Emergency volunteer pursues study for training role

An emergency volunteer in Western Australia has used skills from his tertiary study to help him in an operational training role.

An Emergency Management Volunteer Scholarship recipient is currently working to complete his studies at Charles Sturt University.

John Lawrence is a volunteer and training officer with the Dunsborough Bushfire Brigade and Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue. He is using knowledge gained from his Bachelor of Emergency Management to assist with developing his organisations’ training and exercise procedures.

“I’ve developed an interest emergency management through this volunteer work, with an eye to moving into the emergency management industry as a career choice.

“Being able to clearly express the ‘why’ to team members and having an idea of the bigger picture and how things work has been a big help,” Mr Lawrence describes.

Mr Lawrence outlines that this is his first time completing tertiary study, and that the qualification has presented challenges and opportunities for growth.

“It’s been a challenge to convert what I know and have done in the past into an acceptable academic translation. It’s also been a challenge balancing two subjects a semester, fly in-fly out work, a young family and volunteering.

“The soft skills such as time management and the ability to research have had an impact on both my professional and volunteering life.”

Mr Lawrence describes that the skills learnt have assisted his role as training officer in developing programs and content for his organisations’ pathway program. He notes that the scholarship program has aided this development.

“Without it I wouldn’t be studying emergency management, so it has hugely contributed to my study.”

The Emergency Management Volunteer Scholarship Program provides a pathway for further study and enables volunteers to gain skills and qualifications in disaster resilience and emergency management.