges throughout 2020, this complicated by COVID-19; and some thoughts on future Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) initiatives, these including some related to climate change.Download
Based on his BRA work, Chris prepared an article in mid 2020 on training for bushfire-related field staff and volunteers, these people involved in recovery work within a COVID-19 context.Download
Following the earlier 2009 bushfires in Victoria, Chris coordinated some church-based community recovery work on a number of weekends during 2009-2011. Follow the link below for a copy of bushfire-related Project Design Document (PDD) relating to this.Download
Following this 2009-2011 work, Chris prepared a short article on the management of volunteers in such situations.Download
Aspects of bushfires is covered in Topics 1 & 4 of the Participatory Disaster Risk Management (PDRM) training program, which can be delivered in either workshop or online format. See the link to the 2023 PDRM program.Download