As the pace, scale and complexity of crises continually increases, the Australian Civil Military Centre (ACMC) brought together government, emergency management and non-government experts to share lessons on civil-military interoperability in recent operations.
ACMC’s Lessons Symposium was held in Canberra on 26 June. Defence Force Chief of Joint Capabilities Lieutenant General John Frewen delivered the opening address focusing on the importance of building strong relationships and most importantly trust before, during and after events. Key principles for civil-military lessons: act in a timely manner to capture initial impressions, maintain continued contact and encourage open and frank discussions between all parties involved.
Other presentations and panel discussions from the conference included representatives from Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the NSW State Emergency Service.
“Concurrent and compounding crises in Australia such as the Black Summer fires, widespread flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic, have required extensive civil-military responses. Effective lessons management to support real time and post-event learning has become paramount.” said ACMC Executive Director, Nicola Rosenblum.
“This symposium has been an excellent opportunity to identify civil-military lessons from recent operations and to enhance Australia’s lessons management capability and preparedness for the next high-risk weather season.”
The ACMC Lessons Symposium was timed to connect with and support the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) and Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) Lessons Management Forum on 27-29 June.