Disaster Resilience Education for Young People

In recent years, emergency management agencies, non-government agencies and governments have invested significantly in the development of a broad selection of emergency, disaster and recovery-specific educational materials for schools and for the community. In addition, several projects have been undertaken to map the emergency management and disaster curriculum content into the national schools curriculum.

Whilst the work that has been done has gone a long way towards providing resources for comprehensive disaster resilience education in schools, there is no significant overarching strategy and implementation plan for the development of resilience to disasters as an integrated theme in primary and secondary schooling. Rather than focusing on building response and recovery capabilities to specific event types, such a strategy can build and strengthen resilience to disaster, and more broadly, as an educational outcome.

Where development of resilience to disasters becomes integrated across a school’s curriculum, opportunities and interest will arise for the delivery of preparedness, response and recovery programs for specific disasters selected by the school based on (for example) a school’s history, geography, climate and student mobility.

AIDR has formed a National Disaster Resilience Education Strategy Group (DRESG) to focus on broadening the understanding of disaster resilience and developing strategies to embed that understanding into school curriculum alongside capabilities in specific disasters. This group works to strengthen the ability of schools to deliver disaster resilience education (DRE) to build in students a foundation for lifetime resilience.

The membership of this group comprises of researchers, policy makers, practitioners and agency/organisation representatives who set strategy and research questions.

The work of the National Disaster Resilience Education Strategy Group is complemented by:

  • State and Territory Forums (Disaster Resilient Australia-New Zealand School Education Network - DRANZSEN), providing leadership and guidance for implementation of the Disaster Resilience Education Strategy, and
  • Educators' Forums, providing ongoing professional development opportunities for both pre-service and experienced teachers to develop and enhance consistent and confident delivery of disaster resilience education.

Find out more about the groups here.