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Rob Mitchell

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Rob Mitchell last won the day on July 16 2020

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  1. Down load the attached to see the latest news from HECoP. October 2020 update.pdf
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    Many engineers have an interest in applying their skills and knowledge in support of humanitarian undertakings. It can be a challenge, however, to discover how to become involved, the nature of competencies and knowledge concerned, and the active organisations, institutions, and individuals with whom useful contact could be made. Participating in this webinar will help to answer the following questions: · Is it for me? · What could I do? · Which organisations, institutions and individuals are active in this field? · How can I engage with them? · What may be my next steps
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    WEBINAR Bushfires: Response, Recovery, Preparedness - The Engineer The 2019/20 black summer was one of the worst in recent times in the world. The season started in early September 2019 in Queensland and gradually progressed into New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory. Thousands of firefighters and volunteers battled the fires, with millions of hectares burned, thousands of properties damaged, and countless numbers of wildlife exposed. In February 2020, the last fires were extinguished, with torrential rain assisting in putting out the remaining fires. Affected communities are recovering, COVID-19 has since caused further widespread disruption. On 20 August 2020 fires were again burning in Northern New South Wales, with record heat building in North West Australia. Yet it seems that a potential La-Nina event may yet save us from the worst of 2020, and now there may be too much water. Will we forget what happened less than one year ago as rains fall, and the fields are green? The National Disaster Risk Reduction framework emphasises the need for a shift in thinking about natural hazards and disaster impacts: “that disaster risk is a product of the effect of hazard (a sudden event or shock), impacting on (people and things) and the ability for those people and assets and systems to survive and adapt”. The interconnected and cascading effects of systemic disaster risk’ means that vulnerability to disasters is inevitable and causes and effects, are both complex and interconnected throughout society. So what role is there for engineers in disaster risk reduction. Some engineers will say we are implicit in disaster reconstruction and that recovery relies on the efforts of engineers. Perhaps those engineers will be alarmed to know that engineering as a profession does not engage in the national discussions on resilience. The newly formed Humanitarian Engineering Community of Practice within the College of Leadership of Management intends to champion engineering efforts in disasters as a subset of humanitarian endeavour. The Risk Technical Society has long championed disaster risk reduction within UN frameworks. Engineers need to be engaged in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Key takeaways 1. Will we forget lessons and create further vulnerability for communities? 2. Will we learn the lessons of 2019/20 if there is substantial rain in late 2020? 3. What is investment in preparedness and what is the role for engineers in disaster preparedness? About the Speakers Craig Lapsley, Innovation Pro, Chief Executive Craig Lapsley, PSM, is recognised as one of the world’s most experienced and creditable emergency management/public safety leaders with more than 35 years’ experience as a change maker who understands communities and complex problems. As Chief Executive of Innovation Pro Pty Ltd, Craig works across the world and Australia championing collaboration, community-centred outcomes and strategic leadership focusing on key global future drivers including climate change and resilience building. Craig was appointed as Victoria’s first Fire Services Commissioner in 2010 and then Emergency Commissioner. Renae Hanvin, Corporate2community, Founder Renae Hanvin is the founder of corporate2community, a purpose led business focused on building a nation of disaster resilience. Known for ‘doing disasters differently’, Renae advocates and activates greater private sector contribution before, during and after all-hazards disasters. Renae’s forward thinking, multi-stakeholder and strategic approaches shape solutions to provide pathways for the private sector and government to collaborate and co-design outcomes that benefit communities, businesses and governments.
