Our Work

Dr Moreton has been actively involved in a number of key advisory roles focussed on developing and strengthening community resilience across Australia. Through these roles Dr Moreton has participated in significant discussions shaping the development of policies, strategies and frameworks that will guide emergency management and community resilience service delivery into the future.
Key roles include:

(Current)

  • Advisory Group Member (AIDR) – Development of Disaster Resilience Education for Young People Handbook – coordinated by AIDR as a key handbook in the AIDR National Handbook Series (2020-2021).
  • Member of the ‘Trust and Social Cohesion’ Sub-group of the IIER/Gap Resilience Taskforce (2020) – a collaborative partnership to discuss and develop an integrated National Resilience Framework for Australia – funded by philanthropy, federal and state governments and industry.
  • Member of the Disaster Resilience Education Strategy Group (DRESG) – coordinated by the Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience (AIDR) – with the intention of strengthening disaster resilience to become a valued element of the Australian School curriculum.
  • Member of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Advisory Group (Victoria) (2020)
  • National Executive Committee member – Australasian Women in Emergencies (AWE) Network (2020)
  • Member of the Victorian Chapter of the Creative Recovery Network (CRN) – supporting and promoting the role of artists in disaster resilience and recovery (2019 – present).

(Recent)

  • Advisory member of a Task Team supporting the Asia Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction – planned to occur in Brisbane, Australia in 2020 (delayed due to COVID-19).
  • Member of the ACT Bushfire Council – appointed by the ACT Minister for Justice to provide advice and guidance  to the Minister about emergencies that may affect the ACT (2017-2020) .
  • Member of the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference (ADRC) Program Committee – coordinated by AIDR – supporting the development of the Annual ADRC Conference (2019).
  • Advisory Panel member of the Evaluation of the 2013-15 National Disaster Resilience Program – a program funded by the Office of Emergency Management in NSW (2018-19).
  • Advisory Group member (AIDR) – Revision of Community Recovery Handbook – coordinated by AIDR as a key handbook for the AIDR Handbook Series (2018-19).
  • Member of the Research Advisory Group for Long-term Disaster Resilience – a research project managed by Women’s Health Goulburn North East (2018).
  • Member of the Australian Vulnerability Partnership – coordinated by the National Resilience Taskforce, from the Department of Home Affairs – producing the first Australian Vulnerability Profile (2018).

Leva Consulting delivers key projects for national and state governments and for other national and state organisations or agencies.  Through these projects we assist agencies to develop guidelines, brochures and other information designed to enhance community engagement, community resilience and emergency preparation or recovery.  We review and prepare case studies that demonstrate how communities have demonstrated their resilience before, during and after emergency events.  We also build capacity for those working in this field.

Projects include:

  • Authored the National Handbook “Community Engagement for Disaster Resilience” for the Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience (AIDR) as part of the National Handbook series (2020)
  • Conducted community consulations to ‘audit’ community recovery since the ‘Black Summer’ fires on Kangaroo Island (SA) and across three communities in the Bega Valley Shire (NSW).  This project is funded through the Business Council of Australia (2020)
  • Provided strategic advice and services to the ACT Community Recovery Committee and the Directorates of Justice and Community Safety (JACS) and Community Services (CSD), with particular focus on the fires of ‘Black Summer’ and how the ACT supported community recovery from those fires (2020)
  • Provided editorial and specialist advice for the finalisation of a Business Continuity Toolkit for the NSW Office of Small Business Commissioner (2019)
  • Developed a Small Business Disaster Recovery Toolkit for the NSW Office of Small Business Commissioner in partnership with Chris Quin from Resilient Projects (Qld) (2019)
  • Developed case studies from highly successful projects funded by the National Disaster Resilience Program in NSW, for the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) (2019)
  • Provided advisory services and community perspectives to the National Resilience Taskforce through participation in an advisory group, leading to the provision of editorial services to the Taskforce to finalise key publications – including Profiling Australia’s Vulnerability: The Interconnected causes and cascading effects of systemic disaster risk (2018)
  • Provided advisory services and support to the Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience (AIDR) to develop the Community Recovery National Handbook (2017-2018)
  • Reviewed and updated case studies of community recovery for inclusion in the National Handbook for Community Recovery (AIDR) (2017-2018)
  • Facilitated community workshops on behalf of the Social Recovery Reference Group (SRRG), an independent reference group with an advisory role to the Community Outcomes and Recovery Subcommittee of the Australian Emergency Management Committee – so that affected communities could contribute to the review of the National Principles of Disaster Recovery (2017)
  • Delivered Units of the Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management) for the National Centre for Emergency Management Studies (TAFE Riverina) in partnership with Anne Leadbeater (2017)

Leva Consulting works with local government councils.  Local councils often seek support to renew their approach to community engagement in relation to emergencies and extreme weather events – either during the planning and preparation stages of an emergency event, or during early and long-term community recovery.  Councils also seek advice and expertise as they support their own emergency management workforce, build their emergency management and disaster resilience capacity, plan for the future, or review the effectiveness of their approach to emergencies in their local government area.

