The 2021 IGEM Champion of Change Awards recognise the work of those in the disaster management sector who actively champion change and demonstrate excellence.
Award recipients were announced by the Inspector-General on Tuesday 2 March 2021 and are profiled on the Public Safety Agencies’ International Women’s Day website.
Winner – Research and Engagement Category
Sioux Campbell, Disaster Management Resilience Officer, Cairns Regional Council
In her role working with Cairns Regional Council, an evidence-based approach to effective community engagement has been the core of Sioux’s success in building community resilience. Sioux’s appreciation of the value of research in informing her innovative projects is matched by the use of her role to advance academic research by integrating university projects and academics into her community-based practice.
Sioux quickly identified links between research one of her colleagues was facilitating with James Cook University for a Safe Communities program, and building community resilience. Her support for and use of varying forms of research (desktop, action, more formal academic investigations) to enhance engagement has continued since.
Notable examples include the Cairns Resilience Scorecard developed from Torrens and UN resilience measurement tools, research into levels of domestic under-insurance in Cairns, the Living with Water project using historical research into flooding on the Barron River to develop understanding with current residents, understanding the role of local ecosystem services in disaster resilience and planning for food contingencies in the region. The insurance, ecosystem services and food contingency projects have all been conducted in the past 12 months.
Sioux regularly supervises student placements/internships, including two High Distinction Masters’ students whose theses developed in disaster resilience in Cairns.
Sioux’s strengths are her strategic approach and ability to incorporate research findings/outcomes into both strategic and operational work. Sioux ensures the research is truly focused on practical implementation and outcomes, and directly contributes to quality sustainable resilience engagement programs. Her success is demonstrated in multiple award wins and recognitions over the years. Social and scientific research are both applied in Sioux’s work, assisting her to bring current, accurate information to her stakeholders and communities. She consistently receives positive feedback about this comprehensive approach and is widely known and respected throughout the Cairns and neighbouring local government areas.
Some of Sioux’s work includes the following: