In mid-November I will be moving to Melbourne, Australia to pursue a full-time PhD course at the Monash University Accident Research Centre. I have been awarded a scholarship for which the research topic is "Enabling community-led disaster response initiatives."
In the meantime, I am finishing up with the Waimkariri District Council as we continue to implement Community Emergency Hubs, pilot the new Youth in Emergency Management short course, and work with the restructured Emergency Support Team and the NZRT12 response team. NZRT12 has just completed an assessment weekend and, I am confident, will soon achieve accreditation as a New Zealand Response Team under the new national framework. We are also planning a full-scale volunteer exercise for the 11th of November which will involve all of our volunteer teams.
It's an exciting change and I am really hoping to be able to use this publication-pathway research opportunity to tell the stories of how communities often rally and respond so creatively to disaster situations, and to highlight structures and mechanisms that could assist with this process.