International alert series: The BIG Issues - Relief in Sight

Relief in sight? How well prepared is Australia to respond to a crisis in our region?

Thursday 23 August 2007

Presented by World Vision Australia and AusAID and supported by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, UniSA

A series of forums for dialogue, discussion and questions, on key international development issues involving and affecting the Australian community


  • The Hon Alexander Downer, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Mr Robert Tickner, CEO - Australian Red Cross
  • Mr Dan Kelly, Strategic Operations Director - Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs, World Vision International

Relief in sight - unedited audio transcript:  Forum and   Questions (20 MB mp3 format)

We live in a volatile region prone to natural and environmental disaster. Developing countries in the Asia Pacific region are especially vulnerable to a range of natural hazards, including tropical cyclones, floods, landslides, droughts, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis. The impact of natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies is far reaching.

Australia helps reduce the adverse impacts of conflict, natural and other disasters on vulnerable populations in the Asia-Pacific region, with individuals and aid and development agencies playing a crucial role in the initial response and longer term rebuilding process.

At times like these Australia’s aid response is stretched to the limits. How prepared are we to respond to such emergency situations in the 21st Century? What capacity does Australia have to bring about immediate and effective relief when crisis hits? Have we been effective in our previous emergency relief responses, and what have we learnt to improve our response in the future?

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While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy – valuing our cultural diversity – and building our future.