Your of­fi­cial guide to the worst- case sce­nar­ios

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Rear View -

IT IS an old and sound adage: ex­pect the un­ex­pected and plan for it. Day- to- day ex­is­tence does not con­tem­plate dis­as­ters, they seem com­fort­ably dis­tant. Yet ev­ery year Aus­tralia is be­set by floods, bush­fires cy­clones or tech­no­log­i­cal or en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­ci­dents.

Dis­as­ter Risk Man­ager, Chris Piper, pro­duces the Aus­tralian Aid Re­source and Train­ing Guide ( AARTG) on a monthly ba­sis as an en­try point for the hu­man­i­tar­ian aid and de­vel­op­ment sec­tor. It con­sists of: Ad­vice for those seek­ing to ap­ply their skills in over­seas aid projects; Use­ful Aus­tralian con­tacts in the aid field; Use­ful over­seas or in­ter­na­tional con­tacts re­lated to the aid field;

The main aid- re­lated train­ing cour­ses on of­fer in Aus­tralia.

Mr Piper, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Aus­tralian and Over­seas Aid Con­sul­tancy, TorqAid, has re­cently held a Dis­as­ter Risk Man­age­ment work­shop at Torquay south of Gee­long in Vic­to­ria for stu­dents in the field of dis­as­ter man­age­ment; those from the Red Cross and NGOs, Aus­tralian and In­ter­na­tional Man­age­ment con­trac­tors; emer­gency ser­vices and in­ter­ested com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The work­shop in­cluded a brief­ing on Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Larry ( near In­n­is­fail in March, 2006)), half- day field visit on bush­fire chal­lenged com­mu­ni­ties along the Great Ocean Road and a field study of the 2004 In­dian Ocean Tsunami.

Mr Piper has 30 years ex­pe­ri­ence in com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment and over­seas aid, hav­ing worked in Africa, Asia, Europe and Aus­tralia. He has in­cluded DRM work in Pa­pua New Guinea, Afghanistan, the Balkans, So­ma­lia and Mozam­bique. Mr Piper is lec­tur­ing at Monash Univer­sity hav­ing been a lec­turer at Deakin Univer­sity since 1999. In the mid- 1990s, he es­tab­lished the Euro­pean Union Li­ai­son Of­fice for World Vi­sion in Brus­sels.

Ear­lier, he had been the man­ager of the Re­lief and Re­cov­ery Unit for World Vi­sion Aus­tralia gain­ing Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment fund­ing and food aid for hu­man­i­tar­ian needs. He tre­bled the Aus­tralian Aid in­come to $ 10m a year. Dur­ing this time, he or­gan­ised three hu­man­i­tar­ian char­tered flights to Bangladesh, Jor­dan and Cam­bo­dia.

He has been a school­teacher both in Aus­tralia at Gee­long Gram­mar School and as a Cap­tain in the Royal Army Ed­u­ca­tional Corps of the Bri­tish Army at the NATO base at Falling­bostel in West Ger­many.

The Aus­tralian Aid Re­source and Train­ing Guide is de­signed for both the ex­pe­ri­enced aid prac­ti­tioner and the less ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sional want­ing ei­ther to up­date his or her train­ing, pro­fes­sional skills or seek­ing new over­seas work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The train­ing de­tails in­clude short in­ten­sive work­shops as well as longer un­der­grad­u­ate or grad­u­ate train­ing pro­grams. Th­ese in­clude sub­jects such as in­ter­na­tional and de­vel­op­ment stud­ies, project man­age­ment, in­ter­na­tional health, DRM, en­vi­ron­men­tal stud­ies and peace and con­flict stud­ies.

Mr Piper’s ded­i­ca­tion to hu­man­i­tar­ian pro­grams led him to meet his wife, Mar­i­lyn, a nu­tri­tion­ist from Gee­long, when they worked with World Vi­sion in a large refugee camp in So­ma­lia in the 1980s.

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