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East Asia Summit International Disaster Assistance Workshop​

24 May 2018

Perth had the pleasure of hosting the 2018 East Asia Summit – International Disaster Assistance Workshop between 

8–10 May 2018. 


​With delegates from over 15 participating countries, international dignitaries and senior Australian government officials, the workshop aimed to solidify international relationships and arrangements for seeking and providing disaster assistance following catastrophic incidents, using the Rapid Disaster Response Toolkit. 

While Australia has a long history of providing international disaster assistance, arrangements for the request and receipt of international assistance into Australia following a catastrophic event has never been explored in detail. ​

The workshop examined a scenario where Australian resources were stretched beyond capacity due to fires and cyclones in New South Wales and Queensland respectively. Subsequently, Western Australia required international assistance due to a large magnitude earthquake that severely impacted the Perth CBD.  

Dr Ron Edwards, Chair of the State Emergency Management Committee, said that "Perth is the most isolated city in the world, with a history of seismic activity. As this year is the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Meckering earthquake, the workshop provided an opportunity to consider Western Australia's capability to respond to a sizeable earthquake within the CBD​."

​State Emergency Management Committee Chair, Dr Ron Edwards, addressing summit attendees.

Dr Edwards further stated, "Australia should be prepared to utilise the goodwill and resources of our near neighbours following catastrophic events." 

The workshop also provided ASEAN countries with insights into Australia's domestic arrangements so they can enhance their own capabilities and preparedness. 

Mr Joe Buffone, A/g Assistant Secretary, Emergency Management Australia presenting the scenario.

The East Asia Summit Rapid Disaster Toolkit has been an ongoing initiative since 2013 and is an excellent example of successful international collaboration.