Recipient of volunteer scholarship graduates

A recipient of the first round of Emergency Management Volunteer Scholarships has graduated with new skills that will assist her into the future.

Ashleigh Brady recently graduated with a Masters of Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development at the University of Newcastle. She says the skills she learned have helped her to develop a greater understanding of the sector.

“It provides financial assistance for volunteers to upskill and even diversify our skillset so we can develop our understanding of the field we are volunteering in and share this expertise within our roles and to the community,” Ashleigh said.

Ashleigh has been a volunteer firefighter for over six years and is currently a member of the ACT Rural Fire Service. She says her new qualification has parallels with her volunteer role.

“As a volunteer dealing with a very specific hazard, like fire, an important aspect of my further studies was understanding the larger picture of a disaster and the important aspect of community preparedness that prevents a hazard from turning into a disaster.”

The graduate says learning about fire behaviour is a critical step in a rapidly changing environment.

“With the impacts of climate change on weather and natural hazards, firefighters will continue to see fire behaviour that is different to what we have experienced before.

“This enforces the importance of maintaining a continuous system of learning and adapting to change to ensure resilience in the face of a changing climate.”

The Emergency Management Volunteer Scholarships equip emergency volunteers with the skills required to become leaders in the disaster resilience sector.

20-26 May is National Volunteer Week, which explores the theme Making a world of difference.