Projects include:

  • Providing evaluation and lessons learned advice and services to the Townsville City Council – to review their disaster recovery plan and arrangements and to learn from the community’s experience of flooding in 2019 – gathering lessons to inform future planning  (2020-2021)
  • Providing strategic and disaster recovery planning advice and services to the Knox City Council – to inform their COVID-19 Recovery Plan (2020)
  • Developed a toolkit for the Corangamite Council – including information and resources for use by Council staff and by community members in the immediate 72 hours after a major emergency event (2019)
  • Facilitated an Emergency Management team ‘re-set’ workshop with key personnel from the Yarra Ranges, Maroondah and Knox Councils (2019)
  • Developed an Emergency Management Workforce Strategy and a subsequent Emergency Management Workforce Plan – to meet the challenges of recruitment, support, development and retention of emergency management specialists, and to build the emergency management knowledge and skill of the entire Council workforce for the Yarra Ranges, Maroondah and Knox Councils (2019)
  • Facilitated a South West Complex Fires community recovery planning meeting with the Corangamite Shire in Victoria (2018)
  • Developed the Emergency Management Strategy and Plan for the Regional Group of Councils in the north west of Victoria including the Hindmarsh, Horsham Rural City, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack Shire Councils (2018)

Leva Consulting works with emergency service organisations. This work is designed to strengthen the capability and knowledge of emergency services, change the nature of how emergency services organisations engage with communities, enhance the relationships between emergency services and communities, and ultimately to strengthen community resilience.

Projects include:

  • Facilitated a workshop for the Community Based Bushfire Management (CBBM) team bringing together team members from across Victoria, for the Country Fire Authority (CFA) (2019)
  • Facilitated a workshop with the ‘Communities First Program’ team from the CFA, to re-set and strengthen their direction, cohesion and team performance (2019)
  • Facilitated a session utilising ‘Our Community’ conversation cards (a product of Leva Resources) and then participated in a skills development workshop with Community Engagement Facilitators from the Victoria State Emergency Services (2019)

Dr Moreton is a strong advocate for developing community preparation, planning and recovery through collaborative partnerships between those communities, local emergency services and other interested organisations including government and non-government agencies.  This advocacy occurs through conference presentations and consultancy projects.   This work supports a key National Principle of Disaster Recovery – that of ‘adopting community-led approaches’.

Projects include:

  • Ensured the inclusion and strengthening of guidance for community engagement and community-led approaches, in ‘Community Engagement for Disaster Resilience‘ – an AIDR National Handbook authored by Dr Moreton, Leva Consulting  for AIDR (2020)
  • Facilitated the Disaster Recovery and Mental Health Summit hosted by the North West Queensland Primary Health Network and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Qld) bringing together community health services and other stakeholders to review progress and share the challenges, six months after the north west flood event (2019)
  • Worked in partnership with the Foundation of Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) to develop and implement a Disaster Resilient Future Ready pilot in four communities across NSW (2018-2019)

Leva Consulting provides experience and expertise to support leadership development across the emergency management, government, non-government and community sectors.   In particular community leadership is a key factor that contributes to disaster resilience and community recovery.   For this reason Dr Moreton is particularly pleased to support leadership development at the community level.

Activities include:

  • Developing and managing the Mentoring Program for the Australasian Women in Emergencies Network (AWE) (2019-2020)
  • Speaking to emerging and developing leaders as part of the Rivers and Ranges Leadership Program (2018 and 2019)
  • Mentoring a community leader with a focus on creative recovery, supported by funding from the Australia Council (2018)

Leva Consulting undertakes projects to identify lessons learned, review community engagement processes, and undertake evaluations of community planning and recovery processes.   We believe that by undertaking effective evaluations and reviews, all agencies and communities are able to continue to improve our practice.

