Sharing responsibility for implementing the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience - workshop report

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TitleSharing responsibility for implementing the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience - workshop report
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMcLennan, BJ, Austin, E, Hearne, J, Henry, S, Rance, A, Travers, A
Date Published2013
AbstractA key message out of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR) is that building a disaster resilient Australia is the shared responsibility of “governments, businesses, not-for-profit, communities and individuals”. Yet while there is wide support for this position, a lot more work needs to be done to better understand how stakeholders can share responsibility for disaster resilience effectively and fairly. It is in this context that a one-day stakeholder workshop on ‘sharing responsibility for implementing the NSDR’ was held at the University of NSW in Sydney on 13th March 2013. Throughout the workshop, three panels of speakers representing a wide range of perspectives from “governments, businesses, not-for-profit, communities and individuals” as well as from research were asked to address one or more of the following questions: 1. What would ‘disaster resilience’ look like and will we know it when we see it? 2. What has been learned about sharing responsibility for disaster resilience from experiences so far? 3. What aspects of current practices and relationships most need to change in order that responsibilities for disaster resilience can be shared effectively and fairly? Each speaker was given just 5-10 minutes to present their views, allowing time for group discussion following each panel sessions. Attendees were able to submit questions at any time during the day by SMS. These were then read out and responded to in a one-hour open discussion session at the end of the day. This event built on the work of the Bushfire CRC research project Sharing Responsibility undertaken by the Centre for Risk and Community Safety at RMIT University and is a follow-up to a successful workshop conducted as part of this project in Melbourne in March 2012 ( The Sydney workshop was sponsored by RMIT University, the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre, University of New South Wales, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility’s (NCCARF) Emergency Management and Settlements & Infrastructure (ACCARNSI) networks. Workshop organisation was a team effort by Blythe McLennan and John Handmer from RMIT/Bushfire CRC/NCCARF-EM, Tamara Rouse and Ron Cox from UNSW/ACCARNSI, and Jennifer Hearne and Chris Lee from the OEH. Tanyia Tuckey (NSW RFS) also provided valuable assistance. The workshop was hosted as a free event so that cost was not a barrier to people being able to attend. Carbon credits were purchased through Climate Friendly to offset the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the event ( This public account of the workshop has been prepared so that others who were unable to attend can also ‘hear’ the range of issues and perspectives that were voiced at the workshop. Only the people listed in the schedule of speakers are referred to individually by name as they had agreed to speak publicly. All the invited speakers have reviewed, and in some cases made changes to, the session notes included in this account to ensure that the notes reflect what each speaker said and meant as closely as possible.