Engagement with the emergency management sector allows us to gather a wealth of information on contemporary practices, emerging challenges and opportunities

We connect with a range of agencies, departments and sector-related bodies with a variety of roles in emergency management – across Victoria and in Australia. And if the opportunity arises, internationally through Emergency Management Conference (External link) presenters.

In August 2023 our General Manager Business Services, Dr Deb Parkin accepted a reciprocal invitation from the UK's Environment Agency (External link) to share insights into IGEM’s unique role and functions, and discuss emergency management systems in Victoria and England.

The Environment Agency UK aims to help people and wildlife adapt to climate change and reduce its impacts, including flooding, drought, sea level rise and coastal erosion.

Dr Parkin with Environment Agency members meeting in a room with others online








Dr Parkin’s presentation highlighted:

  • The sector’s assurance framework for emergency management and its four principles promotes a culture of continuous improvement, guides our assurance activities, and encourages all levels of the emergency management system to conduct their own self-assurance processes.
  • Our recent reviews including pandemic response, 2019–20 Black Summer bushfires, 2016 thunderstorm asthma event and industrial fires demonstrate the culture of continuous improvement relies on building trust and relationships, and taking a non-adversarial approach.
  • The value of reform is learning from emergencies, making recommendations that can be implemented within available resources and which aim for improvement not perfection. And, following through with actions. 
  • Our accountability function through monitoring and reporting on the implementation of previous review recommendations provides transparency through tracking, explaining and communicating the extent to which agreed changes are contributing to preparedness, response and recovery.
  • Conduct of year-round activities to assess performance of emergency (Triple zero) call-taking and dispatch services demonstrate our risk-based assessment process to determine appropriate assurance approaches.
  • Applying and promoting the use of root cause analysis to ensure causal factors but also underlying causes of performance issues are identified.

The opportunity to meet with 20 Environment Agency representatives confirmed the value of an independent, dedicated assurance and continuous improvement role, and cemented pathways for future collaboration and sharing.

We’re grateful to Caroline Douglas and Environmental Agency representatives for the invitation to attend.

[Dr Parkin undertook travel to the United Kingdom at their own expense]