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Contents & Abstracts
Volume 2006-1

The Australasian Journal of Disaster
and Trauma Studies
ISSN:  1174-4707
Volume : 2006-1

Editorial : Disaster Response and Recovery: Considering volunteers, displaced communities and cultural heritage
by Douglas Paton


Disaster management and cultural heritage: An investigation of knowledge and perceptions of New South Wales Rural Fire Service Brigade Captains
by Kristy Graham & Dirk HR Spennemann
Keywords: Disaster Management, Heritage Protection, Rural Fire Service, Attitudinal Barriers, Education
The protection of life and property will always be the priority in any disaster situation. At the same time other considerations often fall by the way side and short-term decisions are made that have irreparable implications on environmental and cultural heritage issues. Anecdotal information and pilot studies suggested that there are a number of barriers that limit disaster planning for cultural heritage resources. In an attempt to provide empirical evidence of these barriers a postal survey was distributed to Rural Fire Service Brigade Captains throughout New South Wales (Australia). The results highlight limited understanding of cultural heritage issues, limited exposure to dealing with such resources in disaster situations and limited communication between heritage and disaster management agencies.

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The Trauma And Beyond Trauma of Political Displacement: An Exploratory Case Study of One White Zimbabwean Farmer
by Professor Zelda G Knight
Keywords: Political, Displacement, Zimbabwe, Trauma, Farmers, Aftermath, Psychologica
The world is witnessing a mass movement of between 15 to 20 million displaced persons and refugees. This speaks to the global political instability of many nations. Zimbabwe is one of those nations, with its lack of democratic principles and freedoms as well as gross human rights abuses. It is within this context that many Zimbabweans have been politically displaced. Three phases of displacement have been identified in the literature but these lack a psychological developmental process. Not much has been documented regarding the experience of displaced persons in Zimbabwe, especially of individuals of European descent. The focus of this article is to describe and understand the experience of one white Zimbabwean farmer in the aftermath of being politically displaced. To this end, an attempt is made to describe the psychological developmental process of the experience of displacement. A phenomenological - interpretative approach was adopted, with qualitative methods of data collection and data analysis used. An in-depth investigation of a single case study was selected. The notion of psychological growth in the aftermath of trauma is often overlooked, and this participant displayed a remarkable ability for self-determination and personal growth. Conclusions reached are a) it is possible to experience psychological growth in the aftermath of the trauma of political displacement, and b) this case points to the possible mapping out of a psychological developmental process of displacement.

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State Emergency Service (SES) volunteer members: An investigation into coping abilities and adjustment strategies following emergency activations.
by Felicity Shipley & Kathryn Gow
Keywords: SES volunteers; critical incidents; coping
State Emergency Service (SES) volunteer members are a unique group of individuals who are often exposed to varying degrees of adversity. This study enquired into their individual utilisation of coping abilities and deliberate adjustment strategies following stressful and/or critical incident activations (call-outs). The main findings were that SES volunteer members utilised a range of idiosyncratic individualised coping abilities and deliberate adjustment strategies; that maladaptive coping was utilised the least amongst participants with only 19% of participants reportedly utilising this strategy; and specifically, that a majority of participants (88%) attempted to re-establish routine and control after activation. These results were consistent with the current literature for other emergency service responders.

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