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Supporting Child Resilience in Disasters: John Villiers Trust Inaugural Thriving Kids in Disasters Workshop

Recently RFW participated in the Thriving Kids in Disasters workshop to share our Community Recovery Services knowledge and experience.

The John Villiers Trust proudly stood alongside other stakeholders in the recent Thriving Kids in Disasters (TKiD) workshop, a pivotal event aimed at enhancing disaster response strategies with a specific focus on supporting children and young people through traumatic experiences.

Workshop Highlights: Hosted by ARACY (Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth), the workshop convened a diverse group of experts, including representatives from Royal Far West (RFW), to explore innovative approaches to addressing the unique needs of young individuals during disasters. RFW’s Emma Carwardine, Speech Therapist for Community Recovery Services, and Swetlana Jankowiak, Deputy Head of Community Recovery, provided invaluable insights from their experiences in Queensland.

The session commenced with a thought-provoking panel discussion featuring distinguished professionals such as Michelle Roberts, former Director of the Australian Centre for Adolescent Trauma, and Ruby Awram from Emerging Minds Australia, Nicole Breeze, Chief Advocate for Children, UNICEF Australia and Swetlana Jankowiak, RFW Deputy Head of Recovery. The dialogue centered on identifying effective strategies for supporting children and young people through trauma and fostering resilience in the face of adversity.

Upcoming Plans: Excitingly, plans are already underway for a follow-up workshop scheduled for March, which will culminate in a comprehensive report and actionable recommendations. This continued collaboration underscores a collective commitment to bolstering disaster preparedness efforts and ensuring the well-being of our most vulnerable populations.

Background Information:

Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership (TQKP): The Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership, an initiative spearheaded by the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), serves as a catalyst for systemic change in the child, youth, and family sector across Queensland. By fostering collaborative efforts and leveraging existing networks, TQKP aims to drive positive outcomes for young individuals and their families.

Thriving Kids in Disasters Project: Queensland has well practiced and mature disaster management arrangements, strategies and capabilities at state, regional, district and local levels, with a strong focus on addressing vulnerability and building resilience. The Thriving Kids in Disasters (TKiD) project is a systemic review of disaster preparedness, management, and recovery arrangements in Queensland as they relate to children and young people. TKiD will lean into existing networks and wisdom in the disaster management and community recovery arena to promote a holistic understanding of how we can amplify contemporary best practice, embed current science on childhood wellbeing and resilience, and identify opportunities to better gear our systems to respond best.