The development of the National Emergency Management Strategy for Remote Indigenous Communities was initiated by the Australian Emergency Management Committee (AEMC) in 2004. The Strategy was endorsed by the Augmented Australasian Police Ministers' Council (now named the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council). The Strategy addresses recommendations made in the Council of Australian Governments' directed review—Natural Disasters in Australia: Reforming mitigation, relief and recovery arrangements (2002)—and aims to improve the disaster resilience of remote Indigenous communities.
The Strategy was developed by the Remote Indigenous Communities Advisory Committee (RICAC), a sub-committee of AEMC, with funding provided through the Australian Government. RICAC gratefully acknowledges the work of Vision Network Pty Ltd in consulting with stakeholders and drafting of the Strategy. In particular, RICAC acknowledges the contribution made by Indigenous communities and agencies and emergency management agencies in RICAC member states and territories to the development of the strategy.
The aim of the Strategy is to improve community safety in remote Indigenous communities through a more coordinated approach to emergency management at local, state/territory and national levels.
National Emergency Management Project—Enhancing community resilience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.
This project is designed to progress the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR) and the objectives and seven priorities of Keeping Our Mob Safe: the National Emergency Management Strategy for Remote Indigenous Communities (KOMS). A working group is overseeing three sub projects, looking at a social media platform for remote Indigenous communities, national guidelines for remote Indigenous community emergency response teams, and the development of community safety story boards, posters and brochures.
Kiwirrkurra—the Kiwirrkurra Flood Recovery Project.
Remote Indigenous Communities Advisory Council
This Council was formed as a sub-committee of AEMC (now the Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee) in 2004. Membership included both emergency management and Indigenous representation from:
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia, and
- Western Australia.
The Australian government was represented on RICAC by the Attorney-General's department and the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs through the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination. The Attorney-General's Department provided secretariat support to the committee.
The primary achievement has been the development of the National Emergency Management Strategy for Remote Indigenous Communities; Keeping Our Mob Safe.
In August 2013 it was agreed that RICAC would report through the Community Engagement sub-committee (CESC) and in October 2012, the CESC assumed responsibility for delivering actions to support the KOMS Strategy.