AESM Vol 27, ISSUE 6 2021

The latest Australian Emergency Services Magazine Vol 27 Issue 6 2021. The latest in emergency services news and events. In this edition we take a closer look at the vaccine mandates for emergency services with leading law expert in emergency and disaster management, Dr Michael Eburn. We also look back at the Black Summer bushfires, their connection to climate change and what is happening now for those who were impacted. Our regular columnist Associate Professor Erin-Cotter Smith with her last article for Let's Talk Mental Health. The Bushfire Natural Hazards CRC introduces us to the new Natural Hazards Research Australia and Volume 1 of the Independent review of Ambulance Victoria has been released. You can check out the 24 recommendations here. Paramedic Rasa Piggott with her column, 'On the Frontline', a closer look in to the world of paramedicine. Plus so much more, latest events, "In the Spotlight" and Emergency Breaks and our new book review column. Free to subscribe through the website www.ausemergencyservices.com.au

The latest Australian Emergency Services Magazine Vol 27 Issue 6 2021. The latest in emergency services news and events. In this edition we take a closer look at the vaccine mandates for emergency services with leading law expert in emergency and disaster management, Dr Michael Eburn. We also look back at the Black Summer bushfires, their connection to climate change and what is happening now for those who were impacted. Our regular columnist Associate Professor Erin-Cotter Smith with her last article for Let's Talk Mental Health. The Bushfire Natural Hazards CRC introduces us to the new Natural Hazards Research Australia and Volume 1 of the Independent review of Ambulance Victoria has been released. You can check out the 24 recommendations here. Paramedic Rasa Piggott with her column, 'On the Frontline', a closer look in to the world of paramedicine. Plus so much more, latest events, "In the Spotlight" and Emergency Breaks and our new book review column. Free to subscribe through the website www.ausemergencyservices.com.au


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VOL <strong>27</strong>: <strong>ISSUE</strong> 6, <strong>2021</strong><br />

8<br />










WORKERS:<br />





WE SEE YOU<br />



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Remembering,<br />

Rebuilding and<br />

Reaching Net Zero<br />

We look back at<br />

the Black Summer<br />

Bushfires, the<br />

connection to climate<br />

change and what is<br />

happening now.<br />

23<br />

Independent Review<br />

of Ambulance<br />

Victoria<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>ume 1 of the report<br />

from the Independent<br />

Review of Workplace<br />

equality within<br />

Ambulance Victoria has<br />

been released with 24<br />

recommendations.<br />

15<br />


5 Mistakes We Make<br />

to Precipitate the<br />

Path to Burnout<br />

Alison Coughlan the<br />

author of The Health<br />

Hazard: Take control,<br />

restore wellbeing and<br />

optimise impact, guides<br />

us through 5 common<br />

mistakes that can lead to<br />

burnout.<br />

13<br />

Introducing Natural<br />

Hazards Research<br />

Australia<br />

Australia has a new national<br />

centre for natural hazards<br />

resilience and disaster risk<br />

reduction – Natural Hazards<br />

Research Australia. New<br />

research is now underway,<br />

with plenty of exciting<br />

funding opportunities<br />

already available.<br />

<strong>27</strong><br />

21<br />

Taking Protective<br />

Action During Floods<br />

and Storms<br />

Public safety messages<br />

for floods and storms<br />

will be broadcast on<br />

ABC Radio this severe<br />

weather season, backed<br />

by Bushfire and Natural<br />

Hazards CRC research.<br />

www.ausemergencyservices.com.au<br />

New Technology Lets<br />

Police Link DNA<br />

to Appearance &<br />

Ancestry<br />

The Australian Federal<br />

Police recently announced<br />

plans to use DNA samples<br />

collected at crime scenes<br />

to make predictions about<br />

potential suspects.<br />



• Editor’s Note<br />

3<br />

• Recent Events<br />

Victoria releases drowning report<br />

Diversity and Resilience for <strong>Vol</strong>unteer<br />

Jurien Bay Marine Rescue gets new RHIB<br />

Community rallies for cyclone preparation<br />

New model keeping firefighters ahead of the front<br />

• Emergency Law with Dr Michael Eburn<br />

• Let’s Talk Mental Health with A/Prof Erin Cotter- Smith<br />

• On the Frontline - Our Gendered Reality<br />

• <strong>AESM</strong> Book Reviews<br />

• In the Spotlight - Disaster Relief Australia<br />

• Emergency Breaks - Christmas Travel Wish List<br />

5<br />

6<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9<br />

19<br />

31<br />

39<br />

41<br />

43<br />


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Associate Professor Erin Cotter-Smith<br />

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Dr Michael Eburn - PHD, leading expert in<br />

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An Insight into the World of Paramedicine<br />

with Rasa Piggott, Registered Paramedic,<br />

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Welcome to the last edition for the year of the Australian<br />

Emergency Services Magazine. We are proud to be an<br />

independent publication that seeks to acknowledge and<br />

promote the incredible work of the emergency services<br />

industry and the disaster management sector in Australia.<br />

With Summer upon us we are acutely aware of how busy<br />

our emergency services personnel are with bushfire season,<br />

storm and cyclone season and of course more people in the<br />

water means a busy period for surf life saving and marine<br />

rescue. The Christmas period is statistically the worst time<br />

for drownings in Australia. There are ways to prevent this<br />

though to not only save yourself and loved ones but to also<br />

help our surf life savers and rescue personnel. Article on<br />

page 37.<br />

This is the last edition that our very good friend Associate<br />

Professor Erin Cotter-Smith will be contributing. If you are<br />

a regular reader I’m sure you look forward to each edition<br />

of Erin’s column, ‘Let’s Talk Mental Health’. Erin has taken<br />

on a fantastic new position as CEO of the DART Centre for<br />

Journalism and Trauma, Asia Pacific. Her new role will see<br />

her very busy and unfortunately this means we no longer<br />

have her guiding us toward better mental health. We<br />

want to take the opportunity to say a very big thank you<br />

to Erin from all of the team for your valuable contribution<br />

and insights. It has been an absolute pleasure having<br />

you as part of our regular contributor team. Never fear<br />

however, Dr Lisa Holmes, Unit Coordinator and Lecturer of<br />

Paramedical Science at Edith Cowan University will be taking<br />

over this column in the new year and we can’t wait!<br />

From all of us here at the Australian Emergency Services<br />

Magazine we wish you a very safe and happy Christmas and<br />

New Year with your loved ones.<br />

Happy reading and we will see you in the new year!<br />

Bianca Peterson<br />

Editor in Chief<br />

www.ausemergencyservices.com.au<br />


The Australian Emergency Services Magazine<br />

is a community educational resource<br />

publication and does not promote itself<br />

as a charity or fund raising institution, nor<br />

solicit on behalf of charities and is no way<br />

financially supported by or associated<br />

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institution. The Australian Emergency Services<br />

Magazine is an independent publication that<br />

is not associated with any services or similar<br />

entities.<br />

Distribution of the publication is Bi-Monthly<br />

and is circulated via a database of interested<br />

parties, including business, subscribers,<br />

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Every effort is made to ensure that material<br />

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Services Magazine was correct at the time of<br />

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The views and opinions expressed are<br />

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Services Magazine is not necessarily an<br />

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We are always looking for new<br />

and relevant content that<br />

our readers will enjoy. If you<br />

would like to be featured in<br />

the magazine there are many<br />

options. You may have a story<br />

you would like to share, or<br />

perhaps be featured in our “In<br />

the Spotlight” regular column.<br />

Please submit all articles or<br />

expressions of interest to the<br />

Editor for consideration at:<br />

editor@ausemergencyservices.<br />

com.au<br />

Articles should be no more than<br />

1000 words and be relevant<br />

to the content within the<br />

Australian Emergency Services<br />

Magazine.<br />

3<br />


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Prepare for the worst.<br />

Lead others to be their best.<br />

Enrol in a National Centre for Emergency Management Studies Course.<br />

At TAFE NSW, we’re excited about the future. The future for carers, helpers and emergency workers alike.<br />

Whether it’s improving your own personal resilience or supporting your team to be ready to adapt to the<br />

unique challenges of a crisis, the TAFE NSW National Centre of Emergency Management Studies can help.<br />

The Centre offers a wide range of Incident Management, Crisis Leadership and Business Preparedness<br />

programs suited to learners from emergency services, corporate and not-for-profit backgrounds.<br />

Courses are flexible, connected and contextualised to the changing environments in which we work.<br />

Prepare for the worst, while learning how to lead others to be their best, at TAFE NSW’s National Centre<br />

for Emergency Management Studies.<br />

tafensw.edu.au/emergency-management<br />

1300 045 737


everything to teach about<br />

being safe and it just takes<br />

that split second.<br />

Temporary memorial at Sandridge Beach with 61 rescue tubes representing lives lost<br />




Life Saving Victoria (LSV)<br />

has released the 2020 – 21<br />

Victorian Drowning Report;<br />

industry leading research<br />

exploring the staggering<br />

increase in drowning figures<br />

during the past financial year.<br />

The alarming report reveals<br />

the tragic circumstances<br />

behind Victoria’s highest<br />

drowning toll in 20 years,<br />

noting that young<br />

children and men were<br />

overrepresented in<br />

drownings, and that 48 per<br />

cent of people drowned<br />

within their residential<br />

postcode.<br />

Life Saving Victoria honoured<br />

the 61 people who lost their<br />

lives to drowning and whose<br />

stories make up the report,<br />

including two-year-old Hunter<br />

Boyle, with a temporary<br />

memorial of 61 rescue tubes<br />

erected at Sandridge Beach<br />

on the 1st December.<br />

Life Saving Victoria’s general<br />

manager, health promotion<br />

and communications, Dr<br />

Bernadette Matthews said<br />

that it’s vital Victorians<br />

remember that the numbers<br />

represent real people who<br />

are tragically no longer here.<br />

“While anyone can drown,<br />

no one should. Life Saving<br />

Victoria is urging the<br />

community not to become<br />

complacent, and to<br />

remember that these are<br />

more than just numbers,<br />

they are people,” Dr<br />

Matthews said.<br />

“Our intention in compiling<br />

this drowning report is to<br />

ensure that part of their<br />

legacy lives on to help<br />

prevent future drownings<br />

in Victorian waters. By<br />

examining areas of risk, we<br />

can help to inform our safety<br />

strategies and hopefully<br />

prevent further tragedy<br />

moving forward.<br />

“Life Saving Victoria has<br />

been working closely with<br />

government, the water<br />

safety sector and the aquatic<br />

industry to address a number<br />

of preventative measures,<br />

in a bid to stop people from<br />

requiring assistance in the<br />

first place.”<br />

Devastatingly, a quarter of<br />

the drowning deaths were<br />

children aged between zero<br />

and 14 years old.<br />

“It is even more heartwrenching<br />

to highlight that of<br />

these fatalities, 15 involved<br />

children aged 0 – 14 years,<br />

equating to a quarter of all<br />

drownings and accounting<br />

for the highest age-specific<br />

fatal drowning rate this year,”<br />

Dr Matthews said.<br />

Ash Napolitano, mother<br />

of Hunter Boyle who was<br />

just two years-old when<br />

he drowned at the dam on<br />

his grandfather’s property,<br />

knows firsthand the<br />

heartache that comes when<br />

a child is lost to drowning<br />

and is urging all parents and<br />

carers to know the risks.<br />

“I can’t describe the pain that<br />

comes with losing our boy,<br />

even after a year, it never<br />

gets easier,” Ms Napolitano<br />

said.<br />

“It’s surreal to think that he<br />

is one of the numbers in this<br />

report, because he was and<br />

is so much more than that.<br />

“I can’t tell other parents<br />

or carers strongly enough,<br />

sometimes you can do<br />

“It has been incredibly<br />

overwhelming, but I’ve tried<br />

to channel some of this<br />

grief into positive change, by<br />

setting up the Hunter Boyle<br />

Children’s Swim Program<br />

with the support of Kidsafe<br />

Victoria. Piloted in our<br />

hometown of Shepparton,<br />

our aim is to fund 12 months’<br />

worth of swimming lessons<br />

and water safety education<br />

to vulnerable children<br />

between the ages of 6<br />

months - 12 years. We know<br />

we can educate our most<br />

vulnerable little people about<br />

the dangers of water and<br />

support them to learn a life<br />

skill,” Ms Napolitano said.<br />

Life Saving Victoria’s message<br />

to all Victorians ahead of<br />

summer is to remember<br />

the reason you want to get<br />

back out of the water safely,<br />

and to keep kids away from<br />

danger. “Do not become a<br />

memory, please remember<br />

that a moment of distraction<br />

can lead to a lifetime of<br />

heartbreak,” Dr Matthews<br />

said.<br />

“Actively supervise children<br />

around water in the home<br />

and when at the beach,<br />

river or pool. Stay safe by<br />

learning swimming, water<br />

safety and lifesaving skills,<br />

always seek out patrolled<br />

beaches and swim between<br />

the red and yellow flags.<br />

If boating or rock fishing,<br />

wear safety gear such as a<br />

fully-functioning, approved<br />

life jacket and gripped shoes,<br />

and remember that drugs<br />

and alcohol don’t mix with<br />

water.”<br />

Life Saving Victoria kicked<br />

off an extended lifesaving<br />

patrol season on Saturday<br />

<strong>27</strong> November, supported by<br />

the Victorian Government’s<br />

largest ever investment in<br />

water safety.<br />

To find patrolled locations<br />

this summer visit beachsafe.<br />

org.au<br />

5<br />






A new research paper from<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>unteering Australia<br />

aims to provide a more<br />

detailed portrayal of the<br />

volunteering experience<br />

during the COVID-19<br />

pandemic.<br />

The COVID-19 pandemic<br />

has had profound<br />

implications for the<br />

volunteering ecosystem<br />

as we have witnessed<br />

a dramatic decline in<br />

volunteering. Whilst this<br />

data is without doubt<br />

cause for concern, it is not<br />

the full story.<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>unteering Australia’s<br />

latest research paper<br />

‘Continuity and change:<br />

volunteering during the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic’<br />

shows there is more to the<br />

experience of volunteers<br />

during the pandemic than<br />

figures alone can capture.<br />

Millions of people have<br />

continued to volunteer<br />

since the pandemic hit our<br />

shores early in 2020 and<br />

this new research shares<br />

their story. Based on 800<br />

qualitative responses<br />

gathered as part of the Life<br />

in Australia survey, the<br />

research reveals a striking<br />

picture of diversity and<br />

resilience.<br />

Responses illustrate the<br />

diversity of experience,<br />

highlighting wellbeing<br />

benefits of volunteering<br />

during the pandemic, the<br />

advantages and challenges<br />

of remote volunteering,<br />

the difficulties and<br />

hazards of providing<br />

voluntary support during<br />

the disaster, and the<br />

ongoing shifts in volunteer<br />

engagement which may<br />

remain significant as<br />

the pandemic response<br />

progresses.<br />

These insights will be<br />

crucial to understanding<br />

the changes in<br />

volunteering in the<br />

future, and in planning to<br />

support a more dynamic,<br />

accessible, and resilient<br />

volunteering ecosystem.<br />




A new Rigid Hulled Inflatable<br />

Boat (RHIB) has been<br />

deployed to Marine Rescue<br />

Jurien Bay, giving local<br />

volunteers greater capability<br />

to keep the community safe<br />

over summer.<br />

Built locally by Dongara<br />

Marine, the 6.8-metre<br />

vessel is trailerable and can<br />

be launched from beaches,<br />

improving response<br />

times for incidents in the<br />

Cervantes area, south of<br />

Jurien Bay.<br />

Importantly, the RHIB has<br />

been designed with input<br />

from local marine rescue<br />

volunteers and is custombuilt<br />

to meet their needs.<br />

This input has been vital,<br />

with the final design<br />

incorporating a trailer for<br />

quick transport via road<br />

and the capability to launch<br />

from beaches.<br />

The vessel is equipped with<br />

state-of-the-art electronics<br />

and twin 150-horsepower<br />

motors.<br />

To give the community a<br />

sense of ownership of the<br />

vessel, a local competition<br />

to name the RHIB has been<br />

running in Jurien Bay in<br />

recent weeks.<br />

The winning entry will be<br />

unveiled at a special event<br />

at Jurien Bay Marina Boat<br />

Ramp on Saturday 18<br />

December <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Fire and Emergency<br />

