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EHA : Annual Review and Yearbook 2008
Branch Presidents' Reports Victorian Branch (continued) Emergency management Special Interest Group The EMSIG has had a number of focuses in the last financial year. These included: n Development and facilitation of the 2008 Emergency Management Course. n Participation in interagency Emergency Management Committees. n Development and presentation of emergency management education materials and presentations for Environmental Health students at Swinburne University. 2008 Emergency Management Course for Public Health Professionals The EMSIG has continued its focus on the development and facilitation of the nationally accredited Emergency Management Course for Public Health Professionals. This course, which has been conducted since 1985 and accredited since 1995, continues to provide vital training in the public health issues of an emergency in the four key areas of emergency management: Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. The 2008 Course, was held at Emergency Management Australia, Mt Macedon from 27 July to 1 August with a full complement of thirty participants including Environmental Health Officers (including representatives from interstate), personnel from the Department of Human Services and personnel from the Defence Department (RAAF). To maintain the accreditation status and ensure topics are current and of interest, the EMSIG continued to review the course program and the tabletop exercise. Emergency Management Committees The EMSIG represents EHA through its extensive network and through its participation in a number of Emergency Management committees. Current committees and EMSIG members representing the EHA are: Daniela Failla Ross Cairns State Catering Sub-Committee and DHS Pandemic Influenza Working Group Municipal Emergency Management Enhancement Group “MEMEG” Duncan Moore DHS Pandemic Influenza Working Group Swinburne University lectures The EMSIG has continued to be part of the environmental health training sector through the Swinburne University course for Environmental Health Practitioners. At the request of Louise Dunn Course Co-ordinator, a number of EMSIG members have presented lectures on emergency management topics to the students. Speakers have included: n Seona Liew n Andrea Spiteri n Daniela Failla n Houa Tia In May this year, the EMSIG gave an overview of Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery to first year students. In late 2007, the SIG undertook a presentation for second year students, which was an assessed item of their course. This builds on the development of this part of the Swinburne University course, and the utilisation of the EMSIG in their course structure continues to be an achievement for the EMSIG. Sponsorship The EMSIG would like to thank Kernow Environmental Services (Terry Old), and the Department of Human Services for their financial support of the Emergency Management for Public Health Professionals course this year. Without this financial support, the cost of the course would have to increase to a point where smaller rural councils may not be in a financial position to allow EHOs to participate. Other Items In addition to the above, the professional achievements of some of the EMSIG members are recognised: n Kirsten Jenkins returned from Laos after working with the Burnet Institute as a Project Management Advisor. Burnet’s programs focussed mainly on HIV prevention and social research. Kirsten has returned to her previous position as Coordinator Public Health and Municipal Recovery Manager with Nillumbik Shire Council. n Ross Cairns is Coordinator Environmental Health and Municipal Recovery Manager with Wangaratta Council and was recently admitted as a fellow to EHA. A number of SIG members are now ex-officio members of the EMSIG. Sally-Ann Atkinson, Lyndal Peterson and Seona Liew are currently on maternity leave, and Heather O’Donnell, is back working part time for Department of Human Services. Of particular note, Max Murphy has resigned from the EMSIG due to work commitments. Max has been a member of our SIG for many years and his contribution to the course has been invaluable. He will be missed. 40 EHA ANNUAL REPORT 2008