Your official guide to the worst- case scenarios
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.