Services Commissioner<br />

Darren Klemm AFSM said<br />

the vessel would be a vital<br />

addition to marine rescue<br />

services in the Mid West<br />

this summer.<br />

“Marine Rescue Jurien<br />

Bay are a busy group and<br />

provide a very important<br />

service to the local<br />

community. This vessel<br />

gives them another tool<br />

to keep people safe,”<br />

Commissioner Klemm said.<br />

“The ability to launch this<br />

vessel from the beach and<br />

transport by road will help<br />

volunteers respond quicker<br />

to a range of maritime<br />

incidents.<br />

“We’re extremely pleased<br />

that the volunteers who<br />

use this boat have had a<br />

say in how the vessel is<br />

designed and built.<br />

“That way when it comes<br />

into service the boat<br />

is suited to the local<br />

conditions and to the<br />

needs of the volunteers<br />

who will ultimately use it to<br />

keep the community safe.”<br />

www.ausemergencyservices.com.au 6


“The key is to regularly<br />

inspect, maintain and repair<br />

your property. Check key<br />

structural elements and<br />

ensure there are no loose<br />

items on your property that<br />

could cause damage in high<br />

winds.<br />

“We know people are<br />

overwhelmed by the<br />

impact of Cyclone Seroja.<br />

By checking your property<br />

and talking with builders,<br />

insurers and emergency<br />

services you’re not only<br />

preparing physically,<br />

but building emotional<br />

resilience as well.”<br />

Image: Bureau of Meteorology<br />




Members of WA’s Mid<br />

West community and<br />

a local netball star are<br />

spearheading a Department<br />

of Fire and Emergency<br />

Services campaign<br />

encouraging people to<br />

prepare for this summer’s<br />

cyclone season.<br />

A series of online videos<br />

have been created<br />

specifically for the region<br />

and acknowledge the<br />

challenge families and<br />

businesses face preparing<br />

properties for potential<br />

storms, flooding and<br />

cyclones while continuing<br />

their recovery from Cyclone<br />

Seroja.<br />

The tailored videos for the<br />

Mid West region, featuring<br />

a local State Emergency<br />

Services volunteer, DFES<br />

District Officer, Department<br />

of Communities Recovery<br />

Officer and a primary<br />

producer will be seen in the<br />

digital advertising campaign<br />

and on DFES social<br />

channels.<br />

West Coast Fever netball<br />

star Emma Cosh, who<br />

was born and raised<br />

in Geraldton, has also<br />

added her support to the<br />

campaign, which runs until<br />

April.<br />

Fire and Emergency<br />

Services Deputy<br />

Commissioner Operations<br />

Craig Waters AFSM stressed<br />

the importance of preparing<br />

for the cyclone season.<br />

“For many Mid West<br />

residents their current<br />

situation would have<br />

been unimaginable to<br />

them a year ago,” Deputy<br />

Commissioner Waters said.<br />

“The rebuilding of homes<br />

and businesses is underway<br />

and the timetable for the<br />

recovery process is different<br />

for each individual, but<br />

unfortunately the seasons<br />

don’t wait.<br />

“It’s important that<br />

families and businesses<br />

take the opportunity now<br />

to do some pre-season<br />

preparation to their<br />

properties to mitigate the<br />

potential for damage from<br />

cyclones this summer.<br />

Ms Cosh said that while she<br />

was now based in Perth<br />

playing for the Fever in the<br />

national Super League, she<br />

still had strong ties to the<br />

Mid West. She encouraged<br />

residents to prepare for<br />

the summer season after<br />

seeing family and friends<br />

impacted by Cyclone Seroja.<br />

“I think it’s important to<br />

prepare your home for<br />

another severe weather<br />

season this summer. I find it<br />

similar to the work athletes<br />

put into pre-season for<br />

their sport,” Ms Cosh said.<br />

“I know it can be a challenge<br />

and everyone finds preseason<br />

tough. But putting<br />

in the work now means that<br />

you will be prepared for<br />

whatever the season ahead<br />

throws your way.”<br />

For information about how<br />

to prepare yourself and<br />

your property visit www.<br />

dfes.wa.gov.au/cyclone/<br />

prepare<br />

The Mid West videos can<br />

be viewed on the DFES<br />

YouTube page.<br />

For more information about<br />

the campaign contact<br />

DFES Media and Corporate<br />

Communications on 9395<br />

9543 or email media@dfes.<br />

wa.gov.au<br />

7<br />


Australia’s national science<br />

agency CSIRO and the<br />

NSW Rural Fire Service<br />

have released Australia’s<br />

most advanced model for<br />

predicting the speed and<br />

behaviour of eucalypt forest<br />

fires, helping to save lives and<br />

property during bushfires.<br />





Eucalypts make up more<br />

than 70 per cent of<br />

Australia’s forests and some<br />

of Australia’s most extreme<br />

fire events, such as the 2009<br />

Black Saturday fires and the<br />

most severe of the 2019/20<br />

bushfires, occurred in this<br />

type of vegetation.<br />

The Vesta Mark 2 model, a<br />

mathematical description<br />

of how a fire responds to<br />

environmental conditions,<br />

will be rolled out nationally<br />

this summer and help fire<br />

control rooms across the<br />

country to predict and<br />

suppress bushfires as they<br />

spread across the landscape,<br />

and to warn the public.<br />

CSIRO bushfire behaviour<br />

researcher Dr Andrew<br />

Sullivan said although much<br />

of eastern Australia was<br />

expecting a wetter than<br />

normal summer this year,<br />

bushfires were an everpresent<br />

danger throughout<br />

summer and were increasing<br />

in frequency and severity.<br />

“Forests have critical<br />

ecological and socioeconomic<br />

roles, and often<br />

connect to areas where large<br />

numbers of Australians live,”<br />

he said.<br />

“Forest fires are complex<br />

and difficult to control and<br />

extinguish, and firefighters<br />

often have to battle steep<br />

terrain and challenging<br />

conditions just to reach the<br />

fire,” Dr Sullivan said.<br />

“Critically, this model can<br />

accurately predict the<br />

speed that a fire front will<br />

advance across a landscape,<br />

which is essential to enable<br />

authorities to efficiently<br />

identify threats, issue<br />

bushfire warning messages,<br />

signal evacuations, and plan<br />

NSW RFS State Operations Centre within the NSW RFS Headquarters, Sydney Olympic Park. Pictured full of people during the 2019/20 fire<br />

season. Image NSW RFS<br />

fire suppression actions.”<br />

Data inputs such as<br />

forecast weather and wind<br />

information come from the<br />

Bureau of Meteorology, while<br />

information on the state of<br />

fuels within the forest and<br />

existing behaviour of a fire<br />

can come from vegetation<br />

databases and fireground<br />

reports. Fire behaviour<br />

analysts in an incident<br />

management team, often<br />

stationed at an operations<br />

centre near the fire, collate<br />

this information and then<br />

run the model to generate<br />

a prediction of the likely<br />

progression of the fire across<br />

the landscape.<br />

CSIRO bushfire behaviour<br />

researcher and leader of the<br />

project Dr Miguel Cruz said<br />

the model used the latest<br />

available science on bushfire<br />

behaviour.<br />

“This model was built<br />

using analysis of the most<br />

extensive set of data<br />

gathered from observations<br />

of large high intensity<br />

experimental fires and<br />

wildfires, collated from<br />

around the country over the<br />

past 40 years,” Dr Cruz said.<br />

“Our research and findings<br />

during the 2019/20<br />

bushfire season were<br />

also instrumental in the<br />

development of this tool.”<br />

NSW RFS Deputy<br />

Commissioner Preparedness<br />

and Capability, Kyle Stewart,<br />

said the new model would<br />

be key to providing essential<br />

information about expected<br />

fire behaviour to support<br />

decision making during<br />

bushfire outbreaks this fire<br />

season.<br />

“Knowing with confidence<br />

where a bushfire will be<br />

ahead of time is critical<br />

to the safe and effective<br />

deployment of our fire<br />

crews and the safety of our<br />

communities,” Mr Stewart<br />

said.<br />

“This is an excellent example<br />

of science agencies and the<br />

Rural Fire Service working<br />

together to improve bushfire<br />

management in Australia.<br />

It is the latest in a long line<br />

of successful collaborations<br />

between the RFS and CSIRO.”<br />

The original ‘Project Vesta’<br />

in the 1990s was the largest<br />

ever experimental program<br />

studying forest fire behaviour<br />

in Australia.<br />

Vesta Mk 2 has been<br />

incorporated into Spark,<br />

Australia’s newest wildfire<br />

operational simulator<br />

being developed by CSIRO<br />

and the Australasian Fire<br />

and Emergency Service<br />

Authorities Council AFAC,<br />

and Amicus, which is CSIRO’s<br />

bushfire knowledge support<br />

system to help support<br />

future bushfire fighting<br />

efforts.<br />

A guide to the use and operation Vesta<br />

Mk 2 can be found at https://research.<br />

csiro.au/vestamk2.<br />

The scientific article about Vesta Mk 2<br />

can be found as an open access article<br />

at https://www.publish.csiro.au/WF/<br />

WF21068<br />

www.ausemergencyservices.com.au 8



ON THE LAW<br />












The COVID-19 pandemic has seen restrictions and obligations<br />

imposed on the entire Australian community. Many of the steps<br />

taken to control the pandemic are unprecedented within Australian<br />

living memory. One response to the pandemic has been to require<br />

people in some professions to be vaccinated against COVID if they<br />

are to continue in their role. This article will review legal challenges<br />

to these directions.<br />

PhD<br />

Honorary Associate<br />

Professor,<br />

ANU College of Law<br />

Adjunct Associate<br />

Professor,<br />

UNE School of Law<br />

Leading Expert in Law<br />

Relating to Emergency<br />

Management &<br />

Emergency Services<br />

https://law.anu.edu.au/<br />

people/michael-eburn<br />

Work health and safety<br />

A person conducting a<br />

business or undertaking (a<br />

PCBU) is required to take<br />

reasonable steps to ensure<br />

that workers (including<br />

volunteers) are not<br />

exposed to unnecessary<br />

risks to health and safety<br />

due to their work.<br />

Further there is an<br />

obligation to take<br />

reasonable steps to ensure<br />

that the work does not<br />

expose others, such as<br />

clients and customers,<br />

to a risk to their health<br />

and safety. To meet<br />

those obligations, a PCBU<br />

may require employees<br />

or volunteers to get<br />

vaccinated.<br />

Before implementing WHS<br />

procedures and policies<br />

or changing employment<br />

conditions, a PCBU must<br />

consult with affected<br />

workers (ss 47 and 49).<br />

It was this failure to<br />

consult, rather than any<br />

fundamental rule against<br />

vaccine mandates, that led<br />

to a ruling that a mandate<br />

imposed by BHP was not<br />

lawful. 1<br />

Further, a PCBU that<br />

requires all employees to<br />

have a vaccine will have to<br />

demonstrate why, whether<br />

alone or with other control<br />

measures, that was a<br />

‘reasonably practicable’<br />

step to protect either the<br />

workers, or those affected<br />

by the work, from the risk<br />

of COVID-19.<br />

Deputy President Dean of<br />

the Fair Work Commission<br />

(in dissent) said:<br />

It is very clear that a range<br />

of control measures will<br />

need to be implemented<br />

by employers to meet<br />

their health and safety<br />

obligations… [C]ontrols<br />

(based on a proper<br />

assessment of the risk in<br />

a particular workplace)<br />

might include appropriate<br />

air ventilation and filters,<br />

personal protective<br />

equipment including masks,<br />

staggered meal breaks,<br />

increased use of outdoor<br />

areas etc. The simple act<br />

of requiring people to<br />

stay at home if unwell<br />

and symptomatic will no<br />

doubt have a significant<br />

impact on the spread of all<br />

coronaviruses (whether a<br />

cold, flu or COVID). 2<br />

Identifying that a vaccine<br />

is a necessary part of<br />

the reasonable control<br />

9<br />


with Dr Michael Eburn<br />

measures will be easier<br />

in some workplaces<br />

compared to others.<br />

Paramedics for example<br />

are exposed to people<br />

in uncontrolled<br />

environments. People<br />

cannot be asked to refrain<br />

from calling paramedics if<br />

they are unwell as that is<br />

the very time, they need<br />

paramedics. Paramedics<br />

cannot ‘socially isolate’<br />

from their patients. The<br />

use of PPE may reduce<br />

risk of infection, but that<br />

risk is further reduced<br />

with vaccination. Further<br />

paramedics who are not<br />

vaccinated may pose a<br />

risk to vulnerable patients.<br />

As Adamson J said in<br />

Larter’s case (discussed<br />

below):<br />

… the effect of the<br />

orders was to remove<br />

the increased risk of<br />

transmission posed by<br />

unvaccinated NSW Health<br />

workers. It would be of no<br />

comfort to the vulnerable<br />

patient who is infected by<br />

the unvaccinated health<br />

care worker to be told that<br />

he or she was unlucky by<br />

being in the wrong ward<br />

at the wrong time because<br />

most health care workers<br />

had been vaccinated. 3<br />

Similar arguments could<br />

also be made for rescue<br />

operators who must also<br />

operate in close contact<br />

with patients. Whether<br />

those arguments apply<br />

to fire fighters and others<br />

depends on all the<br />

circumstances. What is<br />

clear is that relying on the<br />

Work Health and Safety<br />

Act does not give an easy<br />

answer to the question<br />

of whether employers<br />

can or must require their<br />

workers to be vaccinated.<br />

Public Health Orders<br />

The presence of public<br />

health orders changes the<br />

issue. Where an order has<br />

been made under relevant<br />

public health legislation,<br />

or as has happened in<br />

some cases, emergency<br />

management legislation,<br />

then those operating in<br />

that environment have<br />

no choice but to comply.<br />

To draw a parallel an<br />

employer cannot employ<br />

someone to drive an<br />

emergency vehicle if they<br />

do not have a licence.<br />

The person may be a<br />

competent and safe driver<br />

but the obligation to have<br />

a licence is imposed by<br />

law and the employer has<br />

no choice but to comply.<br />

Kimber v Sapphire Coast<br />

Community Aged Care Ltd<br />

involved a nurse who<br />

did not want to get an<br />

influenza vaccination.<br />

On 24 March 2020, the<br />

NSW Minister for Health<br />

made a Public Health<br />

Order which said that an<br />

employee of a residential<br />

aged care facility must<br />

not enter the facility if<br />

they did not “have an<br />

up-to-date vaccination<br />

against influenza, if the<br />

vaccination is available to<br />

the person”. 4<br />

Sapphire Coast<br />

Community Aged Care<br />

wrote to Ms Kimber<br />

and advised her that<br />

because of her refusal to<br />

get vaccinated she was<br />

‘unable to perform the<br />

inherent requirements’ of<br />

her role and so she was<br />

dismissed. The majority of<br />

the Full Bench of the Fair<br />

Work Commission upheld<br />

the finding that her<br />

dismissal was not ‘unfair’.

