Home for the holidays, working

December 28, 2016 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

I’ve returned to my home city of Adelaide to work in emergency services, building on my international experience in disaster response and risk reduction, as well as postgraduate studies in health promotion and science communication. I’m doing communications work for the CFS, South Australia’s community-based fire, rescue and emergency service. Also the agency with what I think are the best emergency planning & response maps in the state!

I was anticipating trading cyclone season in Vanuatu for bushfire season in Australia, though it’s not been such a clear trade. While I have been responding to plenty of bushfires, I’ve also been responding to floods and storm damage, which brings to my mind this famous Australian poem I learnt in primary school.

Working for the CFS is my first role directly in government, which has involved training in emergency response protocols and operational duties in emergency situations. I’ve also been trained as a firefighter! I’ve enjoyed learning more about the physics of water pumps and climate science of bushfires. Given the CFS depends on the work of more than 13,000 volunteer emergency responders, this role builds on my experience working with volunteers and training in psychological first aid.

Last month I also popped over to the US capital city of Washington to participate in OpenCon, thanks to a travel grant from the Wikimedia Foundation and SPARC. It was a long trip, but turned out to be worthwhile for meeting so many inspiring people and participating in new projects like the beta of SocArxiv.

I also submitted my PhD in October, finally!

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Vanuatu

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