Tag Archives: Susan Nicholls

EMPA is nearly here!

Hi all,

Well, we’re nearly there! The Emergency Media and Public Affairs conference kicks off Sunday in Canberra with a world  cafe workshop, facilitated by Anne Leadbeater, with papers being presented through Monday and Tuesday.  I’m really looking forward to it.

I’d like to thank Denis, Kristin, Susan, Simon, Axel, Steve and Anne who have posted guest blogs over the last few weeks. We’ve got a wide varity of papers to look forward to that I’m sure will generate some exciting debate. 

I’ll try and post daily updates, but make sure to follow EMPA on Twitter for updates throughout the Conference. Please join the conversation using the hashtag #EMPA.

– Nathan, @nathanmaddock

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Guest blog post: Dr Susan Nicholls – the resilient community and communications practice

Hi all, Susan here, on a grey, cool day in Canberra, very autumnal. I’m looking forward to the conference, meeting everyone and listening to what I know will be a stimulating and rewarding set of papers.

My paper is about resilience, and arises out of my connection with an organisation called Australia21 and my research interest in community recovery after disaster.

Resilience is intimately associated with good communication. Without resilience, communities are not likely to recover after disaster. In this context, governments are rightly concerned with the maintenance of a robust and fully functioning society that is able to withstand the shock of disaster, whether caused by nature or human intervention.

However, the problem for government agencies is how to communicate with people at risk (which, given recent extreme weather and geological events, is virtually the entire population) initially to encourage preparation and mitigation activities, and later to assist with recovery following disaster.

Communication strategies for both of these stages are difficult to implement well and can be politically risky. My contention in this paper is that communication intended to foster resilience means more than simply delivering information. This is true of all stages of the emergency process – prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

My paper examines the components of resilience in the context of disaster, the role communication can play in promoting resilience, and proposes some pointers toward the use of communication to assist in building and maintaining resilient, adaptable communities.

See you at the conference!

– Dr  Susan Nicholls

Dr Susan Nicholls is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Australian Institute for Sustainable Communities, University of Canberra.

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