Resilience Ambassadors Program

The Resilience Ambassadors Program is a new initiative, providing an opportunity for a small number of outstanding individuals aged under 30 and actively engaged in disaster resilience to participate in a one-year program to strengthen their leadership skills and become champions of resilience within their organisation and region. Up to four Ambassadors will be selected each year, from across Australia, through a competitive application process.

The Ambassadors will have an opportunity to learn from senior executives from across relevant organisations and to attend the annual conference of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC to learn and to network with experienced professionals from across Australia and overseas.  The Resilience Ambassadors will participate in a structured program of events and activities from 1 March to 28 February the following year, and will enjoy the benefits of an alumni program in subsequent years.

Building resilience to disasters will take time and to be successful, will require culture change at many levels.  The Resilience Ambassador Program is one step in that journey - providing an opportunity for enthusiastic and engaged paid staff and volunteers to become actively engaged in promoting resilience to disasters.  We expect the Ambassadors to engage in resilience activities within their organisation; to encourage discussion on topics leading to organisational change and to embrace a strong commitment to the role of communities - and engagement with communities - in the building and maintenance of resilience to disasters.


Resilience Ambassadors chosen

Five outstanding young people have been offered places in AIDR’s Resilience Ambassadors program for 2017. This year’s Ambassadors include urban and regional employees and volunteers from State Emergency Services, fire agencies and the Australian Red Cross. Through the year-long program the Ambassadors will become champions of resilience within their organisation and region. They will be mentored and encouraged to network through engagement with their peers, senior members in the sector and leaders in the broader community; and engage with the broader community by putting their leadership skills into practice through a personal disaster resilience project.

Meet AIDR's 2017 Resilience Ambassadors.

I'm Georgia. I'm 22 years old, and I've been an Emergency Services volunteer at Red Cross for nearly four years, primarily in Recovery—specifically in outreach conducted in communities affected by disaster. Inspired by this service, as well as by my studies in psychology, I became a Psychological First Aid Facilitator with the aspiration to contribute to the strengthening of the WA Red Cross Emergency Services workforce. 
 Through my experience as a training facilitator, seeing the strengths and opportunities within the WA Red Cross Emergency Services workforce, I have recently begun working on a project with the Emergency Services Capacity Development Coordinator to empower other volunteers to become leaders within the organisation, a project which I will be able to make a reality with the support and mentorship generously granted by the AIDR, in my role as Resilience Ambassador in 2017. I'm also looking forward to integrating learnings from other leaders in emergency management across Australia into my Perth-based project. 

Hi, I'm Amanda. At a young age I was inspired by seeing the SES in action. I eagerly awaited my 16th birthday when I was finally allowed to join. I am now into my 8th year with the SES in a small town in rural Queensland and I’ve grown to become a valued operational member of the Nanango Group.
Operational activities aside, I am part way through completing my Cert IV in Training and Assessment as I enjoy helping others. Additionally, I have been involved in disaster resilience and community preparedness as I can see the benefits of educating the community on disaster resilience. I anticipate this year will greatly improve my disaster resilience knowledge and better the relationship the SES has with the community through my resilience plan.

Hi, I'm Andrew. I joined the NSW SES in 2010 as a volunteer while studying civil engineering at university. After working at the Department of Defence, I joined the NSW SES as a staff member in 2014 and I've worked closely with communities to build resilience to floods, storms and tsunami. I have been part of incident management and community liaison teams in several response operations including major flooding, cyclones, severe storms and two tornadoes. I'm passionate about the use of innovation and technology to enhance disaster preparedness and the volunteer experience. I'm looking forward to working with other ambassadors during the program to build the resilience of vulnerable communities, increase community participation in emergency management volunteering and explore innovative approaches to community safety.

I'm Jayme. I work for the South Australian State Emergency Service, where I develop curriculum for our volunteers. I also volunteer with the SES in a range of technical rescue and training roles.
The Resilience Ambassadors Program captured my interest as I believe communities can be empowered and supported further to develop their resilience. The program will give me the opportunity to consult the community and industry to develop a Community Resilience Strategic Plan for the South Australian State Emergency Service. This Strategic Plan will align our current community resilience projects and acknowledge additional opportunities to develop resilience within the community.

I'm Allie, a volunteer firefighter and community education presenter with the Country Fire Authority (CFA). I also work as the Fire & Emergency Management Officer of my local council. Two topics I am particularly passionate about are community engagement and volunteer sustainability (specifically youth retention and recruitment). My background in disaster resilience includes the community engagement work I do as a volunteer with my local community and across Victoria, and also through my position in local government. I am an advocate for better recruitment and retention of youth into emergency management volunteering to ensure the longevity of volunteering into the future.  
 What I am looking forward to gaining through the Disaster Resilience Ambassadors Program is a greater network of disaster resilience experts and emergency management leadership, development of my own capability as a future leader in community engagement and volunteerism and to collaborate with the like-minded Resilience Ambassadors across Australia.