The development of the National Emergency Management Strategy for Remote Indigenous Communities was initiated by the Australian Emergency Management Committee (AEMC) in 2004. The completed Strategy has been endorsed by the Augmented Australasian Police Ministers’ Council (now renamed the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management or MCPEM). 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’s Working Together to Manage Emergencies Program.
The objectives of the Strategy are to:
- Develop knowledge and skills in Indigenous people and organisations to enhance emergency management in remote communities.
- Improve the level and appropriateness of emergency management-related services in the area of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery provided by relevant agencies in remote Indigenous communities.
- Build the capacity of remote Indigenous communities to improve community safety through sustainable emergency management.
- Increase government commitment and accountability to address issues impacting on effective emergency management in remote Indigenous communities.
- Promote effective partnerships between emergency management agencies, Indigenous organisations, government and other agencies to improve community safety outcomes for remote Indigenous communities.
RICAC has developed a work plan to provide a coordinated national approach to the implementation of the Strategy. RICAC is also seeking to strengthen jurisdictional and Commonwealth awareness of and commitment to the Strategy through the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management and AEMC. This will also be addressed within jurisdictions by the respective RICAC members through their parent agencies. Additionally RICAC is looking to engage communities in emergency management through strategies that assist in addressing those higher priority issues, e.g. that provide personal development and employment opportunities for individuals, safety programs, and provide broader long term benefits to communities.
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.