The ACMC conducted its Civil-Military Interaction Workshop (CMIW) at the Australian Emergency Management Institute in Mount Macedon, Victoria, from 15-20 March 2015. The CMIW is ACMC’s flagship professional development program, bringing together around fifty participants to explore key issues in multinational, multiagency responses to conflicts and disasters.
This group of practitioners included middle ranking officers and officials from key agencies in Australia, including the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Attorney-General’s Department, as well as non-government organisations and the private sector. They were joined by participants from thirteen nations, mainly across South East and North Asia, as well as Africa and the Pacific. This is the first time that participants from Myanmar, Brunei and Fiji have attended a CMIW, and we were pleased to welcome for the first time a police officer from the Philippines and a military officer from the People’s Liberation Army – China.
During the CMIW, participants engaged in a number of group activities, working together to draw out lessons on what leads to success on complex operations. These lessons include recognising the primacy of the host nation’s responsibilities and capabilities; as well as understanding the different perspectives, planning approaches and capabilities of different agencies and nations.
A particular highlight, among many excellent presentations, was the keynote address delivered by Rear Admiral Hiroshi Yamamura, Director, Defense Plans and Policy Department , from the Joint Staff of the Japanese Self Defense Force. Examining the lessons of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake he highlighted the multiagency character of any major crisis response.
Participants have enjoyed the opportunity to work together, and also took advantage of opportunities to share presentations on their home agency’s strengths and characteristics. As well as the formal program, everyone enjoyed after work time developing professional networks in the pleasant surroundings at Mount Macedon.
Once they return home, participants will have an opportunity to apply what they have learned to support future responses to conflicts and disasters. They will also have a cohort of fellow participants with whom to share ideas and opportunities, based on the high level of trust developed at CMIW.
Photos from this workshop are stored on the ACMC’s Flickr account. To access the photos please click here.