By Iain MacKenzie, Queensland Inspector-General Emergency Management
The vision for the Queensland Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management (IGEM) is to be a catalyst for excellence in emergency management. Central to achieving this is a genuine need for commitment to authentic and thorough engagement—from the ground up. This is essential for real change and enhanced confidence in Queensland’s disaster management arrangements.
In 2014 our stakeholders from across the sector worked closely with the newly established Office of the IGEM to build the foundations for future work. Through this consultation we now have our first Strategic Plan1 and the Emergency Management Assurance Framework, and Queensland’s first Standard for Disaster Management2.
Using the Framework and the Standard as foundations, IGEM has undertaken comprehensive assurance activities. These are:
Importantly, the evidence-based recommendations coming from these reviews have been strongly embraced. Of these recommendations, 99 per cent have been accepted by the entities involved. My strong desire is for the findings and recommendations to be considered as opportunities for improved outcomes to the community as this is where our collective focus needs to be.
To enhance disaster management excellence at the local level, the IGEM has developed:
Workshops explaining the Standard have been held across Queensland for members and chairs of local and district disaster management groups. This has proved beneficial to build the level of communication, collaboration and partnering with our disaster management stakeholders.
As part of this, a Disaster Management Officer Network was established to allow local practitioners to connect, keep up with developments in disaster management arrangements and associated doctrine and to share and develop their skills, knowledge, resources and ideas. The network ran a three-day forum in Cairns in May 2016 and has now grown to over 70 officers from more than 50 local governments and one member from the Local Government Association of Queensland.
Our focus on collaboration, partnerships and engagement continues through:
The IGEM also meets with mayors and senior executives from local governments throughout Queensland. My staff frequently address local and district disaster management group meetings, speak at local, national and international conferences and participate in exercises, workshops, forums and symposiums.
Our ground-up approach has been well-received as reflected in stakeholder satisfaction with our work. Overall, 83 per cent of our stakeholders were either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the services and advice provided by the IGEM.
I am proud of the outcomes achieved and the improvements delivered so far by the sector, some of these include:
My goal for the coming years is to take the excellent work so far to the next level and to deliver the best possible disaster management arrangements for all Queensland.
For more information visit the IGEM website at www.igem.qld.gov.au.
1 IGEM Strategic Plan. At: www.igem.qld.gov.au/reports-and-publications/Pages/Strategic-Plan.aspx.
2 IGEM Standard for Disaster Management. At: www.igem.qld.gov.au/assurance-framework/Pages/standard.aspx.
3 The Champion of Change Award was established to create equity and diversity in the workplace. It is open to those who actively champion change to bring about greater equity for women in the Queensland disaster management sector.