Many remote Indigenous communities in Australia are located in areas most at risk of ‘natural’ disasters. One such remote Western Desert community, Kiwirrkurra, was devastated by a flood in March 2001. A project recently completely by Emergency Management Australia, in consultation with the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia (FESA), has documented the community’s stories from the Kiwirrkurra flood to identify the lessons learned, so that other communities and emergency managers can benefit.
The Kiwirrkurra stories demonstrate that through developing and maintaining good and trusted relationships, good communication channels and understanding and respecting relationships, culture and country, even the most severe of emergencies can be managed and the community can survive.
You can see the documentary ‘Worrying for Kiwirrkurra’ shown in 7 parts on the Attorney-General's YouTube playlist.
A journal article was published in February 2009 about the Kiwirrkurra Evacuation in the Australian Journal of Emergency Management.
More information can be found about Kiwirrkurra, the community’s native title claim, the evacuation and the community itself at Kiwirrkurra - Community Information Fact Sheets.
Members of Indigenous communities can find more information by accessing
Emergency managers can find information about what happened at Kiwirrkurra and the lessons learned about working with Indigenous communities by accessing Lessons for Emergency Workers and Lessons for Emergency Managers and Emergency Services: Working with Remote Indigenous Communities.
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