They said:<br />

Ms Kimber was at the time<br />

of her dismissal legally<br />

prohibited from working at<br />

Imlay House. That plainly<br />

made the continuation<br />

of her employment<br />

untenable. In circumstances<br />

where Ms Kimber was<br />

given ample opportunity<br />

by her employer to get<br />

vaccinated or demonstrate<br />

that she had a medical<br />

contraindication, no other<br />

consideration could operate<br />

to render her dismissal<br />

unfair. 5<br />

Where there is a valid<br />

public health order, an<br />

employer has no choice to<br />

comply and if that order<br />

requires that a certain class<br />

of workers are vaccinated<br />

then the employer cannot<br />

continue their employment<br />

if they refuse to get the<br />

vaccination. But are the<br />

public health orders lawful?<br />

That was the question in<br />

Kassam & Henry v Hazzard<br />

& Ors and again in Larter<br />

v Hazzard, a supreme<br />

court case involving a NSW<br />

paramedic.<br />

In Kassam’s case 6 , Justice<br />

Beech-Jones went through<br />

arguments regarding<br />

the scope of the powers<br />

vested in the Minister<br />

for Health and whether<br />

the orders made were<br />

unconstitutional or beyond<br />

Where ther is a valid public health order, an employer has no choice to comply, requiring certain workers to be vaccinated<br />

the power of the Minister.<br />

This paper cannot deal with<br />

each step in His Honour’s<br />

reasoning but notes that<br />

all the objections were<br />

dismissed. His Honour’s<br />

reasoning was confirmed<br />

by the NSW Court of<br />

Appeal. 7<br />

In response to the claim<br />

that the various orders<br />

were a vaccine mandate,<br />

His Honour said:<br />

… the proper analysis<br />

is that the impugned<br />

orders curtail freedom of<br />

movement which in turn<br />

affects a person’s ability<br />

to work (and socialise). So<br />

far as the right to bodily<br />

integrity is concerned,<br />

Paramedics are exposed to people in uncontrolled environments and are unable to socially distance.<br />

it is not violated as the<br />

impugned orders do not<br />

authorise the involuntary<br />

vaccination of anyone. 8<br />

In the Court of Appeal, Bell<br />

P said:<br />

None of those Orders<br />

mandated vaccinations<br />

nor compelled citizens to<br />

be vaccinated, and none of<br />

the Plaintiffs in either set<br />

of proceedings had been<br />

vaccinated…<br />

The Orders recognised that<br />

not all workers may choose<br />

to be vaccinated, and that<br />

choice was respected.<br />

Vaccination was not a<br />

requirement under the<br />

Orders; rather, it was an<br />

element of the conditions<br />

by reference to which a<br />

worker would be permitted<br />

to take advantage of an<br />

exemption, namely to leave<br />

a particular area … or to<br />

enter a particular place… 9<br />

Leeming JA said:<br />

“… “free choice” is a label<br />

which disguises the fact that<br />

many choices commonly<br />

made by people are<br />

influenced by incentives<br />

and burdens, which are not<br />

uncommonly put in place<br />

for the express purpose of<br />

altering behaviour”. 10<br />

Or, as Senator Jaccqui<br />

Lambie said: “You have<br />

freedom to make a<br />

choice but, if you make a<br />

choice, those choices have<br />

consequences.” 11<br />

Larter is a NSW Paramedic<br />

who chooses not to have<br />

the COVID-19 vaccination.<br />

He argued that the orders<br />

went too far. In making<br />

that argument he relied<br />

on the principle of legality<br />

- a principle of statutory<br />

interpretation that says<br />

a statute should not be<br />

held to interfere with<br />

fundamental rights and<br />

freedoms unless that<br />

intention is expressed by<br />

clear language.<br />

Her Honour Justice<br />

Adamson said:<br />

The object of s 7 [of the<br />

Public Health Act 2010<br />

11<br />


(NSW)] is to permit orders<br />

to be made which may, for<br />

the greater good, interfere<br />

with fundamental human<br />

rights, such as freedom<br />

of movement. In these<br />

circumstances, the principle<br />

of legality is not of any real<br />

assistance in discerning<br />

the meaning of particular<br />

provisions…’ 12<br />

The Parliament had<br />

provided that “[t]he<br />

protection of the health<br />

and safety of the public<br />

is to be the paramount<br />

consideration in the<br />

exercise of functions under<br />

this [Public Health] Act.” 13<br />

In doing so the Parliament<br />

had given the Minister<br />

an intentionally broad<br />

power. It is not the role of<br />

the court to assess each<br />

of the options and make<br />

some determination as to<br />

which decision the minister<br />

should have made.<br />

As Beech-Jones J said in<br />

Kassam:<br />

… [I]t is not the Court’s<br />

function to determine the<br />

merits of the exercise of the<br />

power by the Minister …<br />

much less for the Court to<br />

choose between plausible<br />

responses to the risks to<br />

the public health posed by<br />

the Delta variant. It is also<br />

not the Court’s function to<br />

conclusively determine the<br />

effectiveness of some of the<br />

alleged treatments for those<br />

infected or the effectiveness<br />

of COVID-19 vaccines ...<br />

These are all matters of<br />

merits, policy and fact for<br />

the decision maker and<br />

not the Court. Instead, the<br />

Court’s only function is to<br />

determine the legal validity<br />

of the impugned orders<br />

which includes considering<br />

whether it has been shown<br />

that no Minister acting<br />

reasonably could have<br />

considered them necessary<br />

to deal with the identified<br />

risk to public health and its<br />

possible consequences. 14<br />

The Minister might choose<br />

to require certain workers<br />

to be vaccinated or he or<br />

she may take another of<br />

many options. In Larter’s<br />

case, Justice Adamson said:<br />

… The range of decisions<br />

reasonably open to<br />

the Minister is, in this<br />

context, wide. As long as<br />

the decision sought to<br />

be impugned falls within<br />

the ambit of those which<br />

are reasonably open, this<br />

Court has no power to set<br />

it aside on the grounds of<br />

unreasonableness. Each<br />

of the decisions between<br />

available alternatives are<br />

policy questions which<br />

Parliament has decided<br />

are to be matters for the<br />

Minister’s consideration<br />

and decision. 15<br />

Her honour dismissed<br />

all the challenges to the<br />

relevant order requiring<br />

Mr Larter and other<br />

health care workers to be<br />

vaccinated.<br />

Conclusion<br />

This paper focused on<br />

emergency workers,<br />

and in particular health<br />

care workers. Where the<br />

Minister or Chief Health<br />

Officer has exercised a<br />

power under relevant<br />

Public Health or emergency<br />

management legislation to<br />

issue an order or direction<br />

requiring certain workers<br />

to be vaccinated then the<br />

employer has no choice<br />

but to comply. Workers<br />

do retain a choice, there<br />

have been no orders that<br />

‘authorise the involuntary<br />

vaccination of anyone’.<br />

Workers have a choice,<br />

but choices often come<br />

with a cost. In this case a<br />

worker in an area subject<br />

to an order must choose<br />

between the vaccine or<br />

their job. That is a hard<br />

choice, but it is a choice.<br />

Dr Michael Eburn<br />


1. CFMEU v Mt Arthur Coal [<strong>2021</strong>]<br />

FWCFB 6059.<br />

2. Kimber v Sapphire Coast<br />

Community Aged Care Ltd [<strong>2021</strong>]<br />

FWCFB 6015. [138].<br />

3. Larter v Hazzard (No 2) [<strong>2021</strong>]<br />

NSWSC 1451, [83].<br />

4. Kimber v Sapphire Coast<br />

Community Aged Care Ltd [<strong>2021</strong>]<br />

FWCFB 6015, [6].<br />

5. Ibid [54] (Vice President Hatcher<br />

and Commissioner Riordan).<br />

6. Kassam v Hazzard; Henry v<br />

Hazzard [<strong>2021</strong>] NSWSC 1320.<br />

7. Kassam v Hazzard; Henry v<br />

Hazzard [<strong>2021</strong>] NSWCA 299.<br />

8. Kassam v Hazzard; Henry v<br />

Hazzard [<strong>2021</strong>] NSWSC 1320, [9].<br />

9. Kassam v Hazzard; Henry v<br />

Hazzard [<strong>2021</strong>] NSWCA 299, [95]-<br />

[96].<br />

10. Ibid [170].<br />

11. Commonwealth, Parliamentary<br />

Debates, Senate, 22 November<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, 10 (Jacquie Lambie).<br />

12. Larter v Hazard (No 2) [<strong>2021</strong>]<br />

NSWSC 1451, [80].<br />

13. Ibid [83].<br />

14. Kassam v Hazzard; Henry v<br />

Hazzard [<strong>2021</strong>] NSWSC 1320, [7].<br />

15. Larter v Hazzard (No 2) [<strong>2021</strong>]<br />

NSWSC 1451, [86].<br />

This article represents the author’s opinion<br />

based on the law at the time it was written.<br />

This article, is not legal advice and cannot<br />

be relied upon to determine any person’s<br />

legal position. How the law applies to any<br />

specific situation or event depends on all the<br />

circumstances.<br />

If you need to determine legal rights and<br />

obligations with respect to any event<br />

that has happened, or some action that<br />

is proposed, you must consult a lawyer<br />

for advice based on the particular<br />

circumstances. Trade unions, professional<br />

indemnity insurers and community legal<br />

centres can all be a source for initial legal<br />

advice.<br />

This article has been published with<br />

permission from the author.<br />

www.ausemergencyservices.com.au 12

Five mistakes we make that can<br />

precipitate the path to burnout<br />

13<br />


Burnout has certainly become a<br />

topic of interest in recent times.<br />

It is palpable in workplaces,<br />

accentuated and brought into stark<br />

light during the COVID-19 pandemic<br />

but real and present well before<br />

the virus infiltrated our services,<br />

our communities and our lives. No<br />

matter the role we play, there are<br />

mistakes we can make that can<br />

precipitate burnout in our workplaces<br />

and simple shifts in perspective and<br />

practice can prevent the decline.<br />

Mistake Number 1<br />

It’s not about me<br />

When our work involves a strong<br />

social purpose, this can go hand<br />

in hand with the belief that self<br />

sacrifice is optimal and that anything<br />

else would be self-serving or even<br />

selfish. Selflessness may be worn<br />

as a badge of honour and set the<br />

tone for workplace cultures and<br />

expectations placed on ourselves<br />

and each other. Whilst these are<br />

laudable qualities, they can lead to a<br />

blurring of boundaries between work<br />

and life, saying yes when overloaded<br />

and overwhelmed and, ultimately, to<br />

declining health and wellbeing. Crises<br />

are inevitable as part of the human<br />

condition and of work in emergency<br />

services.<br />

The most powerful thing we can all<br />

do to be of service to others in an<br />

optimal and sustainable way is to<br />

prioritise our wellbeing.<br />

Mistake Number 2<br />

It’s out of my control<br />

There are stressors and challenges<br />

inherent to work in emergency<br />

services, some that we can influence<br />

directly or indirectly and others that<br />

we cannot control. Feeling a lack of<br />

control is a risk factor for burnout<br />

and if we expend time and emotional<br />

energy railing against factors outside<br />

of our control that are sources of<br />

frustration, our wellbeing will suffer.<br />

This can create a domino effect<br />

through negatively impacting on<br />

others in our workplace.<br />

Take control of what you can,<br />

influence what you can and let go of<br />

what you cannot control and enjoy<br />

the relief that comes from that.<br />

Mistake Number 3<br />

I don’t have the time<br />

In our hyper-connected culture of<br />

busy-ness, we can feel like we never<br />

have enough time. When we do have<br />

time, we might not have the energy<br />

or motivation to proactively take<br />

care of our wellbeing. If we do not<br />

prioritise wellbeing and are on the<br />

hamster wheel peddling away madly,<br />

we adopt habits to help us cope<br />

that contribute to our decline like<br />

skipping lunch and trading sleep for<br />

work time (or lying awake ruminating<br />

over work challenges). A workplace<br />

in which many people are running<br />

on empty and feeling overwhelmed<br />

is one that is prone to conflict, to<br />

reduced productivity, absenteeism<br />

and staff turnover. This places even<br />

more pressure on finite resources,<br />

including time - the very definition of<br />

a vicious cycle in action.<br />

Choose to invest a small amount of<br />

time on your wellbeing each day and,<br />

as leaders, to normalise, promote,<br />

support and lead by example in our<br />

workplaces to break this vicious cycle.<br />

Mistake Number 4<br />

We don’t have the resources<br />

Investing in staff development,<br />

particularly in building personal and<br />

team resilience and our skills as<br />

leaders in fostering resilience at work<br />

can fall into the ‘nice to do’ list (or<br />

not even be on the radar). However<br />

workplace stress and burnout bring<br />

with them substantial health care and<br />

organisational costs that stem from<br />

absenteeism, reduced productivity<br />

and staff turnover. In fact, this was<br />

estimated by the World Economic<br />

Forum in 2016 as costing the global<br />

economy more than half a trillion<br />

dollars per year (AUD equivalent).<br />

Investing in workplace wellbeing,<br />

in growing and fostering resilient<br />

individuals and teams simply makes<br />

good sense.<br />

Mistake Number 5<br />

We’ve ‘done’ resilience/self care/<br />

wellbeing…<br />

The challenges we face around<br />

workforce wellbeing are entrenched<br />

in cultures and norms formed over<br />

many generations. Our beliefs,<br />

systems, habits and processes are<br />

not going to change without a strong<br />

commitment, a belief that change is<br />

achievable and with a clear strategy,<br />

consistent effort, learning and<br />

continuous improvement over this<br />

and coming generations. There are<br />

no quick fixes or magic bullets here<br />

and no single intervention is going<br />

to get us to the place where we have<br />

new norms where the resilience of<br />

our people is valued as highly as<br />

delivering on our mission.<br />

Meaningful, concerted and sustained<br />

action is needed to reduce the<br />

prevalence and consequences of<br />

burnout in our workplaces and our<br />

lives.<br />

We need to reject burnout and<br />

set our sights on transforming our<br />

organisational cultures and practice.<br />

Forging a new path ahead to vibrant<br />

sustainable organisations filled with<br />

passionate, compassionate people<br />

with a strong social purpose who<br />

are supported to thrive, enjoy good<br />

health and be fulfilled in their work.<br />

Author:<br />

Alison Coughlan<br />

Alison Coughlan is the author of<br />

The Health Hazard: Take control,<br />

restore wellbeing and optimise<br />

impact. Alison’s work draws on her<br />

own experience of and recovery<br />

from burnout and provide simple,<br />

practical and powerful tools to<br />

chart a path to both resilience and<br />

impact.<br />

Find out more at<br />

www.alisoncoughlan.com<br />

www.ausemergencyservices.com.au 14



AROUND issues OF safety, respect and trust<br />

Words: Brooke Turnbull

In October 2020, Ambulance Victoria<br />

sought an independent commission<br />

review into its practices after a<br />

number of bullying, harassment and<br />

victimisation reports were brought<br />

forward to its management.<br />

According to the Victorian Equal<br />

Opportunity and Equal Rights<br />

Commission, the review examined<br />

the “nature, extent, drivers and<br />

impact of discrimination, sexual<br />

harassment, victimisation and<br />

bullying” that was experienced<br />

by both current and former staff<br />

members as well as volunteers<br />

working for Ambulance Victoria.<br />

It also examined the adequacy of<br />

the response and measures put<br />

in place to prevent and eliminate<br />

the harassment within Ambulance<br />

Victoria. Finally, it aimed to identify<br />

leading strategies to ensure a<br />

“safe, healthy, equal and inclusive<br />

workplace that supports and<br />

promotes positive workplace systems,<br />

values and behaviours, in accordance<br />

with the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.”<br />

On 30 November <strong>2021</strong>, <strong>Vol</strong>ume<br />

I of the details of the findings<br />

and recommendations of the<br />

independent review was delivered<br />

and published. The inclusions<br />

within this first volume of findings<br />

were of the “nature, extent, drivers<br />

and impacts of discrimination,<br />

sexual harassment, bullying and<br />

victimisation at Ambulance Victoria”,<br />

as well as the adequacy of response<br />

to reports and complaints and how<br />

safe and respected current and<br />

former employees and volunteers for<br />

Ambulance Victoria feel within their<br />

organisation’s workplace.<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>ume II is expected to be delivered<br />

