Volume 27 Issue 1, 2012

Disaster Mapper designed to help build student resilience

Australian Emergency Management Institute

The Attorney-General Robert McClelland launched an innovative new interactive schools resource tool designed to help students and teachers find information about disasters on 9 December 2011.


It is called the Disaster Mapper – An interactive resource for schools and it is the latest in an extensive suite of disaster education materials available through a national Emergency Management for Schools program managed by the Australian Emergency Management Institute.

Photograph of students using laptops in a library

Kogarah High School students in southern Sydney actively engaged with the interactive Disaster Mapper program at the launch.

“This interactive map of Australia shows a wide range of disaster events from which students can learn about becoming better prepared for emergencies and natural disasters,” said Mr McClelland. He launched the resource at the Kogarah High School in southern Sydney.

The Disaster Mapper is aimed at Year 5-10 students. It holds statistics, images, video and text for more than 50 significant disaster events that have occurred in Australia from the early 1900s to the present day.

“By looking at the disasters that have gone before us – be they natural events like floods, bushfires, tsunamis, earthquakes, heatwaves or cyclones, or human-caused incidents such as oil spills or bridge collapses – we can better understand causes and prepare for similar events occurring in the future,” said Mr McClelland.

Photograph of the Hon Robert McClelland and Ms Raelene Thompson observing students using laptops in a library

The Minister for Emergency Management, The Hon Robert McClelland and Executive Director of the Australian Emergency Management Institute, Ms Raelene Thompson watch as students engage with Disaster Mapper.

”Let’s recognise that disasters will happen in this big country and they will have significant impact on our communities. So I encourage all teachers to use this information tool to broaden knowledge and to make it a catalyst for discussion and learning.”

The Attorney-General emphasised that learning from past experiences is one of the most valuable ways a community can build resilience and become self-reliant in times of crisis. “Knowing about the risk of disaster and how to prepare will arm everyone before such events occur,” he said.

Access to the Disaster Mapper can be found on the Australian Emergency Management website at www.em.gov.au/schools