The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, today congratulated the Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence for holding a successful 3rd annual Civil-Military Interaction Seminar (CMIS) in Sydney from 7-10th November 2011.
The seminar brought together about 120 civil-military experts from eighteen countries around the world – including Pakistan, the United States of America, Afghanistan and Indonesia – the United Nations, the Australian Government and non-governmental organisations.
Senator Feeney said the 2011 seminar, entitled ‘Civil-Military Effectiveness: Building Tomorrow’s Capabilities’, highlighted recent trends in civil-military practice.
“This seminar discussed cutting edge issues. For instance, experts considered how social media is being used during disaster situations,” Senator Feeney said.
“Social media was used to keep local communities informed about the facts during the Queensland floods.
“These technologies can be used in international responses to natural disasters, armed conflict and complex emergencies.
Ms Heather Blanchard, Co-founder of Crisis Commons, USA and speaker at the seminar said: “Now more than ever, using social media during a disaster or crisis is a must do, rather than a nice to do.
“If you don’t listen to and communicate with the community you are putting yourself at a huge disadvantage. The conversation is happening around you; ignore it at your peril.”
Professor William Maley from the Australian National University, Australia also spoke at the seminar. His speech was entitled: “Preventive Diplomacy: Past Practices, Future Opportunities”.
Professor Maley said: “Building the capacity of civilian and military actors to work cooperatively in disrupted states is a key challenge for modern governments.”
“The Civil Military Interaction Seminar is a brilliant example of how this can be done economically, effectively, and with genuine long-term benefit for Australia and its region,” Professor William Maley said.
Other speakers included:
• Ms Jane Parfitt, Christchurch City Council General Manager who talked about experiences from Christchurch.
• Dr Elizabeth Ferris, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution who discussed responses to natural disasters.
• The Hon. James Tanis, former President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
• The Hon. Paul Tovua, Solomon Islands Permanent Secretary responsible for RAMSI.
• Mr James Brown, Military Associate, Lowy Institute for International Policy.
• Ms Kym Charlton, Executive Director of Media and Public Affairs for the Queensland Police Service.
Topics also discussed at the seminar:
• non-traditional players in conflict situations;
• measuring and benchmarking outcomes; and
• professional ethics and training for civil-military personnel.
Media Contact: Lorna Clarke – 0408 345 730