in March 2022 and will include the<br />

findings of the independent review<br />

into representation, equal pay, and<br />

progression, flexibility, accessibility<br />

and support as well as organisational<br />

capability, development into<br />

leadership and continued<br />

improvement.<br />

While the review into the conduct<br />

and response of Ambulance<br />

Victoria in regards to the complaints<br />

of harassment found that they<br />

implemented a range of measures<br />

that aimed to provide the<br />

organisation with a safe and inclusive<br />

working environment; due to the fact<br />

that Ambulance Victoria’s measures<br />

are still maturing, the review found<br />

that the organisation is currently not<br />

fully complying with the positive duty<br />

in the Act.<br />

As a result of this non-compliance,<br />

there was an overwhelming<br />

response to the review, with 47.2% of<br />

respondents reporting discrimination,<br />

17.4% of respondents reporting<br />

sexual harassment, 34.5% of<br />

respondents reporting victimisation<br />

and a huge 52.4% of respondents<br />

reporting experiences of bullying<br />

within the workplace. Reports of<br />

incivility, everyday sexism and other<br />

everyday forms of disrespect were<br />

also common within the findings.<br />

Ambulance Victoria has taken<br />

important steps in order to ensure<br />

that the organisation is responding<br />

correctly to its report and complaint<br />

system. The review found that few of<br />

the survey respondents went through<br />

with a formal complaint process and<br />

those that did found little satisfaction<br />

with the process and outcomes. The<br />

review found that these low levels<br />

of reporting is limiting Ambulance<br />

Victoria’s ability to identify and hold<br />

perpetrators accountable, the review<br />

found that moving forward the<br />

responsibility of prioritising measures<br />

that create a safer environment must<br />

be upheld by Ambulance Victoria.<br />

The recommendations from the<br />

review included in <strong>Vol</strong>ume I include<br />

adopting a new set of organisational<br />

values, security audits of work<br />

environments, establishing a new<br />

model for reporting complaints,<br />

and developing a comprehensive<br />

prevention plan among other<br />

recommendations.<br />

52.4% of respondents reported experiences of bullying within the workplace. Image credit: Ambulance<br />

Victoria Facebook<br />

Recommendations for further<br />

implementation involving pay,<br />

equality and devlopment will be<br />

available in <strong>Vol</strong>ume II of the review to<br />

be released in March 2022.<br />

Ambulance Victoria have expressed<br />

deep regret for the harm that<br />

has been suffered as a result of<br />

discrimination, sexual harassment,<br />

bullying, and victimisation. They<br />

have pledged to begin to work on<br />

the recommendations given by the<br />

review in November <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Ambulance Victoria’s CEO, Professor<br />

Tony Walker ASM, stated that<br />

although the report is hard to<br />

read, meaningful change will only<br />

happen through hearing, feeling and<br />

acknowledging the wrongs that have<br />

occured. His message within the<br />

first report is detailed and direct in<br />

regards to the deficiencies that have<br />

been highlighted by the independent<br />

review. His commitment to achieving<br />

change is clear.<br />

17<br />


“ Our immediate priority is supporting<br />

our people and strengthening the<br />

systemsthat will change their experience.<br />

This includes the establishment of a<br />

dedicated Workplace Equality and<br />

Organisational Reform Division, a<br />

restorative engagement scheme to<br />

support acknowledgment of harm and<br />

initiatives to immediately improveharm<br />

prevention and overhauling our<br />

complaints system.”<br />

The Chair of Ambulance Victoria, Mr<br />

Ken Lay calls the report both painful<br />

and confronting. He states, “The<br />

breadth and depth of issues of incivility,<br />

disrespect, discrimination, sexual<br />

harassment, bullying and victimisation<br />

in our workplace are deeply disturbing.”<br />

He goes on to restate the boards<br />

committment to working alongside<br />

the CEO and Executive Committee<br />

to “purge the organisation of the<br />

destructive elements of our culture<br />

and to improve and safeguard our<br />

workplace for all those who work at<br />

Ambulance Victoria.” In his message<br />

within <strong>Vol</strong>ume One of the review he<br />

says, “This board will be judged on<br />

our success in honouring the courage<br />

of those who have come forward by<br />

making Ambulance Victoria a better<br />

place to work.”<br />

The Victorian Equal Opportunity<br />

and Human Rights Commission is<br />

committed to remaining involved in<br />

assisting Ambulance Victoria with the<br />

implementation of these measures<br />

and a formal audit will be conducted<br />

after the recommendations in<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>ume II have been implemented.<br />

This audit is expected to be<br />

conducted in 2023, a year on from<br />

the release of <strong>Vol</strong>ume II.<br />

The commission acknowledges the<br />

contributors to the review, both<br />

current and former employees and<br />

volunteers for Ambulance Victoria.<br />

Those who came forward with their<br />

stories of workplace harassment have<br />

demonstrated real bravery.<br />

For more information about the<br />

Independent review into workplace<br />

equality by the Victorian Equal<br />

Opportunity and Human Rights<br />

Commission visit their website.<br />

To read <strong>Vol</strong>ume 1 of the Independent<br />

Review into Workplace Equality<br />

in Ambulance Victoria you can<br />

download it here.<br />




















SYSTEM<br />

























Lets<br />

‘<br />

Talk<br />

Mental Health<br />

with Associate Professor<br />

Erin Cotter-Smith<br />

A fresh start…<br />

I recently made a big change. After almost<br />

two decades in academia, I accepted a<br />

CEO role for a not-for-profit organisation<br />

that closely aligned with my personal<br />

values and passion for supporting mental<br />

health and wellbeing.<br />

I will be approaching the new year with a<br />

fresh start!<br />

Behavioural science has long attempted<br />

to explain our desire for change; but more<br />

recently we are starting to understand<br />

a phenomenon called the “fresh start<br />

effect”. Coined by a group of researchers<br />

from Harvard University, it identified<br />

that our “fresh start” behaviours – things<br />

like taking out new gym memberships<br />

and buying diet cookbooks – all increase<br />

following temporal landmarks (e.g., the<br />

start of a new week, month, year, or<br />

events like our birthdays).<br />

When I first read about this, my initial<br />

response was, “uh, yeah, no kidding?”.<br />

However, on further reflection, it’s<br />

interesting and has serious implications<br />

for how we think about taking on<br />

behaviour change.<br />

Of note, the researchers highlighted<br />

how these milestones act as the start of<br />

new mental accounting periods which<br />

help us to relegate past imperfections<br />

to a previous period and to take a big<br />

picture view of our lives; in essence, they<br />

act as triggers for motivating aspirational<br />

behaviour.<br />

In other words, “fresh starts” help us to<br />

forget about what we didn’t do last week/<br />

month/year, which gives us a clean slate.<br />

19<br />


I love that idea. It didn’t matter that I<br />

hadn’t been into the gym last week (OK,<br />

last month; OK, I can’t remember when I<br />

was last in the gym). I had a clean slate to<br />

start again next week!<br />

It allowed us to be imperfect, to make<br />

mistakes, but still move forward with a<br />

fresh start and new mindset.<br />

And the beauty is, we can choose which<br />

milestones we use to act as triggers for<br />

these fresh starts! Sure, we can use the<br />

big traditional ones like New Years Eve, or<br />

a birthday. But I am choosing my new job.<br />

“In fresh start moments, people feel more<br />

distant from their past failures,” says Katy<br />

Milkman, one of the lead researchers<br />

in this work. With the downward pull of<br />

failures behind us, it’s much easier to<br />

move forward.<br />

How to make the “fresh start effect” work<br />

for you<br />

While the fresh start effect can be helpful<br />

for giving us that extra “oomph” that we<br />

may need to make positive change, we<br />

need to be careful that we aren’t looking<br />

for a fresh start every other day! We don’t<br />

want to be starting a new diet each week<br />

or trying a new job each month. That can<br />

be the dark side of the fresh start effect;<br />

it can give us a repeating sense of false<br />

hope.<br />

The key is to use fresh starts selectively<br />

and not too frequently, and most<br />

importantly, to finish what you started.<br />

It’s also important to remember that<br />

a fresh start doesn’t have to involve<br />

changing every aspect of who you<br />

are, what you do, and when you do it!<br />

Sometimes, just making one small change<br />

will be enough to inspire a happier and<br />

healthier version of yourself.<br />

Personality isn’t permanent<br />

In his book, Personality Isn’t Permanent,<br />

Dr. Benjamin Hardy argues that you can<br />

have a fresh start by changing yourself<br />

anytime and in any way.<br />

As we gain more life experience, interact<br />

with different people, battle our way<br />

through hardships, fall in love, fall out of<br />

love, have kids, don’t have kids, get a job,<br />

change jobs, we change so much. New<br />

experiences, obstacles, and paths are<br />

constantly being explored which causes<br />

us to grow.<br />

Our personality isn’t permanent, and this<br />

is a good thing! It allows us to adapt and<br />

evolve and to make the most of the fresh<br />

starts that come our way.<br />

Science says we become happier as we<br />

get older and it’s likely because we finally<br />

figure out what matters in life. And so, if<br />

you’re looking to discover how to start<br />

over, just know that you can get a fresh<br />

start this very second if you decide to. You<br />

don’t need a big epiphany or a big “A HA”<br />

moment to get started.<br />

The power lies in your next move.<br />

Are you ready for a fresh start? Big or<br />

small?<br />

Give yourself permission to change<br />

If you just answered yes, then you need<br />

to give yourself permission to make that<br />

change! That means accepting that the<br />

existing version of you isn’t the healthiest<br />

or happiest you. It also means being ready<br />

to step up and make that fresh start.<br />

In the beginning, your brain may ask you,<br />

Associate Professor<br />

Erin Cotter-Smith<br />

PhD, MPH, MClinEpi<br />

Course Coordinator<br />

School of Medical and<br />

Health Sciences<br />

Edith Cowan University<br />

“What are you doing? This isn’t you!” “Are<br />

you sure you want to do this?” “Why are<br />

you stepping outside of your nice warm<br />

comfort zone?” You’ll need to know how<br />

to silence those thoughts. You might<br />

feel even guilty or find it challenging to<br />

let some habits fall by the wayside. But<br />

ultimately, to take on this fresh start,<br />

you’re going to have to make a switch<br />

towards a new version of yourself. You<br />

need to let go of old habits that just<br />

haven’t been working for you. This newer<br />

version of yourself is what will make you<br />

happier and healthier.<br />

I know – I had to work through all these<br />

thoughts when I walked away from a<br />

twenty-year career that I knew and was<br />

comfortable in to start something brand<br />

new. I am equal parts terrified and<br />

exhilarated!<br />

But I didn’t listen to thoughts that<br />

surfaced about how I could fail, or how it<br />

was all too hard. Deep down, I knew it was<br />

time for change. And future me will be<br />

so grateful for the changes I have started<br />

making today!<br />

If a part of you feels the same way after<br />

reading this, I hope you find the courage<br />

for a fresh start, despite the fear!<br />

A final sign off…<br />

As I take on my fresh start, one of the<br />

things I need to say goodbye to is this<br />

column. I am handing it over to someone<br />

I both respect and trust, my colleague and<br />

dear friend Dr Lisa Holmes.<br />

So, for one final time, I wish you all good<br />

mental health!<br />

www.ausemergencyservices.com.au 20

Taking protective action<br />

during floods and storms<br />

Public safety messages for floods and storms will be<br />

broadcast on ABC Radio this severe weather season, backed<br />

by Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC research.<br />

Comprising of 26 different public messages, the new<br />

Community Service Announcements (CSAs) are the firstever<br />

nationally agreed set of public flood and storm risk<br />

messages, having been endorsed in doctrine by AFAC.<br />

This project resulted in a final set of CSAs designed to<br />

provide communities with information and advice about<br />

protective actions they can take when threatened or<br />

impacted by floods and severe storms.<br />

Utilising the findings from the CRC’s Flood risk<br />

communication project, the development of the 26<br />

nationally consistent CSAs was led by Hon A/Prof Mel<br />

Taylor at Macquarie University. The project was highly<br />

collaborative and made possible by the creation of<br />

a National Flood CSA Working Group, comprised of<br />

representatives from the Bureau of Meteorology and<br />

State Emergency Services from all states and territories<br />

with responsibility for response in floods. The project was<br />

facilitated and supported by AFAC through the AFAC SES<br />

Community Safety Group.<br />

Floodwaters cover Rosalie Village, Brisbane, Qld. Credit: Angus Veitch (CC BY-NC 2.0)

