University of Canberra
CURF Seminar Series | 13 May 2019 | "Building Resilience in Climate Affected Communities"
Posted 4 April 2019 2:33pm

Building Resilience in Climate Affected Communities

with speakers Mark Crosweller (Head of the National Resilience Taskforce) and Susan Helyar (Executive Director of ACT Council of Social Service).  ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment Professor Kate Auty chaired the event.

When: Monday 13 May 2019

Mark Crosweller
Mark Crosweller is currently the Head of the National Resilience Taskforce for the Department of Home Affairs within the Australian Government. In this role, Mark is responsible for liaising extensively at the national level across governments, NGOs and the private sector to lead nation-wide reform to reduce the impact of disasters on Australian communities and the economy through disaster mitigation and resilience policy.

Mark’s extensive career spans across the private sector as well as local, state, territory and federal governments. During this time Mark has led large and diverse workforces at division, group and agency level in all aspects of strategy, operations and corporate governance.

In his previous role over a five year period as Director General of Emergency Management Australia, Mark was responsible for the coordination of Australia’s response to crises, including natural disasters and to terrorist and security related incidents both domestically and internationally. Mark also led and directed National Emergency Management Strategy and Policy and the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements as well as coordinating the delivery of protective security to Australia’s Holders of High Office, events of special significance and to the diplomatic community within Australia. He was also responsible for briefing Australia’s Prime Minister and the Cabinet of the Australian Government in relation to all aspects of disaster management.

Presentation abstract

Mark Crosweller PowerPoint

Mark spoke about the need to balance the tensions between risk reduction and resilience, and to reframe the issue such that less obligation is placed upon the individual and more responsibility is placed upon those that are in control of the decisions that create our societies through governance, investments and decision making. Mark also spoke to the recent work the National Resilience Task Force particularly relating to knowledge and vulnerability.

Susan Helyar
Susan’s career has focused on making a difference - as a social worker, in policy roles in ACT and Commonwealth governments, as the leader of services development advocacy work for UnitingCare Australia and as Executive Director of ACT Council of Social Service.

Susan enjoys building community led partnerships that shift public debate, making progress on social justice advocacy agendas and ensuring high quality organisation and workforce capability development programs are available to the community sector. She enjoys bringing research and business leaders together to work with the community on shared priorities for social and economic reform.  

Presentation abstract

Susan Helyar PowerPoint

Susan talked about the value of social capital as a protective factor in a changing climate, and shared her perspective on the investments needed to build social capital in neighbourhoods. She spoke about the evidence and impacts of rising inequality on the ability of households to adapt to a changing climate and the strategies that could be put in place to improve the resilience of low income households.

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