Long before the principle of shared responsibility became national policy, Australian communities were demonstrating shared responsibility in action; people and organisations banding together in times of crisis to rebuild and recover
However, as we see the frequency and severity of disasters increase, the importance of cooperation takes on a new urgency. Governments, NGOs, communities and the private sector must all be proactive in embedding resilience at the heart of thought and practice.
The inaugural Australian Disaster Resilience Conference comes at a time when success in achieving greater resilience depends on the ability and capacity of all to work together to develop and sustain resilience thinking and practice into almost every facet of our daily lives.
The conference theme “The rise of resilience: from the individual to the global” reflects a movement that has been growing and evolving for some time now. A resilience approach to emergency management encompasses more complexities than a vulnerability or hazards approach. This complexity is reflected in the breadth of issues and topics covered by speakers at this conference; from examining strategy design, to information management in recovery.
This conference confronts the challenges and opportunities that present themselves when we put resilience at the centre. Success will demand that we learn from each other; analysing changing risks, identifying and evaluating options making decisions and revising strategies, particularly with those most at risk. We must find holistic solutions that consider not only what must be done, but how, by whom, and with what support.
Governments at all levels must continue to invest in authentic and diverse partnerships, with a focus on community engagement. This engagement is critical and reflecting on how we can do it better a key part of understanding and considering implications for resilience into the future.
I look forward to welcoming you to Perth where we will network, share good practice and broaden our thinking.
Mark Crosweller AFSM
First Assistant Secretary
National Resilience Taskforce
Department of Home Affairs