“Developing nationally consistent<br />

flood messaging is a significant<br />

achievement for the emergency<br />

services sector,” said AFAC Director<br />

Risk and Resilience, Amanda Leck.<br />

“These messages will minimise<br />

harm and save lives by<br />

ensuring that the ABC is able to<br />

communicate key messages to<br />

impacted communities during<br />

floods. The fact that these<br />

messages are based on research<br />

and evidence has meant that<br />

emergency services agencies across<br />

Australia have been willing and<br />

able to collaborate to achieve these<br />

nationally consistent messages.”<br />

Flood CSAs are used by the ABC<br />

before, during and after floods and<br />

severe storms for radio broadcasts<br />

that are typically around 30<br />

seconds in duration. They contain<br />

high-level, general advice and<br />

support to communities with the<br />

aim of increasing public safety in<br />

floods and storms. They are also<br />

often linked together to form<br />

longer public information segments<br />

to provide breaks in rolling<br />

emergency broadcasting.<br />

Although the ABC had an existing<br />

set of CSAs for floods and storms,<br />

they could only be used in certain<br />

combinations of states or territories<br />

with the potential for confusion.<br />

An important requirement of this<br />

project was therefore to produce a<br />

comprehensive single harmonised<br />

set of CSAs that the ABC can use<br />

nationally.<br />

“The best way to reach audiences<br />

is by giving simple, consistent<br />

messages and delivering them<br />

regularly,” said Patrick Hession,<br />

Emergency Broadcast Lead at the<br />

ABC.<br />

“For example, warning people<br />

about the dangers of driving<br />

through flood water is a goal that<br />

all agencies are working towards.<br />

It makes sense to simplify the<br />

message so that a person receives<br />

the same message no matter which<br />

side of a border they are on.”<br />

The development of the CSAs<br />

comprised three stages:<br />

1. Scoping<br />

Consensus decision-making was<br />

used to identify and prioritise<br />

message topics and content areas.<br />

The goal of this stage was to reach<br />

consensus on the content areas and<br />

message elements to be included in<br />

the CSA set.<br />

2. Co-development and iterative<br />

review<br />

The next step was to co-create<br />

messages and conduct iterative<br />

reviews to produce a provisional set<br />

of CSA messages for public testing.<br />

The draft CSA messages went through<br />

three rounds of review with CSA<br />

Working Group members and ABC<br />

representatives until a set of agreed<br />

messages was finalised.<br />

3. Testing and finalising<br />

The CSA messages were then tested<br />

through a series of focus groups with<br />

the public and a round of review with<br />

the CSA Working Group to refine the<br />

messages based on public feedback to<br />

produce the final set of CSAs.<br />

“This process has given me a much<br />

greater understanding of the thought<br />

processes that people might go<br />

through when they are making<br />

potentially risky decisions,” said Mr<br />

Hession.<br />

“This led to the development of<br />

messages that can be broadcast at<br />

times where people will be making<br />

these decisions. Messages were<br />

informed by research to better argue<br />

against the temptation or motivation<br />

that people might have to make risky<br />

choices. It’s been a great experience.”<br />

At the end of the project, a final<br />

set of 26 flood CSAs was approved,<br />

including messages that can be used<br />

in all phases of floods and storms in<br />

the context of escalating and rolling<br />

emergency broadcasts on ABC local<br />

radio.<br />

“This project enabled me to use our<br />

CRC research findings and combine<br />

them with the expertise of a great<br />

team of emergency communications<br />

to produce messages that resonate<br />

with the public and will hopefully lead<br />

to greater public safety in floods and<br />

storms,” said A/Prof Taylor.<br />

“As a researcher, it has been a great<br />

experience to work with such an<br />

engaged set of stakeholders and endusers<br />

to translate research findings<br />

into outputs that will help protect<br />

communities. It was really exciting<br />

to hear our messages produced<br />

professionally and slotted into the<br />

ABC emergency intro and outro<br />

wording, ready for use!”<br />

Six CSAs relate to different risks<br />

and contexts associated with<br />

driving in floods, and four relate to<br />

playing in floodwater—these are<br />

the behaviours most associated<br />

with flood fatalities. A further<br />

four relate to animal ownership,<br />

and four provide information<br />

about the meanings or nature of<br />

warnings and alerts. The remainder<br />

include issues around home<br />

preparation, safety considerations<br />

when cleaning up after flooding,<br />

information about what to do if you<br />

are trapped by rising floodwater<br />

or are considering staying when<br />

advised to leave, and messages<br />

about flash flooding and the<br />

implications of flooding upstream.<br />

The full suite of CSAs has been<br />

recorded by the ABC and has now<br />

been distributed to ABC Radio<br />

teams around Australia. They are<br />

available for use by the ABC’s local<br />

on-air teams when appropriate.<br />

“With the early start to flooding<br />

events, these CSAs couldn’t have<br />

been completed at a better time!”<br />

said Mr Hession.<br />

The full set of CSAs are available<br />

in the AFAC doctrine, National<br />

Community Safety Announcements<br />

for flood risk communication.<br />

Although the CSAs were created<br />

in response to a request by the<br />

ABC, and with their involvement,<br />

there is the opportunity for other<br />

broadcasters to use them too.<br />

Those interested should contact<br />

Melissa Peppin at AFAC for more<br />

information: Melissa.Peppin@afac.<br />

com.au.<br />

Read more about the development<br />

of the CSAs in the Research into<br />

practice brief, Development of a<br />

national set of Community Service<br />

Announcements for flood risk, and<br />

the final report.<br />

The Research into practice brief<br />

series provides concise summaries<br />

of the Flood risk communication<br />

research findings for end-users and<br />

practitioners. Download the full<br />

series here.



Author: Brooke Turnbull<br />

December 1st marked the beginning of Summer and a grim reminder of the<br />

second anniversary of the Black Summer bushfires of 2019/2020. We have a<br />

closer look at the connection between this catastrophic disaster and climate<br />

change and what has happened to the communities that were affected.

The Black Summer bushfires caused<br />

over 18.6 million hectares of destruction,<br />

cost the Australian economy over $103<br />

billion dollars and tragically cost the lives<br />

of just under 500 people through direct<br />

and indirect causes, as hundreds of fires<br />

raged across Australia.<br />

These fires were particularly lethal on<br />

the southeastern coast of New South<br />

Wales and into Victoria. This was a<br />

national tragedy, with homes and<br />

livelihoods lost. It also heralded a call to<br />

arms for Australia to discuss and fight<br />

against, what the majority of the country<br />

now believe, the effects of climate<br />

change on our country.<br />

In the lead up to this anniversary, the<br />

conversation had been dominated<br />

by the COP26 UN Climate Change<br />

Conference held in November of this<br />

year.<br />

The continued push from the public to<br />

have the government take responsibility<br />

for climate action right now to ensure<br />

our land and country is protected<br />

for future generations meant that<br />

the COP26 conference was a highly<br />

anticipated event.<br />

The conference was attended, en masse,<br />

by delegates of almost 200 countries<br />

around the world. It’s aim is to continue<br />

toward the goal of net zero by 2050<br />

and to ensure that global temperatures<br />

do not rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius.<br />

After two weeks in Glasgow, all countries<br />

had agreed on individual targets which<br />

means this is within reach. However, it<br />

is important to note that this will only<br />

be achieved if all countries that pledged,<br />

stand by their agreement.<br />

With the phasing out of fossil fuels high<br />

on the agenda nearly 200 countries<br />

pledged to phase out coal power by<br />

2030. Australia did not sign this pledge.<br />

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison was<br />

not supportive of the requirements<br />

that Australia would have to adjust in<br />

order to hit the necessary targets. The<br />

position of the current government is<br />

that Australia would support economic<br />

growth alongside environmental goals.<br />

This means, that, while Mr Morrison did<br />

not pledge to increase Australia’s shortterm<br />

2030 targets, there have been<br />

commitments made to ensure Australia’s<br />

export commodities take responsibility<br />

for conservation and emissions are<br />

in line with the current government’s<br />

commitments. He did acknowledge<br />

that climate change was a great threat.<br />

The opposition leader, Mr Anthony<br />

Albanese, has criticised Mr Morrison<br />

for this stance, and has pledged to<br />

lower emission targets further for 2030.<br />

Australia received much criticism globally<br />

for its stance on climate policy.<br />

Also highly critical of the government’s<br />

emissions target pledge are the<br />

Emergency Leaders for Climate Action<br />

(ELCA). Emergency Leaders for Climate<br />

Action is a coalition of 34 former fire<br />

and emergency service leaders from<br />

every fire service in Australia, a number<br />

of SES, national parks, and forestry<br />

agencies, and former Directors General<br />

of Emergency Management Australia.<br />

ELCA members are deeply concerned<br />

about worsening natural disaster risks<br />

driven by extreme weather directly<br />

resulting from climate change. The<br />

ECLA came together in 2019 to highlight<br />

the catastrophic connection between<br />

climate change and damaging weather<br />

events and natural disasters.<br />

The ECLA together with the Bushfire<br />

Survivors for Climate Action, presided<br />

over by Ms Jo Dodds, challenged Mr<br />

Morrison on emissions targets, calling<br />

the 2050 goal “vague”. In addition, Ms<br />

Dodds has pleaded with the Australian<br />

government to recognise the full effect<br />

that climate change has had on the<br />

land, leading to the culmination of the<br />

devastating 2019/2020 fire season. Ms<br />

Dodds called on the government for<br />

immediate change, during the COP26<br />

conference, saying “We need hope. A<br />

vague 2050 target does not bring us<br />

hope, it does not bring us the emission<br />

cuts we need. It brings us only more<br />

despair.”<br />

Members and supporters of the Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action. Image Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action<br />

This sentiment is echoed by the ELCA.<br />

At the COP26 the ECLA took out a<br />

full page advertisement in British<br />

newspaper, The Times. The purpose<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

25<br />


a struggle for many across these<br />

communities, they acknowledge that<br />

they are living in a time where people<br />

have had to dig deep for each other and<br />

many have witnessed or participated in<br />

true Australian mateship throughout this<br />

period of intense change.<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>unteers helping to rebuild in New South Wales 2020<br />

of the advertisement was to remind<br />

everyone of the devastation caused by<br />

the fires and to plead with world leaders<br />

to address emission targets so that this<br />

type of devastation doesn’t become<br />

commonplace.<br />

Former Fire Commissioner of Fire &<br />

Rescue NSW and founder of ELCA, Greg<br />

Mullins stated,<br />

“Our ad – which will be seen by many<br />

influential delegates at COP26 – sends a<br />

message that we need drastic emissions<br />

cuts this decade to protect life, property,<br />

and the environment. Unfortunately, in<br />

Australia, our government seems intent<br />

on making things worse by clinging to<br />

polluting fossil fuels.<br />

“Time has run out and there can be no<br />

more excuses or meaningless slogans. It’s<br />

time to wake up and smell the smoke.”<br />

According to scientific experts the<br />

weather that led to the Black Summer<br />

bushfires may be the expected<br />

average by 2040 if we do not reduce<br />

our emissions. The ECLA is calling for<br />

Australia to reduce it’s emissions by 75%<br />

and achieve net zero by 2035.<br />

For those who experienced the<br />

2019/2020 bushfire season directly, the<br />

process of rebuilding is still very much<br />

ongoing. Many survivors of the bushfires<br />

feel forgotten and overlooked.<br />

As reported by The Guardian, while<br />

nearly 1000 homes were destroyed in<br />

the worst hit towns on the South Coast,<br />

only around 7% of those homes have, so<br />

far, been rebuilt.<br />

With the shortage of labour brought<br />

on by COVID-19, as well as a global<br />

material shortage due to economic and<br />

trade strains with China, many of the<br />

community are still living in temporary<br />

homes while construction continues at<br />

a slow pace, or in some case, is halted<br />

altogether.<br />

While the red-tape process has been<br />

The Summer of <strong>2021</strong> is undoubtedly<br />

different. We have seen a cool and wet<br />

change, with La Niña in full effect as<br />

rain lashes across the east coasts and<br />

towards the middle of the nation.<br />

This has, inevitably, brought with it its<br />

own set of challenges, as northern inland<br />

New South Wales and Queensland<br />

has experienced intense flooding. The<br />

outlook is to expect more of the same.<br />

This is yet another extreme weather<br />

event, one of many that we will no doubt<br />

continue to see in the future should<br />

we not take the global climate science<br />

seriously.<br />

For south coast New South Wales, there<br />

have been some positives to the wet<br />

weather. The bush is regenerating and<br />

the grass turning back to green from<br />

the dense and barren brown it’s been.<br />

Wildlife are returning to their natural<br />

habitats as the national parks continue<br />

to recover. With borders opening up<br />

again, after the restrictions put into<br />

effect due to the COVID-19 virus, many<br />

in the area are looking forward to a<br />

tourism boost.<br />

The Black Summer bushfires left<br />

an indelible mark on the Australian<br />

people and the landscape. Those<br />

communities that were affected are still<br />

slowly rebuilding both physically and<br />

mentally. Climate change will continue<br />

its unrelenting assault on this nation’s<br />

environment if we don’t take action. With<br />

solid and tenable targets, like the ones<br />

being fought for by the ELCA and the<br />

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, we<br />

can hope that future fire seasons don’t<br />

come close to such catastrophic levels<br />

again.<br />


GAS & CIVIL<br />


Call today 0413 469 976 sam@proplumbinggasandcivil.com Parkinson Queensland 4115<br />

www.ausemergencyservices.com.au 26

Introducing Natural Hazards<br />

Research Australia<br />

By Dr Richard Thornton<br />

CEO, Natural Hazards Research Australia<br />

Australia has a new national centre for natural<br />

hazards resilience and disaster risk reduction<br />

– Natural Hazards Research Australia. New<br />

research is now underway, with plenty<br />

of exciting funding opportunities already<br />


A<br />

new chapter in Australia’s<br />

national natural hazards<br />

research began in July <strong>2021</strong>,<br />

with the establishment of Natural<br />

Hazards Research Australia.<br />

Natural Hazards Research Australia<br />

(the Centre) is now up and running,<br />

extending 18 years of worldleading<br />

collaborative research<br />

from the Bushfire and Natural<br />

Hazards CRC and its predecessor,<br />

the Bushfire CRC. Initially, funded<br />

by $85m over 10 years from the<br />

Australian Government along<br />

with contributions from partners,<br />

the Centre’s role is to work with<br />

partners and the community to<br />

produce usable research that<br />

contributes to zero preventable<br />

deaths, creates well-prepared<br />

and resilient communities, and<br />

translates into use and action.<br />

With the impacts of natural hazards<br />

in Australia predicted to become<br />

more extreme and frequent in<br />

the future, this an important<br />

opportunity to produce natural<br />

hazard research that underpins<br />

Australia’s National Disaster<br />

Risk Reduction Framework with<br />

the best possible evidence and<br />

knowledge we have available.<br />

The establishment of the Centre<br />

represents a great step forward, as<br />

Australia continues to use research<br />

to think strategically about how we<br />

make communities, as well as our<br />

built and natural environments, safe<br />

and sustainable to the effects of<br />

natural hazards.<br />

Since beginning in July <strong>2021</strong>, we<br />

have been busy working with the<br />

government and our partners<br />

(new and prospective) to develop a<br />

strategic natural hazards research<br />

agenda for Australia. We have also<br />

been establishing all the necessary<br />

programs and processes that a<br />

national centre needs – governance<br />

and staff, nodes in states and<br />

territories, initial research<br />

programs, an education program,<br />

funding opportunities, fresh<br />

branding, a media presence and<br />

much more.<br />

You can learn about everything<br />

we’ve been doing on our website:<br />

www.naturalhazards.com.au.<br />

Governance and location<br />

The Centre operates as a notfor-profit<br />

company, limited by<br />

guarantee and registered as a<br />

charity through the Australian<br />

Charities and Not-for-profit<br />

Commission. There is a refresh of<br />

the Board underway, which will be<br />

completed by mid-2022.<br />

We are establishing new advisory<br />

structures to ensure that the voices<br />

of our end-user partners are at<br />

the forefront of all we do. We are<br />

setting up several advisory panels<br />

that will inform our Board and<br />

guide the direction of the Centre,<br />

including an End-User Advisory<br />

Panel and an International Research<br />

Advisory Panel. There will be<br />

refreshed Board committees that<br />

will contain external advisors to<br />

ensure that the Board is hearing a<br />

wider view.