Projects in this category are:

  • Conducted community consultations as part of an ‘audit’ of community recovery after the ‘Black Summer’ fires.  Communities included in the first phase of this project include Kangaroo Island (SA) and three communities in the Bega Valley Shire (NSW)
  • Facilitated a South West Complex Fires ‘lessons learned’ workshop to listen to and learn from the experiences of community leaders and members (2019)
  • Participated as a specialist advisor supporting a review of projects across NSW as part of an Office of Emergency Management funded National Disaster Resilience Program Evaluation (2018-19)

Conferences and presentations include:

  • ‘Community resilience – supporting community resilience and cohesion through development’ – Green Building Council of Australia (CBCA) and the City of Melbourne Workshop (2020)
  • ‘Get back to Business – looking after yourself during recovery’ – Dungog Shire Council Small Business Disaster Recovery workshop (2020)
  • Our Town‘ a video story from a community member in the future, if disasters are approached in new ways – AFAC2020 (2020)
  • Our Recovery Story 18 months after teh floods of Feb 2019 – The essential ingredients of a strong recovery’ – Acting as MC for the Western Queensland Primary Health Network presentation at AFAC2020 – including Hon Shane Stone, a local WQ Mayor and local community leaders (2020)
  • ‘Natural Disaster in Australia: How the human response contributes to community resilience and recovery’ – the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the National Indigenous Australians Agency, Canberra AUS (2020)
  • Better Together: unified resilience of communities, organisations and infrastructure‘ BCI Australasia Summit, Online AUS (2020)
  • ‘Winter is coming – the urgent and collective challenge to think and behave in new ways’ – Australian Disaster Resilience Conference, Melbourne AUS (2019)
  • ‘An Indigenous Experience of Disaster Resilience, recovery and leadership’, A conversation with Phil Rist, an Indigenous Elder from far north Queensland – at the inaugural Australian Disaster Resilience Conference, Perth AUS (2018)
  • “Community Engagement in Preparation and Recovery – an Australian Perspective” – The 5th Human Dimensions of Wildland Fire International conference, in Asheville, North Carolina, USA (2018).
  • Community resilience, effective community engagement and community led recovery – myth, mystery or achievable goals?’ The 6th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference – Gold Coast AUS (2017)
  • Are the media a force for community recovery, or an impediment?’ Emergency Media and Public Affairs Conference – Sydney AUS (2017)
  • ‘Understanding the ‘Community Action’ that is part of ‘Community Recovery’ – People in Disasters: Response Recovery Resilience Conference, Christchurch NZ (2016)
  • ‘Is community action central to community recovery?’– The 5th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference – Gold Coast AUS (2016)
  • ‘The community component of disaster resilience – How communities help themselves and one another’– Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) Mitigation, response and recovery: getting the balance right – Brisbane AUS (2016)

Publications include:

  • “Community Engagement for Disaster Resilience” a National Handbook in the series funded and published by the Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience (AIDR) September 2020
  • “We needed help, we weren’t helpless: the community experience of community recovery after natural disaster in Australia” AJEM January 2018
  • “The review of the National Principles for Disaster Recovery” co-authored with Louise Mitchell and Mark Stratton AEJM July 2018
  • “A Study of four natural disasters in Australia: how the human response to fire, flood and cyclone contributes to community resilience and recovery.” Thesis submitted for Doctor of Philosophy at the ANU (2016)

Our Community includes two separate sets of cards (2 x 50 = 100 cards):

  • Questions that help people prepare for emergencies, recover from a disaster, or strengthen resilience, and
  • Images to inspire a reflective and sometimes emotional response to disaster preparation, planning, response and recovery.

These cards assist individuals, families, communities, community organisations, schools and educators, consultants, non-government organisations, emergency services and all levels of government.

They enable you to:

  • Strengthen the resilience of a community,
  • Promote connection and understanding between people and groups in a community,
  • Promote and strengthen connection to place and history
  • Facilitate community preparation and planning for disasters and emergencies,
  • Produce a community emergency plan that has support across the community, and
  • Enhance community recovery when an emergency affects a community.

Building Resilience in the face of Catastrophic Events” is an ebook that Dr Moreton has developed based on the wisdom and experience of community members across Australia.  This book is built from research and gives voice to people who have experienced disasters and emergencies firsthand.  They provide key advice and suggestions based on their own experience of disasters, in their community.  This ebook is a ‘must read’ for anyone who wants to know what affected communities themselves say as they learn from their disaster experience, and what they believe matters most to prepare for, recover from and build resilience as a result of disasters and emergencies.

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