On October 23-25, a Disaster, Design and Development (DDD) intensive was conducted at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Federation Square, Melbourne. This 3-day event provided a good opportunity for new MoDDD students to meet and catch up with their peers, MoDDD staff and a group of DDD experts from industry, the public sector and academia. The program on Day 1 was focused on ascertaining the breadth of skills needed to work in the DDD sector. Kirsten McDonald, Senior Principal from ARUP convened a workshop engaging students to brainstorm and present skills they thought were needed for response, recovery and reconstruction, reflecting on the Marysville case study. She concluded the workshop by explaining her tasks in the office and in the field. Later on day 1, the students had the opportunity to discuss their ideas and share their questions with the industry panel, which included Tom Bamforth from Australian Red Cross, Christian Neilson from the NGO Live and Learn, Kirsten McDonald from ARUP and Fabian Prideaux from Humanitarian Benchmark Consulting.
Day 2 was Marysville day! MoDDD had the opportunity to gather a group of experts involved in the recovery of Marysville after the Black Saturday bushfires to reflect on their diverse experiences and perspectives in recovery, rebuilding and pursuing appropriate responses. The panel included Craig Lapsely from Emergency Management Australia, Max Ginn from The Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (VBRRA), and Michael Chesworth from Murrindindi Shire Council. In addition, David Barton shared his thoughts as a PhD researcher who himself has been affected by bushfires.
Professor David Sanderson, inaugural Judith Neilson Chair at UNSW, was the special speaker on day 3 and introduced the key research themes in the DDD sector. Professor Sanderson and Kirsten McDonald ran the last workshop to help students develop their research ideas and draft concept notes in that regard. The intensive workshop was a success in meeting its purpose to bring together a rich range of DDD experts from different sectors to expose students to a variety of skills and competencies they will need to develop. The workshops also gave insights to the students on how to initiate their industry projects.