The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) is introducing two exciting new programs to support the engagement and professional development of volunteers and early career employees who are actively engaged in disaster resilience (including emergency management).
AIDR’s scholarship program will provide $1 million from the Australian Government to boost education development opportunities for emergency management volunteers. The scholarships will be available to Australian citizens or permanent residents who are active volunteers in an emergency management agency.
The scholarships will fund accredited vocational or higher education studies that will contribute to the national capability in emergency management and be linked to the development plans of the volunteer’s organisation.
More than half of the scholarships will be reserved for specific groups of volunteers: those who live in a regional or rural area; female volunteers; and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander volunteers.
These scholarships will better equip emergency management volunteers to contribute to; mitigate against, prepare for, respond to and recover from a range of disasters—strengthening their personal contribution to building national resilience.
The second opportunity is AIDR’s Resilience Ambassadors program, which is open to volunteers and early career staff working in an organisation contributing to disaster resilience. The program provides an opportunity for up to four outstanding individuals aged under 30 and actively engaged in disaster resilience to participate in a 12-month program to strengthen their leadership skills and to learn from senior executives from across relevant organisations.
Resilience Ambassadors will participate in structured events and activities for a full year, and will enjoy the benefits of an alumni program in subsequent years. AIDR will cover the costs associated with participation of Resilience Ambassadors in events and activities undertaken through the program.
Both of these programs will equip participants with new skills, expand their knowledge and networks, and provide an understanding of the roles and connections between the organisations that must work together to strengthen disaster resilience in Australia.
The programs will foster the dedication of applications, believes Dr John Bates, Director of AIDR.
“What we’re looking for in applicants for both our scholarships and Resilience Ambassadors programs is a strong commitment to disaster resilience and a desire for individuals to challenge themselves, improving their own capabilities and contributing to the capabilities of the sector in strengthening disaster resilience,” Dr Bates said.
“We look forward to working with the scholarship winners and Resilience Ambassadors over the length of their program, and in future years to support their work and keep them connected to other participants and a broader community that is working to enhance disaster resilience across Australia.”
For more information about the scholarships and the Resilience Ambassadors program and the application process visit www.aidr.org.au.
Article written by Hansika Bhagani, Communications Officer, Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience . Originally published in Fire Australia, Spring 2016.