What made you want to study with MUARC?
I completed a Graduate Certificate in Emergency Health (Emergency and Disaster Preparedness) and met some great Monash people in the process who encouraged and supported me to continue my studies.
How was your experience studying with MUARC, and would you recommend it to prospective PhD candidates?
Being able to choose the topic in my field of interest was very important to me as I have been able to make tangible differences to my work and how I relate to communities. Having the support, guidance and understanding of my supervisors throughout my research meant there was always someone to talk to about managing the load when also juggling work, health, family, and life.
Can you please tell us a bit about what your thesis was about and what you found?
My thesis was Community-Based Emergency Planning: An autoethnographic approach to exploring the barriers and solutions. It looks at the progression of community-based emergency planning and the range of models, programs and approaches taken by agencies in engaging communities in planning for emergencies. It includes my own interactions with three separate township committees and the analysis of case studies to find the barriers and solutions to achieve productive community engagement. This analysis resulted in the identification of seven barriers and possible solutions to more effective engagement.
How do you think you’ll remember your time studying with MUARC?
I will remember the great interactions with my supervisors, MUDRI staff and my colleagues. Their support and understanding were invaluable throughout my research journey and the changing directions when life and career inevitably threw up hurdles along the way.
Can you please tell us about where your career has taken you post-graduation?
After many years of experience in emergency management, I am lucky enough to be working in my field of research with great support from my employer. I can now implement the outcomes of my research in my work and share my findings with the sector through many avenues at local, regional, and state levels.
How have your studies with MUARC helped you in your career?
My research has opened my eyes and given me a greater depth of understanding in working with communities in preparing for emergencies. A good planning model is no guarantee of success due to the many factors and variables that can affect the process. I am now better able to help others working with communities and better able to inform policy and program development.