Operating as a national entity, the<br />

Centre will not have a ‘headquarters’<br />

as such. To ensure we have the best<br />

engagement with our partners, we<br />

will have staff established in ‘nodes’<br />

within several major cities. This<br />

model will ensure that work remains<br />

grounded and relevant to activities<br />

in each state and territory, as well as<br />

nationally. We currently have nodes<br />

in Queensland, New South Wales and<br />

Victoria. We will continue discussions<br />

with other states and territories to<br />

build on this.<br />

Partners at the core of our research<br />

Our research approach is highly<br />

collaborative and based on partner<br />

needs – we conduct research with<br />

our partners, for use by our partners<br />

and the community. We will build<br />

on the highly successful processes<br />

and practices of the previous CRCs,<br />

which have seen the findings of<br />

every major research project used by<br />

our partners for the benefits of the<br />

community – representing a morethan-six-fold<br />

return on every dollar<br />

invested.<br />

As such, we are having regular<br />

discussions with key stakeholders<br />

across the natural hazard sector to<br />

develop a portfolio of partners to<br />

guide our initial research program<br />

and ongoing priorities. This includes<br />

state and territory government<br />

agencies, local governments and<br />

associations, as well as organisations<br />

from the private and not-for-profit<br />

sectors, industry partners, research<br />

institutions and international<br />

research bodies. This multi-party<br />

engagement ensures that the<br />

research outcomes we produce<br />

will be of most use to as many<br />

Australians as possible, helping keep<br />

our communities, landscapes and<br />

infrastructure safe from the impacts<br />

of natural hazards.<br />

Australia’s national capability can only<br />

be formed through the investment<br />

of partners who share our mission of<br />

creating a safer and more disasterresilient<br />

society. We are continuing to<br />

seek new partners and you can reach<br />

us at office@naturalhazards.com.au<br />

to begin contributing to Australia’s<br />

natural hazard resilience.<br />

Towards final research priorities<br />

One of the key features of the Centre<br />

is that its research program will be<br />

flexible from the beginning. We will be<br />

redefining our research plans every<br />

year to ensure that we are addressing<br />

the most relevant and current issues<br />

for our partners. The portfolio of<br />

projects will include short-, mediumand<br />

longer-term projects, enabling<br />

us to meet the immediate needs of<br />

the nation as well as committing to<br />

solving the more complex issues.<br />

We began developing initial national<br />

research priorities by conducting<br />

an extensive series of sector-wide<br />

workshops with end-users and widely<br />

collecting feedback from research<br />

partners and others in August 2020.<br />

These workshops helped us examine<br />

the key research needs for the nation<br />

that we are now using to finalise our<br />

research priorities.<br />

The priorities – grouped around eight<br />

themes – will shape the ever-evolving<br />

research program for the Centre:<br />

• Communities and workforces of<br />

the future<br />

• Sustainable, safe and healthy<br />

natural landscapes<br />

• Resilient built environment<br />

• Resilient communities<br />

• Situational awareness<br />

• Operational response and<br />

innovation<br />

• Evidence-informed policy,<br />

strategy and foresight<br />

• Learning from disasters<br />

Alongside the finalisation of the<br />

research priorities, we are working<br />

with our funding partners to define<br />

the initial biennial research plan.<br />

We look forward to continuing these<br />

discussions and meeting with new<br />

and existing partners to broaden the<br />

scope of natural hazard research in<br />

the coming months and years.<br />

Natural Hazards Research Australia is the new national centre for natural hazards resilience and disaster risk reduction.<br />

29<br />


The development of the Centre marks the beginning of a new era of natural hazards research in Australia.” Credit: CSIRO<br />

First round of research<br />

While the new research priorities are<br />

being finalised, there are a targeted<br />

first round of research projects<br />

that are now underway – agreed<br />

to as part of the negotiations with<br />

the Australian Government for the<br />

new Centre earlier this year. Most<br />

projects being funded by the Centre<br />

will be announced in the next rounds,<br />

from early 2022. Further details are<br />

available at www.naturalhazards.com.<br />

au/news/initial-project or you can<br />

drop the team an email at research@<br />

naturalhazards.com.au.<br />

The projects in this initial round<br />

extend and support the use of<br />

research findings from the Australian<br />

Government-funded Black Summer<br />

research program, conducted by the<br />

CRC. These projects include further<br />

work on the role of Indigenous<br />

land management in managing fire<br />

risk, as well as advancements in<br />

fire predictive services technology<br />

that are crucial to the management<br />

of bushfire risk. Projects are also<br />

looking at how the work on extreme<br />

fire behaviour can be translated to<br />

keep communities and firefighters<br />

safe, including an evaluation of<br />

how predictive maps can be used<br />

when communicating risk to the<br />

community.<br />

This round of research will also<br />

examine the creation of a Bushfire<br />

Information Database and address<br />

a number of recommendations<br />

from the 2020 Royal Commission<br />

into National Natural Disaster<br />

Arrangements about the role of<br />

data to better support decision<br />

making. Other approved projects are<br />

focusing on post-disaster recovery<br />

and on understanding the resilience<br />

of lifeline services, such as power,<br />

telecommunications, and food and<br />

water supply in regional and remote<br />

communities.<br />

Launching our education program<br />

The Centre is committed to<br />

supporting and promoting a<br />

strong intellectual cohort of<br />

researchers who can deliver usable<br />

outputs to partners and the wider<br />

community. This includes supporting<br />

postgraduate research, employment<br />

pathways and opportunities for<br />

career development of early career<br />

researchers.<br />

We recently launched our<br />

education program, beginning with<br />

Postgraduate Research Scholarships,<br />

and Early Career Researcher<br />

Development and Industry<br />

Fellowships. An Associate Student<br />

program will follow. You can find all<br />

the details at www.naturalhazards.<br />

com.au/news/education-program.<br />

Quick response funding<br />

We’re also mindful that data after<br />

a natural hazard sometimes needs<br />

to be gathered quickly, so in time<br />

for summer <strong>2021</strong>–22, we launched<br />

our quick response funding. This<br />

will support researchers travelling<br />

to areas recently affected by<br />

natural hazards to ensure that the<br />

impacts are measured in a timely<br />

manner. This fund builds on the<br />

important quick response research<br />

from the CRC, which was essential<br />

when assessing post-disaster<br />

impacts, recovery, data collection<br />

and rehabilitation, planning and<br />

community response for natural<br />

hazards between 2016 and <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Learn more at www.naturalhazards.<br />

com.au/news/quick-responsefunding.<br />

Strengthening reconciliation through<br />

research<br />

Also high on our priority list is<br />

strengthening our engagement<br />

with First Nations peoples, as the<br />

Traditional Owners of the land on<br />

which we all live and on which the<br />

Centre will conduct research.<br />

Through the CRCs, we have a long<br />

history of research engagement with<br />

First Nations people and now, as a<br />

national centre, it is important to<br />

us that we continue to learn from<br />

the knowledge, contributions and<br />

perspectives of First Nations peoples.<br />

With a strengthened commitment to<br />

reconciliation, we are in the process<br />

of developing a Reconciliation Action<br />

Plan for the new Centre. This is an<br />

important step that will guide the<br />

First Nations-led processes, programs<br />

and research activities of the Centre.<br />

There are many more updates to share,<br />

all of which you can find on our website at<br />

www.naturalhazards.com.au.<br />

For the latest information on Natural<br />

Hazards Research Australia, follow @<br />

hazardsresearch on social media or<br />

sign up to our newsletter at www.<br />

naturalhazards.com.au/news.<br />

www.ausemergencyservices.com.au 30



Written by Rasa Piggott<br />

Lecturer in Paramedicine<br />

Registered Paramedic<br />

Registered Nurse<br />

Three years ago, I was told by a manager that if I were a 6-foot tall,<br />

white male with blonde hair, my professional perspectives would<br />

be heard, and I would not be facing the same workplace challenges<br />

regarding career opportunity.<br />

This statement leant heavily into our societally driven gendered<br />

reality.<br />

Western medicine and healthcare systems were established by<br />

biologically designated men, for biologically designated men.<br />

This reality is deeply rooted in centuries of societally charged<br />

patriarchism and has intensely affected the ambulance industry.<br />

The inclusion of women within ambulance services remains recent<br />

history. Exclusion of sexes outside of the traditionally prescribed<br />

male from ambulance employment has contributed to a male –<br />

biased healthcare system. Ambulance Services were established<br />

firmly within the context of a patriarchal society, resulting in<br />

organisational structures that perpetuate health career and patient<br />

care inequities through embedded systems, cultures and routines.<br />

The Final Report on Victoria’s Ambulance Services from the Public<br />

Bodies Review Committee of 1984 sheds light on our patriarchal<br />

origins and consequent present-day Ambulance Service challenges.<br />

When reviewing our past and how it has infiltrated our present,<br />

we can see why outdated social constructs and harmful gendered<br />

biases are still embedded in every tier of healthcare.<br />

These gendered biases generate inequity not just within healthcare<br />

careers and healthcare organisational models, but also within<br />

healthcare delivery and health outcomes.<br />

Traditionally doctors, paramedics, scientists and researchers have<br />

possessed biologically male characteristics, excluding other sexes<br />

and gender identities. Additionally, clinical research and medical<br />

science have heavily focussed on biologically determined males<br />

(animals and humans). Historic lack of diversity within health<br />

professionalism and exclusion of women (and intersex people) from<br />

clinical trials has led to male-bias in clinical care. Consequently,<br />

and even with advancing medicine, women experience higher<br />

rates of undertreatment and misdiagnosis. Evidence confirms that<br />

when client’s present with the same severity of symptoms, those<br />

determined as being biologically male are investigated and treated<br />

more extensively than females. Leading areas in which health care<br />

provision and thus outcomes differ between sexes include pain<br />

management and cardiac care.<br />

Given health professionals come to work intending to help and do<br />

no harm, it is uncomfortable for us to hear that we are vulnerable<br />

to participating in a medley of undesirable gender and sex biases<br />

that negatively impact health careers, healthcare delivery and<br />

health outcomes. It is hard to accept that there is a correlation<br />

between health professional characteristics and career opportunity,<br />

just as there is a correlation between patient characteristics<br />

and inequitable healthcare treatment. Although there is clear<br />

evidence of conscious biases impacting the paramedic profession,<br />

oftentimes, biases that perpetuate the intrinsically linked<br />

inequities within health organisations and healthcare provision are<br />

unconscious.<br />

Conscious or unconscious, understanding that gendered bias lives<br />

on a spectrum and serves as a gateway to gendered harassment,<br />

sexual harassment and sexual violence is every health professional’s<br />

responsibility. To work at solving gendered bias, is to work at solving<br />

gendered violence.<br />

An indication of a mature health profession is a health profession<br />

capable of identifying, un-packing and addressing its fallibilities.<br />

For paramedicine, this means actively developing insight and<br />

responding to the ways in which our professional culture reflects<br />

and contributes to society’s gendered reality.<br />

Image credit: Artist Emanu https://www.emanu.se/<br />

31<br />


Unconscious biases:<br />

social stereotypes about certain groups<br />

of people that individuals form outside<br />

their own conscious awareness. Everyone<br />

holds unconscious beliefs about various<br />

social and identity groups … Unconscious<br />

bias is far more prevalent than conscious<br />

prejudice and often incompatible with one’s<br />

conscious values” (UCSF, <strong>2021</strong>).<br />




Public Bodies Review<br />

Committee. Parliament of<br />

Victoria. 1984.<br />

Performance bias:<br />

manifests as the underestimation of<br />

women’s workplace performance, and<br />

overestimation of men’s performance.<br />

Performance bias results in us affording<br />

men career opportunities based on their<br />

perceived potential, whereas career<br />

opportunities for women are typically<br />

based on past accomplishments. This<br />

means women must work harder to prove<br />

themselves. Studies show that something as<br />

simple as changing a historically designated<br />

female-sounding name to a male-sounding<br />

name on a resume increases selection<br />

success by 60%. (LeanIn, <strong>2021</strong>)<br />

Attribution bias:<br />

results in women’s accomplishments not<br />

being credited, and women being more<br />

likely to receive blame for a workplace<br />

failing. Attribution bias is heavily linked to<br />

our historical participation in devaluing the<br />

contributions of women in the workplace.<br />

This devaluation of women in the workplace<br />

can be seen in data that reveals women<br />

are interrupted when speaking at work 3x<br />

more than men. Attribution bias erodes<br />

professional confidence. Perhaps this is<br />

why women wait until they meet 100% of<br />

job description criterion before applying for<br />

an opportunity, whilst men typically apply<br />

for opportunities upon achieving 60% of an<br />

opportunity’s criterion. (LeanIn, <strong>2021</strong>)<br />

Likeability Bias:<br />

is cruel double bind. When a woman does<br />

try to assert themselves in a workplace<br />

or opposes attribution bias norms, they<br />

are risking a likeability penalty. Societally,<br />

it has long been expected that men be<br />

assertive, whilst women be communal and<br />

‘kind’. When a male asserts themselves,<br />

we intrinsically expect it and equate it<br />

with competence. When a woman asserts<br />

themselves, we don’t like it. We don’t like<br />

them. Frustratingly, when women are seen<br />

as agreeable and nice, evidence suggests<br />

that they are deemed less competent by<br />

their co-workers. So … being assertive<br />

equates to being less liked; being agreeable<br />

equates to being less competent. (LeanIn,<br />

<strong>2021</strong>)<br />

https://www.who.int/health-topics/gender#tab=tab_1<br />

https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/48642.html<br />

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/gender<br />

https://diversity.ucsf.edu/resources/unconscious-bias.<br />

https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/gender-bias-in-medicine-and-medicalresearch-is-st<br />

Martin, Heron, S., Moreno-Walton, L., & Strickland, M. (2019). Diversity and Inclusion<br />

in Quality Patient Care Your Story/Our Story – A Case-Based Compendium (2nd ed.<br />

2019.). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-9<strong>27</strong>62-6<br />

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/nov/13/the-female-problem-malebias-in-medical-trials<br />

Allotey, Allotey-Reidpath, C., & Reidpath, D. D. (2017). Gender bias in clinical case<br />

reports: A cross-sectional study of the “big five” medical journals. PloS One, 12(5),<br />

e0177386–e0177386. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177386<br />

Hamberg K. Gender Bias in Medicine. Women’s Health. May 2008:237-243.<br />

doi:10.2217/17455057.4.3.237<br />

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sex-redefined-the-idea-of-2-sexes-isoverly-simplistic1/<br />


New technology lets<br />

police link DNA to<br />

appearance and ancestry<br />

– and it’s coming to<br />

Australia<br />

The Australian Federal Police<br />

recently announced plans to<br />

use DNA samples collected<br />

at crime scenes to make<br />

predictions about potential<br />

suspects.<br />

This technology, called forensic<br />

“DNA phenotyping”, can reveal<br />

a surprising and growing<br />

amount of highly personal<br />

information from the traces<br />

of DNA that we all leave<br />

behind, everywhere we go –<br />

including information about<br />

our biological sex, ancestry and<br />

appearance.<br />

Queensland police have<br />

already used versions of this<br />

approach to identify a suspect<br />

and identify remains. Forensic<br />

services in Queensland<br />

and New South Wales have<br />

also investigated the use of<br />

predictive DNA.<br />

This technology can reveal<br />

much more about a suspect<br />

than previous DNA forensics<br />

methods. But how does it<br />

work? What are the ethical<br />

issues? And what approaches<br />

are other countries around the<br />

world taking?

How does it work?<br />

The AFP plans to implement<br />

forensic DNA phenotyping based<br />

on an underlying technology called<br />

“massively parallel sequencing”.<br />

Our genetic information is encoded<br />

in our DNA as long strings of<br />

four different base molecules,<br />

and sequencing is the process of<br />

“reading” the sequence of these<br />

bases.<br />

Older DNA sequencing machines<br />

could only read one bit of DNA at a<br />

time, but current “massively parallel”<br />

machines can read more than six<br />

trillion DNA bases in a single run.<br />

This creates new possibilities for DNA<br />

analysis.<br />

This makes it useful in missing<br />

persons cases and the investigation<br />

of unidentified remains. This method<br />

can also be used in criminal cases,<br />

mostly to exclude persons of interest.<br />

The AFP plans to predict biological<br />

sex, “biogeographical ancestry”,<br />

eye colour and, in coming months,<br />

hair colour. Over the next decade<br />

they aim to include traits such as<br />

age, body mass index, and height,<br />

and even finer predictions for facial<br />

metrics such as distance between<br />

the eyes, eye, nose and ear shape, lip<br />

fullness, and cheek structure.<br />

Are there any issues or ethical<br />

concerns?<br />

DNA can reveal highly sensitive<br />

information about us. Beyond<br />

be used. Despite some progress<br />

toward a privacy impact assessment,<br />

Australian forensic legislation does<br />

not currently provide any form of<br />

comprehensive regulation of forensic<br />

DNA phenotyping.<br />

The highly sensitive nature of DNA<br />

data, and the difficulty in ever making<br />

it anonymous creates significant<br />

privacy concerns.<br />

According to a 2020 government<br />

survey about public attitudes<br />

to privacy, most Australians are<br />

uncomfortable with the idea of their<br />

DNA data being collected.<br />

Using DNA for forensics may also<br />

reduce public trust in the use of<br />

genomics for medical and other<br />

purposes.<br />

The AFP’s planned tests include<br />

biogeographical ancestry prediction.<br />

Even when not explicitly tested, DNA<br />

data is tightly linked to our ancestry.<br />

One of the biggest risks with any DNA<br />

data is exacerbating or creating racial<br />

biases. This is especially the case<br />

in law enforcement, where specific<br />

groups of people may be targeted<br />

or stigmatised based on pre-existing<br />

biases.<br />

Massively parallel DNA sequencing has opened new frontiers for genetic analysis. Shutterstock<br />

