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Researching Koori engagement in emergency services
As part of CFA’s Koori Inclusion Action Plan a team of three American students have been in Melbourne to research ‘Koori Engagement in the Emergency Services’.
The joint research project between MFB, SES and CFA has seen the students out and about across Melbourne and surrounds to learn all they can about what drives Indigenous participation in the emergency services and what we can do to better increase participation and inclusion.
Sponsored by the Emergency Services Foundation for a six week period the three students dared not waste any time and got straight into the task of interviewing and speaking to Indigenous community members, agency members and Indigenous CFA members across the State.
The three students, Mike, Nick and Sean undertook two sessions of Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training at both the Department of Justice and with CFA to help guide them with this project. From the get go the students were keen to learn more and took a very proactive and open minded approach to the project.
The three engineering students are studying vastly different topics at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts in the U.S. And although their career aspirations are not aligned to either anthropology or the humanities it was great to hear their genuine enthusiasm and dedication to the research project here in Victoria.
“It has been great to work on a project that is so quintessentially Australian and to learn so much in the process” said Nick. And Mike agreed saying that “he had personally learnt a lot and felt they had the best project with the most gains to make”.
The research project is near completion, with the three students up to finalising their report and presentation over the next two weeks. They will present their findings on the 5th of May. CFA is looking forward to having some research to use to underpin decision making in relation to policies, procedures and practices that aim to improve Koori inclusion and engagement in the organisation.
Whether it was their resemblance to the boy band, One Direction, or their mild mannered nice natured approach to the project, Mike, Nick and Sean managed to do a great job in a short amount of time in a very complex environment, and it has been a great start to CFA understanding more about Koori inclusion and engagement.
Thank you to all the CFA members who took part in the telephone or face-to-face interviews.