What are the characteristics of a strong, resilient community? Why do some communities come together and some fall apart, especially in the wake of disaster? This panel provides the results of two major studies that examine community resilience pre and post the recent Queensland flooding disasters. It also critically engages with the role of the state in supporting the development of resilient communities. This event will demonstrate how we can resource and prepare our communities to be strong and resilient and will reveal best practice examples drawing on research and recent experiences in disaster recovery.


Professor Lorraine Mazerolle
Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow
Research Professor, Institute for Social Science Research
The University of Queensland

Lorraine Mazerolle is a Research Professor in the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) at The University of Queensland and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow. She is also the Foundation Director and a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS), a Chief Investigator in the Drug Policy Modelling Program, and the ISSR “Policing and Security” Program Director. Professor Mazerolle leads a team of highly talented research scholars with expertise in experimental criminology, urban criminological theories, survey methods, advanced multi-level statistics and spatial statistics. She is the recipient of numerous US and Australian national competitive research grants on topics such as community regulation, problem-oriented policing, police technologies, civil remedies, street-level drug enforcement and policing public housing sites. Professor Mazerolle is a Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, immediate past President of the Academy, foundation Vice President of the American Society of Criminology Division of Experimental Criminology and author of scholarly books and articles on policing, drug law enforcement, third party policing, regulatory crime control, displacement of crime, and crime prevention. In 2010, she was awarded the Division of Experimental Criminology’s Freda Adler Distinguished International Scholar Award. Professor Mazerolle has given many invited addresses in national and international forums, participating in the “2020 Summit” convened by Prime Minister Rudd in 2008 as well as serving as one of just two international policing scholars in “Pearls in Policing” hosted by the Dutch government in The Hague.

Dr Rebecca Wickes 
Research Fellow, Institute for Social Science Research
Lecturer in Criminology, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland

Dr Rebecca Wickes is an urban criminologist and her research focuses on social relationships in urban communities and how changing patterns of social exchange influence and impact community regulation, informal social control and violent victimisation. Dr Wickes is also developing an emerging profile in the area of ‘community resilience’. She holds a joint appointment with the School of Social Science as a teaching and research academic and the Institute for Social Science Research as a Research Fellow. She is also an Associate Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS). Dr Wickes has published in highly ranked journals in her field. She has presented her research at many national and international conferences and has been invited to present at several national symposiums. Dr Wickes’ research is also recognised by government as evidenced by her participation in an expert advisory group for the Queensland Department of Communities and her role as a participant in bi-lateral working group convened by the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Australia and the Department of Homeland Security in the United States. In 2010 she was appointed the Australian Representative by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to participate on a multilateral community resilience working group convened by the United States’ Department of Homeland Security. From this appointment, she has consulted on the Council of Australian Governments’ National Disaster Strategy and has produced a gap analysis report for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Dr Suzanna Ramirez
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Social Science Research
The University of Queensland

Suzanna is a postdoctoral research fellow for CEPS working on the Vulnerable Communities project including the National Household Survey. Suzanna completed her PhD in sociology at the University of Washington in 2011. Her dissertation looked at the relationship between neighborhood collective efficacy and neighborhood collective behavior, particularly for immigrants. Suzanna’s research interests include neighborhood crime and collective behavior, ecological theories of crime, and juvenile justice practices for youth delinquency and child dependency cases. More specifically, she is currently working on 3 core projects while at UQ. The national survey seeks to benchmark Australian attitudes towards terrorism, national security and overall wellbeing. The Living in Queensland study seeks to track how Queenslanders are preparing for disaster over time. Lastly, she is currently working on a project that seeks to understand how definitions and reports of child abuse and maltreatment vary across Brisbane neighborhoods.

Chief Superintendent Alistair Dawson (QPS)
Chief Superintendent, Queensland Police Service

Chief Superintendent Alistair Dawson joined the Metropolitan Police, London, England in 1976 serving at Stoke Newington until 1981, when he immigrated to Australia. The following year he joined the Queensland Police Service until 1987, when he transferred to the Brisbane Water Police serving as a police diver and vessel master. In 1992 Alistair was promoted to Sergeant, State Search and Rescue (SAR) Coordinator and Training Officer where he coordinated the development of the first Diploma of SAR Coordination Course in Australia, was a helicopter rescue crewman with Emergency Management Queensland and also visited Canada as part of a National SAR delegation. In 2000, Alistair was promoted to Inspector and posted to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Planning Unit, where he was the officer in charge of the venue management and security cell. Following September 11, CHOGM was postponed so he moved to Toowoomba as Staff Officer to the Assistant Commissioner, but returning as one of the venue commanders for CHOGM II. Alistair has served on the Gold Coast as a District Inspector and also been the police commander of the Lexmark Indy, Deputy Police Commander of Schoolies and the police commander at a number of other significant events and sieges. On Australia Day 2010, Alistair was awarded the Australian Police Medal (APM) and that same year was promoted to Chief Superintendent, Command Coordinator, Operations Support Command, Police Headquarters. Co-chair of the State Disaster Coordination Group (SDCG), Alistair coordinated the whole of government response to disaster events across the state between December 2010 and February 2011 caused by Cyclones Tasha, Anthony and Yasi. In September 2012, Alistair was seconded to the QPS G20 Group as the Program Director for the 2014 G20 planning for the Finance Ministers’ Meeting and the Leaders Summit.

Global Leadership Series Resilient Communities from UQ Journalism & Communication on Vimeo.

About Global Leadership Series

The Global Leadership Series (GLS) is a lively program of events for alumni and community members. Join us for lectures and discussions with the best of the best UQ-related speakers on matters that impact your community and shape your ideas of the world.

The series is an opportunity for you to engage with great minds on global matters, participate in thought-provoking discussions and network with UQ alumni and community members. All alumni, parents, community members and friends are welcome to attend the Global Leadership Series events.

Listen to podcasts of previous GLS events click here


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