DNA forensics used to rely on a<br />

system that matched samples to<br />

ones in a criminal DNA database,<br />

and did not reveal much beyond<br />

identity. However, predictive DNA<br />

forensics can reveal things like<br />

physical appearance, biological sex<br />

and ancestry – regardless of whether<br />

people are in a database or not.<br />

ancestry and externally visible<br />

characteristics, we can predict many<br />

other things including aspects of both<br />

physical and mental health.<br />

It will be important to set clear<br />

boundaries around what can and<br />

can’t be predicted in these tests<br />

– and when and how they will<br />

In Australia, Indigenous legal experts<br />

report that not enough is being<br />

done to fully eradicate racism and<br />

unconscious bias within police.<br />

Concerns have been raised about<br />

other types of potential institutional<br />

racial profiling. A recent analysis<br />

by the ANU also indicated that 3 in<br />

4 people held implicit negative or<br />

unconscious bias against Indigenous<br />

Australians.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

35<br />


ancestral and phenotypic data as<br />

probabilities so uncertainty can be<br />

evaluated, and clearly explaining how<br />

judgements would be made about<br />

when to use the technology and who<br />

would make the decision.<br />

The VISAGE consortium of<br />

academics, police and justice<br />

institutions, from eight European<br />

countries, also produced a report of<br />

recommendations and concerns in<br />

2020.<br />

They urge careful consideration<br />

of the circumstances where DNA<br />

phenotyping should be used, and the<br />

definition of a “serious crime”. They<br />

also highlight the importance of a<br />

governing body with responsibility<br />

for deciding when and how the<br />

technology should be used.<br />

DNA-based prediction is used in some European countries and forbidden in others. Adapted from Schneider,<br />

Prainsack & Kayser/Dtsch Arztebl Int.<br />

Careful consideration, consultation,<br />

and clear regulatory safeguards<br />

need to be in place to ensure these<br />

methods are only used to exclude<br />

persons of interest rather than<br />

include or target specific groups.<br />

DNA data also has inherent risks<br />

around misinterpretation. People put<br />

a lot of trust in DNA evidence, even<br />

though it often gives probabilistic<br />

findings which can be difficult to<br />

interpret.<br />

What are other countries doing?<br />

Predictive DNA forensics is a<br />

relatively new field, and countries<br />

across Europe have taken different<br />

approaches regarding how and<br />

when it should be used. A 2019<br />

study across 24 European countries<br />

found ten had allowed the use of this<br />

technology for practical purposes,<br />

seven had not allowed it, and seven<br />

more had not yet made a clear<br />

determination on its use.<br />

Germany allows the prediction of<br />

externally visible characteristics<br />

(including skin colour), but has<br />

decided biogeographical ancestry is<br />

simply too risky to be used.<br />

The one exception to this is the state<br />

of Bavaria, where ancestry can be<br />

used to avert imminent danger, but<br />

not to investigate crimes that have<br />

already occurred.<br />

A UK advisory panel made four<br />

recommendations last year. These<br />

include the need to clearly explain<br />

how the data is used, presenting<br />

Safeguarding public trust<br />

The AFP press release mentions<br />

it is mindful of maintaining public<br />

trust, and has implemented privacy<br />

processes. Transparency and<br />

proportionate use will be crucial to<br />

keep the public on board as this<br />

technology is rolled out.<br />

This is a rapidly evolving field and<br />

Australia needs to develop clear and<br />

coherent policy that is able to keep<br />

up with the pace of technological<br />

developments - and considers<br />

community concerns.<br />

Caitlin Curtis<br />

Research fellow,<br />

The University of Queensland<br />

James Hereward<br />

Research fellow,<br />

The University of Queensland<br />

This article was first published on The Conversation<br />

<br />

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YOUNG ROAD, COWRA NSW <strong>27</strong>94<br />

0418 424 118<br />

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The 8 deadly days of Christmas:<br />

how to stay safe from drowning in Australia this summer<br />

Amy Peden<br />

Lecturer - Injury Prevention, UNSW<br />

Christmas is coming – meaning Australians are about<br />

to enter our most dangerous time of year for fatal<br />

drownings.<br />

The eight days from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day are<br />

the deadliest period for drowning, with 201 lives lost over<br />

the past 15 years, according to my new analysis.<br />

Using coronial data from the Royal Life Saving Society<br />

– Australia, my analysis shows a further 28 people<br />

drowned on Australia Day during the same 15 year<br />

period. My findings back up previous research, which<br />

found people are twice as likely to drown in Australia on<br />

a public holiday than any other day.<br />

But the danger isn’t limited to major holidays. January<br />

10 inexplicably emerged from my analysis as a key date,<br />

with 32 people drowning over the past 15 years – more<br />

than on any other single day of the year.<br />

The sadly predictable spikes in preventable drownings<br />

mean many river rescue divers and surf life savers have<br />

come to dread summer.<br />

The personal toll of preventable drownings<br />

The Murray River is Australia’s leading river drowning<br />

black spot.<br />

For more than 40 years, Peter Wright OAM, a volunteer<br />

rescue diver with the Corowa Rescue Squad, has<br />

performed the harrowing task of retrieving bodies –<br />

including children – from the river:<br />

I have this feeling of dread as summer approaches. I find<br />

myself avoiding going near the river, as seeing people<br />

behaving badly or irresponsibly really gets to me […] I know<br />

it’s not if, but when we will be called to search the river for<br />

the next drowning victim […] The look of abject grief and<br />

disbelief on the faces of relatives and the noise of wailing<br />

families haunts me to this day.

Data from Surf Life Saving Australia paint<br />

a similar story.<br />

The number of people who get into<br />

trouble at the beach spikes on public<br />

holidays. With an average of 20 rescues<br />

per day across the year in 2020/21, the<br />

period from Christmas Day to New Year’s<br />

Day sees this figure increase almost sixfold,<br />

with an average of 116 rescues per<br />

day.<br />

According to Chris Jacobson, National Surf<br />

Life Saving Australia’s chair of lifesaving<br />

and a volunteer surf lifesaver of 20 years:<br />

Surf lifesavers are constantly on the go<br />

attending to numerous rescues during<br />

this period, in particular on Australia Day.<br />

We see people not swimming between<br />

the flags, ignoring lifesavers, drinking<br />

and overestimating their abilities, which<br />

therefore requires our members to go to<br />

their aid.<br />

5 factors driving more summer drownings<br />

So why are Australians more likely to<br />

drown in summer, particularly on public<br />

holidays? And how can you be safer this<br />

summer?<br />

Alcohol<br />

Alcohol is a leading risk factor for<br />

drowning. It impairs reaction time, impacts<br />

the effectiveness of cardiopulmonary<br />

resuscitation (CPR) and can result in risktaking<br />

behaviour.<br />

Our breathalysing research at rivers<br />

– which are the leading location for<br />

drowning in Australia – found the average<br />

blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for<br />

adult river users was significantly higher<br />

on the Australia Day public holiday, with<br />

an average BAC of 0.175%. That’s more<br />

than three times the legal limit for driving<br />

a car.<br />

Several river users also registered BACs<br />

in excess of 0.350%, seven times the legal<br />

limit.<br />

Participation and exposure<br />

More people in and around the water<br />

means more people at risk of drowning.<br />

Our research shows higher numbers of<br />

people visit aquatic locations on holiday<br />

periods during summer, including the<br />

Australia Day public holiday. This is also<br />

sadly evidenced in the rescue and fatal<br />

drowning data.<br />

Warmer temperatures<br />

This deadly period for drowning often<br />

coincides with hot temperatures. Warmer<br />

weather drives people to seek out water<br />

to cool off, but are also linked to higher<br />

blood alcohol concentrations.<br />

Higher air temperature also lead people<br />

to spend longer in the water.<br />

School holidays<br />

School attendance has been shown to<br />

be protective against drowning, with<br />

school-aged children 5-17 years old 2.4<br />

times more likely to drown during school<br />

holidays.<br />

The Christmas school holidays also<br />

coincide with this high-risk period and a<br />

number of public holidays.<br />

Visitors who don’t know local conditions<br />

In a normal, non-COVID summer, many<br />

Australians travel on their summer break,<br />

including to unfamiliar aquatic locations.<br />

Our research shows visitors have<br />

increased drowning risk on public holidays<br />

compared to other days: 2.5 times the risk<br />

for people travelling within their own state,<br />

and 2.3 times the risk for those visiting<br />

other states or territories.<br />

How to stay safer by the water this<br />

summer<br />

• Check conditions of the river before<br />

you get in, observe how fast the<br />

current is going<br />

• Ask locals about the safest place to<br />

swim in a river<br />

• Swim between the red and yellow<br />

flags at the beach<br />

• Avoid alcohol around water<br />

• Always supervise young children in,<br />

on, or around the water<br />

• Always wear a life jacket when<br />

boating or using watercraft<br />

• Don’t drive, ride or walk through<br />

floodwaters, and don’t let children<br />

play in floodwaters<br />

• Learn CPR so you have the skills to<br />

act in an emergency.<br />

Those simple steps can save lives – and<br />

avoid so much needless pain, as volunteer<br />

rescue diver Peter Wright says:<br />

A drowning affects so many people. Not<br />

just the family but all those involved in<br />

the recovery, the police, ambulance and<br />

divers. It is often more difficult to cope<br />

with the pain-filled reactions of a family<br />

when you recover their loved one, than<br />

the task of diving in totally black, fastrunning,<br />

snag-filled water, feeling for that<br />

lost individual. I just wish that people took<br />

water safety more seriously.<br />

For more water safety information, visit<br />

Royal Life Saving Society – Australia and<br />

Surf Life Saving Australia.<br />

This article was first published on The Conversation<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

www.brucebuddenautomotive.com.au<br />




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Book Review<br />

There are some incredible books out there about the trials and tribulations,<br />

heartbreak and satisfaction of working within the emergency services sector.<br />

We aim to bring you some great recommendations within each issue. If you<br />

have a book to recommend for our reviews, get in touch.<br />



Author: Bill ‘Swampy’ Marsh<br />

www.billswampymarsh.com.au<br />

‘Us firefighters do more than fight fires. We also assist those who have<br />

just gone through what’s probably the worst experience of their lives.’<br />

The devastating 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires threw the<br />

importance of our volunteer firefighters into sharp focus. But these<br />

brave men and women don’t just step up to protect life and property<br />

in fires; they are also there to help in road accidents, plane crashes,<br />

natural disasters like cyclones and floods - and, yes, they even rescue<br />

pets that have got themselves into strife.<br />

In this collection of first-hand stories, ranging from the 1880s to 2020,<br />

our courageous volunteer firies take us right up to the frontlines<br />

and reveal the stark realities of the dangers they face to keep our<br />

communities safe.<br />

This book serves as a tribute to the thousands of volunteer firies across<br />

Australia who roll up their sleeves and selflessly put their lives on the<br />

line to assist their fellow human beings.<br />

We hope you enjoy this excerpt taken from “Great Australian <strong>Vol</strong>unteer Firies Stories”.<br />

This exerpt from the book and a sample of the first few chapters can be found at www.<br />

amazon.com.au. The book can be purchased here also and at any of your favourite<br />