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    Webinar - Delivering Humanitarian Engineering in a COVID-19 World Speakers - Eleanor Loudon (Engineers Without Borders) and Kirsten Sayers (RedR Australia) Synopsis Delivering humanitarian undertakings is challenging at the best of times. The turbulent, often chaotic context arising from a global pandemic makes the challenge even greater. The strength of fundamental principles is tested, lessons are learnt and strategic priorities clarified. Our speakers address these issue from the perspective of their particular organisations. Takeaways. Key Takeaways • Understanding the complexity of operating context is critical. • Adapting to turbulence is a necessary capability for practitioners and organisations. • Developing competencies of practitioners to handle these challenges is important. • Sharing knowledge and experience will be beneficial for the development of the Humanitarian Engineering discipline. About the speakers Eleanor Loudon - As the CEO of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Australia, Eleanor leads a team of more than 30 staff and hundreds of volunteers to implement a strategy that is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals. Her leadership enables engineering program teams in Australia, Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu to deliver technology, designed with communities to support their plans for better health, livelihoods and shelter. EWB also supports the education, training and mobilisation of values-driven engineers to deliver technology that benefits all, so that one day EWB is no longer needed. Her vision is that all engineers will be designing for community and sustainability first, and that the profession is leading on Australia’s commitment to the SDGs, Paris Targets and to our First Nations people. Kirsten Sayers - Former lawyer and diplomat, Kirsten Sayers, is CEO of international humanitarian response agency, RedR Australia. RedR Australia is the only United Nations Standby Partner in the Southern Hemisphere and Asia Pacific and is the sole delivery partner of the Australia Government’s civilian humanitarian deployment program, Australia Assists. Kirsten has previously held senior diplomatic and commercial appointments in Paris, Bangkok and Taipei. She was Australia’s Chief Negotiator and Delegation Leader to the Asia Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) Women Leaders’ Network meeting and APEC Gender Focal Point Network in 2009, and managed Australia’s delegation to the APEC CEO Summit the same year.
  9. Download the attachment to see our latest news. from HECoP! JULY 2020 UPDATE.pdf
  10. I participated in this well-conducted and well-attended event, but, unfortunately, had to leave before it concluded. Some (constructive) observations, however, based on the discussion in which I was involved. I understand, I think, that SIGHT groups are intended to "leverage technology for sustainable development". My first observation is that "technology" encompasses far more than "EE" (as in IEEE) technology, and, for many communities, may not be their highest priority for sustainable development. I presume "leverage" means to ensure the maximum positive impact for the resources and effort applied. I think the lessons of past development work of any kind is that the keys to sustainability and maximum effect are the building of a relationship with the communities concerned, recognising their sovereignty, and understanding their context and priorities. Sustainable outcomes involving any "technology" are dependent on the leadership and management of projects built on these fundamentals. So, SIGHT's aims are entirely admirable, but the temptation to find a problem which suits the "technology" needs to be avoided, in favour of finding and partnering with communities and developing/applying technologies to suit their needs and priorities. From this perspective, SIGHT members will benefit from membership of this Community of Practice, and access to its growing BOK, discussion forums, and network of practitioners.
  11. Hi Nick. Sorry to have been so long responding to this. As you will doubtless have gathered from my BOK and Forum posts, I do have strong views about practitioner competencies applicable to humanitarian work (as we have defined it for the purposes of the Community of Practice). Essentially, while judgments about the appropriateness and nature of technology are important, that aspect of engineering involvement is, in my opinion, less challenging (and less critical for success) than the requirement for insightful leadership. This capacity can, of course, be development "on deployment", but is unlikely to be fully appreciated without suitable pre-deployment preparation. The obvious difference for an engineer in a "traditional" context is the constrained timeframe in which projects and programs take place, vs ongoing employment with its more open-ended engagement. So, practitioners need, as a minimum, to understand context (see my BOK and Forum posts), the intricacies of communication (networks, styles, content, frequency), decision making (quality, ethics, consistency), and motivation (a rationale for following). The nature of engagement with local community participants, and the extent of their ownership of the undertaking must also be understood. I would suggest that the better practitioners are informed regarding these issues, the more effectively their competencies will develop. Looking forward to comments from others as we develop a competency framework. Rob
  12. Very much agree with Jeremy's comment. I think the diversity of backgrounds of engineers working in the humanitarian space will demonstrate the breadth of the capability of engineers to contribute in this field - from peak leadership of development generally to the application of appropriate technology.
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    Zoom meeting (AEST) to monitor progress
  14. The accompanying discussion paper is prompted by the observable developments which have transpired during the COVID19 crisis. It seeks to highlight the interconnected nature of social systems, and to suggest how humanitarian practice and education should include systemic comprehension as a valuable aspect of humanitarian context. All comments, constructive criticisms, etc welcomed. COVIDlessons200529.docx Appendix A in XL format .xlsx
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    Meeting Via Zoom
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