Gender & Disaster Australia

Gender & Disaster Australia (GDA), began as the Gender & Disaster (GAD) Pod. The initiative of two Victorian Women’s Health organisations, Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) and Women’s Health In the North (WHIN), it has worked in partnership with the Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative (MUDRI) for more than a decade.  The GAD Pod was formally established in 2015 to promote an understanding of the role played by gender in survivor responses to natural disaster, and to embed these insights into emergency management practice. Its purpose is to build on the many initiatives emerging from foundational research conducted by WHGNE researchers Debra Parkinson and Claire Zara following the 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria. These initiatives include:

The Gender & Disaster Pod CV provides a comprehensive account of the work of WHGNE, WHIN, MIRI and their partners and supporters in applying a gender lens to natural disaster.


Pod partners have received the following awards in recognition of their groundbreaking work in the field of gender and disaster.

2019: Resilient Australia Award for ‘Nationally Significant Projects’ for “Addressing domestic violence in disasters through implementing National Gender and Emergency Management Guidelines”.

2019: The Victorian Resilient Australia Community Award  sponsored by the Australian Government in partnership with the states and territories and managed by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) for Long-term disaster resilience.

2017: Mary Fran Myers Award 2017 was awarded by the Natural Hazards Centre in Boulder, Colorado, and the Gender and Disaster Network for our collaborative efforts to reduce disaster vulnerability through advocacy, research and management. The award was to the lead researchers, the three GAD Pod organisations and executive officers, EMV and DHHS (along with GAD Taskforce members and community). The award is an important recognition of the Victorian-based research in the field of gender and disaster in issues that are of significance locally, nationally and internationally. Read more about the award and Natural Disaster Conference here. 

2015: Best Thesis in the Social & Political Sciences by Monash University was presented to Dr Debra Parkinson for ‘Women’s experience of violence following the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires’ (Supervisors: Professor Denise Cuthbert (RMIT), Dr Kirsten McLean, Dr Danielle Tyson.)

2014: Resilient Australia Award, sponsored by the Attorney-General’s Department, for ‘Gender & Disaster: Leading the Change’, in the category of ‘Projects of National Significance’ (Awarded to WHGNE, WHIN & MIRI)

2013: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation Award for ‘Family violence after natural disaster research: Breaking new ground’, in the category of ‘Knowledge and Understanding’ Awarded to WHGNE).

Pod Partners accept 2014 Resilient Australia Award.


The GAD Pod has enjoyed the support of the following funders and affiliates since its inception:

  • Fire Rescue Victoria, formerly MFB
  • Emergency Management Commission of Victoria, Department of Justice (Victoria)
  • Naural Disaster Recovery Grants Scheme
  • National Emergency Management Projects
  • Department of Environment, Lands, Water and Planning
  • Department of Health & Human Services (Victoria)
  • Country Fire Authority
  • The Nikolaous Foundation
  • Victoria Police
  • International Gender and Disaster Network
  • National Red Cross
  • Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience
  • Member organisations of the GAD Taskforce