GAD Pod wins 2019 Victorian Resilient Australia Community Award!

On the 28th of August 2019, The GAD Pod won the 2019 Victorian Resilient Australia Community Award for this project.

The awards celebrate initiatives that build community resilience to disasters and emergencies, recognising collaboration and innovative thinking across all sectors.

Research from the Gender and Disaster Pod ensures a gendered analysis.

" The different ways in which women and men responded to, and were affected by, the experience of disaster had implications for short and long-term resilience. A striking finding is how gendered expectations of strong, stoic men and nurturing, protective women became more salient during and after the disaster. Gendered expectations lowered the resilience of men and women. This led men to denial, not talking about the disaster, having angry outbursts and not identifying when they needed help. In comparison, women held families together and were responsible for the emotional health of the family – often at great cost to their own health and wellbeing. Their contributions were often invisible." 


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This qualitative research into long-term disaster resilience identifies what helps and hinders individual and community resilience in disasters. It documents the experiences and wisdom of 56 disaster survivors nine years after the 2009 Black Saturday fires and up to 50 years after earlier fires and floods in Victoria, including the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 94 years of age, and the disasters spanned bushfires and floods from 1943 to 2011.  The purpose of the research was to identify how individuals and communities understand the risk to long-term health and wellbeing that disaster experience brings, and how to promote resilience over decades.

Resilience may be a mix of individual characteristics, intersections of privilege, and the legacy of a lifetime’s experience. It is equally a twist of fate, and the difference between surviving with resilience, and not, appears to lie outside the survivors themselves. In acknowledging that long-term resilience is premised on effective disaster prevention and management, it sits with government to provide expert advice on areas of safe human habitation, and after disaster to promptly re-establish essential services. It sits with Australian women, men and children – led by those involved in emergency management– to engage in explicit discussions of gendered expectations, realistic expectations of government services, and human rights in the disaster context.

Underpinning resilience is the central importance of empathy and kindness.


Long-Term Disaster Resilience Report Launch

Long-term Disaster Resilience report launched in Wangaratta

The Gender and Disaster Pod (GAD Pod) team were excited to have Senator Linda Reynolds officially launch the partnership's new research report Long-term Disaster Resilience in Wangaratta last Friday. The launch follows the 10 year anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires that devastated Victoria. Other prominent speakers at the launch were local MP, Cathy McGowan (Indi) and a statement from the Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp.

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Resources

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Local member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, gave a moving speech to federal parliament about this report in ‘honouring, acknowledging and remembering the 2009 bushfires’.


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