Dr Margaret Moreton (Principal of Leva Consulting) presented at the 2017 and 2018 Australia and New Zealand Emergency Management conferences, in the Gold Coast (Australia).

In 2017, Margaret’s presentation was entitled “Community resilience, effective community engagement and community led recovery – myth, mystery or achievable goals?”

Throughout this presentation, Margaret shared evidence to support her view that community led recovery is not only achievable, but is highly desirable.  She provided stories and examples taken from her own research in communities across Australia, affected by fire, flood or cyclone.  She also shared that while communities are actively leading and participating in their own recovery after natural disasters, they often do so in the face of subtle and exhausting opposition.

Margaret issued a challenge to those present – arguing that governments, consultants, NGOs, researchers, community organisations, and ‘ordinary people’ all need to adjust the way they engage with communities, so that their efforts respond to the community needs, strengthen community resilience and to support communities to take the lead in their own community recovery processes.

In 2018, Margaret’s presentation was entitled “Community Resilience and Leadership in Action”.  Margaret shared the stage with three leaders from communities recently affected by emergencies: Kris Newton from the Blue Mountains, Sarah U’Brien from Dungog, and Elly Bird from Lismore.  This group was also joined by Wendy Graham from the Office of Emergency Management (NSW).  This group had a conversation about leadership and community resilience and recovery, also inviting engagement from the audience.   The conversation was electric as community leaders shared their own lived experiences and described what occurs in their communities, and what they would most like to change.

A paper will be published in the proceedings from ANZDMC 2018.