Blog Archives

Diversity in Disaster Conference

Icon for Post #5611


Diversity in Disaster, a unique international conference to be held in Melbourne April 17 and 18 will explore how Australia can be more inclusive in its preparations and responses to natural disasters and emergency management.

The conference brings together more than 400 researchers, emergency management practitioners, policy-makers, first responders, government, community services leaders from across Australia and overseas to examine how well we respond to the needs of: women, men, people of diverse gender and sexual identities, Aboriginal groups, culturally and linguistically diverse groups, people living with disability and more.

It is one of the largest events of its kind in the world and will be staged at the MCG. Speakers are world leaders in their fields and include:

  • Craig Lapsley, Emergency Management Commissioner, Victoria
  • Professor Maureen Fordham, University College London & Gender and Disaster Network
  • Assoc. Professor JC Gaillard, University of Auckland

Every year people and communities across Australia experience emergencies and natural disasters but all communities are not impacted equally. On the agenda:

• increased family violence after disaster;

• the emotional and personal costs for men in emergencies;

• disaster and LGBTI communities;

• the role of privileged groups in perpetuating environmentally destructive norms and practices;

• media coverage of disasters.

“The impact of fires, floods, terrorism, heatwaves or other emergencies carry on long after the first responders have gone,” says Helen Riseborough, conference chair and CEO of Women’s Health in the North. “As with every aspect of our lives, different groups are bettered served than others. This conference tackles that.”

Media interviews and enquiries welcome via event organiser Lee-Anne Wilson: managing director, Happenings Australia 0412 368 917 /

Conference website and program: