Victoria’s Gender and Disaster Taskforce: a retrospective analysis

Debra Parkinson, Alyssa Duncan, Susan Davie, Frank Archer, Angela Sutherland, Stephen O'Malley, Judy Jeffrey, Bob Pease, Andrew A.G. Wilson, Martijn Gough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


This paper outlines aspects of gender disparity in disasters and emergency management captured in Australian research and the resulting establishment of the Victorian Gender and Disaster (GAD) Taskforce. The achievements and learnings of the collective, collaborative and broad-based GAD Taskforce over its three-year tenure (2014-2016) are discussed. The primary aim of the GAD Taskforce was to reduce the compounding effects of gender on disaster impacts. Its success was due to initial high-level membership, inclusion of women’s health and other broad-based organisations, regular well-attended meetings and willingness of members to present a gendered analysis of their organisation. Existence of the GAD Taskforce facilitated access to a critical mass of professionals with gender and disaster expertise. Limitations to achievements of the GAD Taskforce emerged from new members not having decision-making authority and notable gaps in representation from the senior management of emergency management organisations. This paper and other documents can be used by subsequent groups working on gender or diversity to build on the achievements of the Taskforce. It will be important for such new groups to consider the threat to gender equity that ‘diversity and inclusion’intrinsically holds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Emergency Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Emergency management
  • gender cultures
  • disaster

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