There is a need for emergency management systems in Australia to shift to a more collaborative model that involves working with communities rather than simply delivering to communities. This research paper argues that in order to address this, emergency services organisations in Australia need to continue to shift from a service delivery approach to a more localised, participatory and consultative model that acknowledges and harnesses local leadership, knowledge, skills and experience creating opportunities for community driven and fit-for-purpose emergency management.
The localisation agenda provides an impetus to review power imbalances throughout the global humanitarian system, and those that exist within Australia should not be exempt.
The paper makes the case for why localised approaches are important in places with diverse populations such as the Northern Territory (NT). The NT Aboriginal community of Nauiyu’s experience of evacuations due to flooding in 2015 and 2018 will be used as a case study to offer an example of locally led approaches to disaster resilience.