Gender in spotlight
gathering in Horsham later this month will explore gender capacity in emergency response and management.
Women’s Health Grampians and partner organisations will present a ‘Leading Change Lunch’ at Horsham Town Hall on October 24.
The event is aimed at members of the Communities of Respect and Equality Alliance, CORE, and anyone interested in building awareness and capacity regarding gender and emergency management.
It is designed to achieve the best possible outcomes for communities.
Women’s Health Grampians acting chief executive Rose Durey said the Wimmera and broader Grampians region regularly experienced natural disasters such as fires, floods and heatwaves.
“Our aim with the Leading Change Lunch is to bring together speakers who will provide examples and information on applying a gender lens to ensure better planning and emergency recovery and help build community resilience,” she said.
Ms Durey said research and resources coming out of a Gender and Disaster Pod, which in August won a 2019 Victorian Resilient Australian Community Award, were groundbreaking.
She said the Gender and Disaster Pod, established to promote understanding of the role played by gender in survivor responses to natural disasters, ensures a gendered analysis.
Research into several disasters, including the 2009 Black Saturday fires, identified different ways in which women and men responded to, and were affected by, the experience of disaster and 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,” Ms Durey said.
“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”
The Horsham event will feature three speakers – Stephen O’malley, Amanda Lamont and Inspector Di Thompson.
Mr O’malley will speak about the work of the Gender and Disaster Pod and how having a gender lens in fire planning will increase community preparedness, survival and resilience.
Mr O’malley is a leading firefighter
“Our aim with the Leading Change Lunch is to bring together speakers who will provide examples and information on applying a gender lens to ensure better planning and emergency recovery and help build community resilience” – Rose Durey
and fairness and inclusion officer with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade’s Culture and Transformation Department.
He is a foundation member of the Emergency Management Victoria ‘Gender and Disaster’ taskforce and trainer-facilitator of the Gender and Disaster Pod’s Gendered Violence and Lessons in Disaster training package.
Ms Lamont is from the Australasian Women in Emergencies Network and will talk about the work of the network and highlight the various roles women play in emergency management and the importance of connected resilient communities.
Inspector Di Thompson, Victoria Police’s Horsham Area Local Commander, will talk about the work Victoria Police is doing to advance gender equality.
Women’s Health Grampians, Horsham Rural City Council, Grampians Community Health, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority, Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre, Office for Women, and the Gender and Disaster Pod are supporting the Horsham lunch.
The event is part of a Communities of Respect and Equality Alliance region-wide program to prevent violence against women.
The CORE program brings together more than 118 organisations, networks and associations across much of western Victoria to create a safe, equal and respectful society.
Tickets for the event are available at Horsham Town Hall, online at www. horshamtownhall.com.au or by calling the box office on 5382 9555.