book retailers.<br />

As I write this introduction, bushfires<br />

have broken out in Western Australia.<br />

At last report, something like ninety<br />

homes in the Perth Hills may have<br />

been destroyed and over twenty-five<br />

thousand hectares of land burnt.<br />

Arson is suspected. And now storms<br />

are moving in to the north-east of the<br />

state, bringing with them a predicted<br />

one hundred millimeteres - four inches<br />

- of rain and one hunred kilometre<br />

per hour winds.<br />

In my own state of South Australia,<br />

within the last month a dozen<br />

buildings, including houses, were<br />

destroyed by fires in th Adelaid Hills,<br />

with one case of suspected arson.<br />

More than four hundred firefighters<br />

were involved in containing the blaze,<br />

which burnt through 2500 hectares<br />

of lands. Particularly badly hit was<br />

Cherry Gardens, where I used to live<br />

when I first came to South Australia<br />

back in the mid -1970s. I have friends<br />

living around the Mylor-Bradbury<br />

area who evacuated druring the fires.<br />

It’s a frightening situation. We all saw<br />

the footage of the catastrophic fires<br />

that burnt through NEw South Wales<br />

and Victoria during the 2019-20 fire<br />

season. How could we not? At the<br />

forefront of all these blazes stood our<br />

volunteer fire service personnel.<br />

As part of the interviewing process<br />

for this collection of stories, during<br />

Bill ‘Swampy’ Marsh is an awardwinning<br />

writer/performer of<br />

stories, songs and plays.<br />

Based in Adelaide, he is best<br />

known for his successful Great<br />

Australian series of books<br />

published with ABC Books:<br />

More Great Australian Flying<br />

Doctor Stories (2007), Great<br />

Australian Railway Stories<br />

(2005), Great Australian Droving<br />

Stories (2003), Great Australian<br />

Shearing Stories (2001), and<br />

Great Australian Flying Doctor<br />

Stories (1999).<br />

‘One of Australia’s most popular<br />

story teller/writers.’<br />

—ABC Books.<br />

‘From the ridiculous to the<br />

sublime, from the bestial to<br />

the bizarre, from the tall to the<br />

tender, Bill Marsh holds his<br />

readers in the palm of his hand<br />

and tickles them with beautifully<br />

controlled yarns of childhood…’<br />

—Katharine England (The<br />

Advertiser)<br />

39<br />


August and September of 2019, I<br />

travelled through outback SOuth<br />

Australia, southern Queensland,<br />

New South Wales and the Australian<br />

Capital Territory. I was back on the<br />

road in late December 2019, travelling<br />

through Victoria. Then it was<br />

over in Tasmania during Febrary and<br />

March 2020. In fact, I just managed<br />

to get the last boat out of Tasmania<br />

before their COVID-19 restirctions<br />

came in, and barely scraped back<br />

into South Australia before the South<br />

Australian-Victorian border closures<br />

came into force. I would like to thank<br />

all those people who housed and fed<br />

me along my travels.<br />

Book Review<br />


Author: Darren Hodge<br />

www.darrenhodge.com<br />

Because of COVID-19 restrictions,<br />

my mid-year travels of 2020 didn’t<br />

eventuate, leaving me withh a gap<br />

in Western Australia, Northern<br />

Queensland and the NOrthern Territory.<br />

I’d very much like to thank Jamie<br />

McElroy, media officer, <strong>Vol</strong>unteer Fire<br />

and Rescue Servies association of WA<br />

(Inc) and Jess O’Reilly, media officer,<br />

Queensland Fire and Emergency<br />

Servies, for their assistance in helping<br />

me find people to interview.<br />

During the writing of this book I med<br />

and talked with near on a hundred<br />

people who have volunteered theri<br />

time to fight bushfires and house<br />

fires, attend road accident rescues,<br />

help out in flooded areas, clean up<br />

after cyclones and hailstorms, as well<br />

as attend a myriad of other emergency<br />

serviecs duties. Between the good<br />

laughs and friendly banter I must<br />

admit there were times I was brought<br />

to tears by some of theri experiences,<br />

all of which have left me with nothing<br />

but utter admiration for these people<br />

- our brave volunteer firies.<br />

Keep well, stay safe and hopefully se’ll<br />

meet up out on the road somewhere.<br />

Bill ‘Swampy’ Marsh<br />

January <strong>2021</strong><br />

Image and Quotes: www.<br />

billswampymarsh.com.au<br />

When Darren Hodge was a kid,<br />

a big, white, sleek ambulance<br />

squatted like a lion in the driveway<br />

next door, always ready to go, and<br />

sometimes it did, roaring down<br />

the street.<br />

Today, he is a MICA Flight<br />

Paramedic with decades of varied<br />

experience in a life of extremes in<br />

an Australian ambulance service.<br />

He does shifts at base on-call, and<br />

teaches another generation of<br />

paramedics now. He loves his job.<br />

A list of well-known events that<br />

includes Victoria’s Black Saturday<br />

Fires and the 2005 Bali Bombing<br />

he was trying to get married when<br />

that call came in marks two dark<br />

extremes.<br />

Technical matters trauma<br />

treatment decisions, and the<br />

limits of aviation, for example, are<br />

explained. And this book includes<br />

the little things like the time<br />

the supermarket aisle was alive<br />

with the sound of music from<br />

an ex-patients kids lips: Thanks<br />

for looking after Daddy. Darren<br />

couldn’t have put it better himself,<br />

and it made his heart sing.<br />

A Life on the Line tells what it is<br />

like to be Darren Hodge on the<br />

end of a line, what it is like to be a<br />

paramedic. Open, honest reports,<br />

warts and all, this memoir is an<br />

unflinching account of how it feels<br />

to pluck people from imminent<br />

death. And there are some laughs<br />

on the way.<br />

Darren Hodges’ career in<br />

Ambulance Victoria has been rich<br />

with opportunities.<br />

Only a few years had passed after<br />

qualifying as a paramedic and<br />

he was offered the opportunity to<br />

undertake intensive care training,<br />

known as MICA. He found the role<br />

at times challenging, but highly<br />

rewarding.<br />

Tenures at the different<br />

ambulance colleges unearthed<br />

a love of teaching that continues<br />

today and has spanned more<br />

than 25 years.<br />

Assisting paramedics to master<br />

their craft has been one of his<br />

most satisfying achievements.<br />

After 15 years as a paramedic<br />

he achieved his ultimate career<br />

goal after joining Air Ambulance,<br />

working on both fixed and rotary<br />

wing aircraft.<br />

He regards his experiences<br />

working with highly talented<br />

paramedics, pilots and crewman<br />

at Air Ambulance as a career<br />

highlight,<br />

You can find out more about<br />

Darren Hodge and purchase his<br />

book via his website or from your<br />

favourite book retailers.<br />

www.ausemergencyservices.com.au 40


In each edition of the Australian Emergency Services Magazine we<br />

feature a profile on a person, team, partnership, squad or unit to<br />

showcase their unique contribution to the emergency services industry.<br />

If you would like to be featured or know someone who deserves some<br />

recognition get in touch with our team.<br />

Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) was<br />

launched in 2020, after a tenure<br />

as Team Rubicon Australia, which<br />

was founded in August 2016.<br />

Their first disaster relief operation,<br />

launched in April 2017, was in<br />

response to the devastation<br />

wrought by Tropical Cyclone<br />

Debbie in Northern Queensland.<br />

This operation, dubbed Operation<br />

Dunlop, after WWII Surgeon Sir<br />

Ernest Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop, saw<br />

DRA deployed to the hard-hit town<br />

of Proserpine.<br />

For over three weeks 62 volunteers<br />

worked tirelessly to help the<br />

greater Proserpine community<br />

recover from the disaster. As<br />

importantly, they proved that<br />

military veterans and emergency<br />

services specialists are ideally<br />

suited to conducting this type of<br />

work.<br />

DRA member, Army Veteran and<br />

current serving firefighter Adam<br />

Moss says, ”Every time I put on<br />

a Disaster Relief Australia shirt, I<br />

am humbled by the fact that I am<br />

about to be surrounded by the<br />

best men and women this country<br />

has to offer.”<br />

The members that make up this<br />

amazing organisation are definitely<br />

‘Built to Serve’, and this dedication<br />

to service of communities<br />

impacted by natural disasters is<br />

at the core of their values. DRA<br />

believes that veterans, emergency<br />

services specialists and other first<br />

responders have unique skills and<br />

experience that can be harnessed<br />

to assist disaster affected<br />

communities.<br />

Bega Valley Bushfire Recovery June <strong>2021</strong><br />


We have featured Disaster Relief Australia within the Australian Emergency<br />

Services Magazine a few times over the last year as they are such an<br />

incredible organisation. Their vision is to integrate veterans and emergency<br />

services volunteers to build Disaster Relief Australia Teams across Australia,<br />

serving local communities before, during and after natural disasters. They<br />

have put boots on the ground across the country following the bushfires,<br />

floods and cyclone disasters throughout the year. Disaster Relief Australia<br />

make a difference not only to the communities they help but to the<br />

veterans that are part of the teams.<br />

“When deploying as a member<br />

of the organisation you can be<br />

guaranteed that three things will<br />

occur, you will experience complete<br />

cultural immersion, you will obtain<br />

a feeling that you’re giving back<br />

to the community, but most<br />

importantly you will have a feeling<br />

of being part of a team,” Adam said.<br />

Disaster Relief Australia is a<br />

professional disaster relief<br />

organisation with a unique culture<br />

and history. In recognition and<br />

honour of DRA‘s veteran heritage<br />

before they deploy into a disaster<br />

affected area, they research the<br />

history of veterans in the local<br />

41<br />


community and name the operation<br />

in honour of them and their service<br />

to our country.<br />

With members located nationwide<br />

DRA operates seven Disaster Relief<br />

Teams (DRTs) in Townsville, Brisbane,<br />

Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne,<br />

Adelaide and Perth. Each DRT has the<br />

capability to conduct disaster relief<br />

and community support operations<br />

with scaled capacity dependent on<br />

the skills and deployment readiness<br />

of volunteers as well as the location,<br />

size and complexity of the disaster.<br />

DRA CEO Geoff Evans says “Disasters<br />

are more frequent and more intense<br />

and for those affected deeply<br />

personal. We’re determined to bring<br />

help where it’s needed most despite<br />

the challenges of deploying our<br />

volunteer workforce nationally during<br />

COVID restrictions.”<br />

DRA completely appreciates there is<br />

an ongoing need to build resilience in<br />

communities. Vulnerable Australian<br />

communities are increasingly<br />

battling fire and flood. Nearly half of<br />

Australia’s population live in regions<br />

with only low to moderate levels of<br />

disaster resilience. In partnership<br />

with the Minderoo Foundation,<br />

DRA plans to grow the numbers of<br />

volunteers able to adapt and plan<br />

during disaster offseason.<br />

CEO Geoff Evans states “We know<br />

that disasters will be more frequent<br />

and more intense. We need to lead<br />

the way in showing communities how<br />

to help themselves. Our veteran and<br />

emergency services led workforce will<br />

be instrumental in training hundreds<br />

of volunteers in disaster resilience.”<br />

Over four years Disaster Relief<br />

Australia aims to work with one<br />

community per year per DRT as<br />

part of a broader effort, we will<br />

see Australia’s 50 most vulnerable<br />

communities lifted to be on par with<br />

our most resilient.<br />

Damage assessment bushfire recovery WA<br />

To find out more about Disaster<br />

Relief Australia, the benefits of<br />

joining and the impact on the<br />

communities they serve visit: www.<br />

disasterreliefaus.org<br />

Operation Elliot underway in response to the floods<br />





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www.ausemergencyservices.com.au 42

TRAVEL<br />


Breaks<br />

Words: Brooke Turnbull<br />

2022 Travel Wishlist<br />

Lord Howe Island

As borders open and we move into the<br />

promise of hot, summer days by the<br />

beach, feasts shared with family and<br />

the reuniting of all of us, we can’t help<br />

feeling a bit excited that travel is once<br />

again back on the cards. And this time,<br />

it’s even including international travel,<br />

a prospect many of us haven’t been<br />

able to consider for the last two years<br />

since the beginning of the COVID-19<br />

pandemic.<br />

This has somehow made the usual<br />

excitement of summer even better than<br />

ever and has seen the culmination in<br />

many of our Christmas wishes come<br />

true. So, to honour that, we thought<br />

what better way to see out the year,<br />

and our final Emergency Breaks for<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, than by gathering our Wishlist<br />

of all the places we want to see as we<br />

move into the bright potential of 2022.<br />

As we’ve got a number of areas to visit<br />

in the next 12 months, this Emergency<br />

Breaks won’t be like the usual, but we’ll<br />

still give you a wrap up of the area, a<br />

couple of accommodation options to<br />

check out and things to do around<br />

all the locations we’ve got on our<br />

Christmas wishlist…we just hope Santa<br />

is reading this.<br />

1. South Coast New South Wales.<br />

After a devastating 2019/2020 bushfire<br />

season, dubbed Black Summer, the<br />

areas of South Coast New Wales have<br />

started rebuilding and are back, better<br />

than ever and ready to showcase the<br />

uniqueness of their truly beautiful<br />

region.<br />

From the azure blue waters of Batemans<br />

Bay to the rolling green hills that meet<br />

the sea at Gerringong and Kiama, the<br />

whole of the South Coast is not to be<br />

missed.<br />

Sea Cliff Bridge - the perfect drive along jewelled seas.<br />

2. Kangaroo Island, South<br />

Australia.<br />

South Australia, much like Western<br />

Australia, has been pretty much<br />

off the cards for most of the year<br />

as their hard borders have been in<br />

place. But now, with the majority<br />

of the population fully vaccinated,<br />

South Australia are opening up<br />

and welcoming us all back. And we<br />

couldn’t be happier about it.<br />

Kangaroo Island is number two on<br />

our wishlist for its stunning seaside<br />

vistas, accommodation options like<br />

Remarkable Rocks located on Kangaroo Island<br />

Mercure Island Lodge, or, if you’re<br />

more adventurous, simply hiring a<br />

camper van from Kangaroo Island<br />

Connect Campervan hire and<br />

experiencing the island at your own<br />

pace.<br />

The island is famous, not only for<br />

its wildlife (and its own breed of<br />

kangaroo) but also for gastronomic<br />

delights like honey, olives, eggs, wines<br />

and spirits. So if you don’t mind a<br />

cheese and wine platter (we definitely<br />

don’t mind one at all) then Kangaroo<br />

Island is the place for you too. So<br />

hop on the ferry from Adelaide and<br />

experience all the wonders of this<br />

incredible place.<br />

With quaint places to stay like The<br />

Ridge Retreat B&B in Moolymook to<br />

The Laurels B&B in Kangaroo Valley,<br />

just outside of Kiama, there is nothing<br />

like the comforts of home, but better<br />

because you don’t have to wash up<br />

afterwards!<br />

Experience the jewelled seas, bush walks<br />

and walking tracks, as well as lashings<br />

of local produce from soft, delicious<br />

cheeses, creamy butters and fresh, salty<br />

seafood straight off the trawlers. There’s<br />

a seemingly endless itinerary of things to<br />

do, see and eat around this region, and<br />

we will be happy to be back, indulging in<br />

our every sense while we visit. This one<br />

takes top spot in our Christmas wishlist,<br />

and we have been very good boys and<br />

girls, Santa, just so you know.

3. Melbourne, Victoria.<br />

With the fact that Melbourne holds the record of the<br />

longest lockdown in the world, which is definitely the<br />

saddest record to hold, Melbourne needs more help than<br />

ever to get back on her feet. Which is why we’re so excited<br />

to head down for a visit as soon as possible!<br />

The city of Melbourne doesn’t need much introduction,<br />

as a certified cultural hub, this place has an endless sea<br />

of things to do, places to go and venues to visit. From<br />

rooftop bars, to rooftop cinemas, to rooftop art shows,<br />

Melbourne sure does love a rooftop!<br />

Explore the beautiful city of Melbourne<br />

Street art, museums and cafes alike all have a taste of<br />

the art that is created in this vibrant city. If you’re looking<br />

for more fun, head down to the St Kilda foreshore for a<br />

ride on the haunted rollercoaster at Melbourne’s Luna<br />

Park. But if you want a more sedated time away, then<br />

just strolling through Melbourne and setting up at a<br />

cafe to people watch is a perfect way to wile away a few<br />

hours. There are far too many accommodation options to<br />

mention, but our top pick is The Langham Melbourne for<br />

a five star stay to really appreciate the city and surrounds.<br />

4. Margaret River, Western Australia.<br />

Now that the borders are opening again, WA is definitely<br />

in our top five of places to visit. With Margaret River right<br />

at the top, because you know how we love our wine!<br />

At the time of this article being printed, the Margaret River<br />

region is under threat of bushfire, which makes it all the<br />

more important for us to get out there and support the<br />

local economies of our favourite places.<br />

While craft beer, spirits and wine is the region’s main<br />

attractions, there are also stunning natural wonders like<br />

Lake Cave, a crystal chamber deep beneath the earth, to<br />

explore and discover. So while, yes, we do love our wine,<br />

with so much to see and do, the Margaret River region is<br />

the perfect place for your next adventure. Our hot tip for<br />

accommodation is the super quaint, perfect Victorian-era<br />

escape in the Studio Guest Suites.<br />

Catch a tram to the famous St Kilda beach and Melbourne’s Luna Park<br />

PR<br />


& SERVICES<br />

P&R Engineering Services Pty Ltd<br />

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5. Lord Howe Island.<br />

Capping out our Top 5 travel wishlist for 2022 is Lord<br />

Howe Island. Now we can fly freely again, Lord Howe is the<br />

perfect place to take advantage of this fact. The island’s<br />

rich history is it’s focal point and a great way to discover<br />

more about our amazing country than you knew before.<br />

With its picturesque mountain tops cascading into the<br />

jewel blue surrounding seas, there really isn’t another<br />

place like Lord Howe. And for such a tiny place, it<br />

has an astonishing amount of things to do, from golf<br />

to snorkelling, bird watching to hiking, as well as a<br />

generous amount of tours both on the island and off it to<br />

experience.<br />

Even better is the experience of total relaxation and<br />

escape from the hustle and bustle that Lord Howe<br />

creates, and for a perfect unwind, the island community<br />

offers yoga overlooking the sea. With its mouthwatering<br />

seafood on tap, all the dining options at Lord Howe<br />

Island will have you salivating. There are also a variety of<br />

stunning properties to stay on the island, our top pick is<br />

the Arajilla Retreat to really round off that escape from<br />

the mainland feeling.<br />

Sunset over Margaret River, Western Australia<br />

So, whether it’s escaping from the city, or escaping to the<br />

city. Whether you’re heading off for an adventure away<br />

from the daily grind or you’re finally able to travel and<br />

embrace loved ones again, we know there are plenty of<br />

you with travel wish lists even longer than ours. We hope<br />

those wishlists are fulfilled and Santa gives you the gift of<br />

travel under the Christmas tree this year. We wish you a<br />

happy and healthy holiday and we’ll see you in the new<br />

year for more travel inspiration and a whole lot more<br />

accommodation top picks and exciting things to see and<br />

do!<br />

Lake Cave - a crystal chamber deep beneath the earth - Margaret River, WA<br />

Located in Central Queensland<br />

33-35 Dawson Hwy, Biloela<br />

info@cdautos.com<br />

(07) 4992 4193<br />

Automotive & Mechanical Solutions<br />

Providing expert automotive and mechanical servicing and maintenance,<br />

with cost-effective solutions delivered in the fastest possible time frame.<br />

From mining equipment to medium vehicles and mechanical equipment.<br />

We look after it all.<br />

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www.cdautos.com<br />

www.ausemergencyservices.com.au 46



DAY 1:<br />


DAY 14:<br />


DAY 30:<br />

OVER 1,200 INFECTED<br />

We know that the Delta strain of the COVID-19 virus spreads faster and more easily. In fact,<br />

in just eight weeks the virus spread from just a few to more than 4,000 Aboriginal and<br />

Torres Strait Islander people across many communities in one part of New South Wales this<br />

year. The best way to protect yourself and the people around you is to get vaccinated.<br />

Have a yarn to your healthcare worker about getting vaccinated today.<br />


ARE THEY<br />

TRIPLE OK?<br />

We’re always there to help.<br />

Let’s make sure we help each other and ask R U OK?<br />


A MENTAL HEALTH <strong>ISSUE</strong><br />



Put your hand up for help.<br />

The sooner you do, the sooner you get better.<br />


IO N<br />

O F<br />

S O U TH<br />

I A<br />


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