Social Media in Emergencies a highlight at ANZDEM Conference
In May 2014, Emma Potter (PhD Candidate) and I attended the Australia and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management (ANZDEM) Conference on the Gold Coast. The conference theme was Earth: Fire and Rain and it focused on lessons learned from recent natural disasters. I particularly found the Social Media and Technology Stream interesting, where both Industry representatives and academics gave presentations on a range of issues including Brisbane City Council’s strategy to aggregate social media posts into one site, making it easier for their customers to keep updated in an emergency and a case study on how Fire & Rescue New South Wales managed their social media presence during the October 2013 bushfires.
I also gave a presentation outlining models of social media adoption in emergency management organisations at the conference. My paper forms the foundation for my Master’s research which will include a survey of Australian emergency management organisations and local governments to see how social media is positioned in their organisations. Emma recently showcased her research at her confirmation seminar and is currently undertaking ethnographic research at Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. We both really enjoyed the conference and made some great contacts with other academics and Industry practitioners that will help with our future research.
Judith Newton, Master of Arts (Research) Candidate