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Emergencies & disasters! What is the role of legal and public sector agencies?

Cartoon image of a suburban street flooded. A yellow car is floating in the water and an electricity line has fallen in the flood water. In the background, a pink house is 1/3 covered in flood water.
Panelists will discuss how Victoria's public center agencies responded to COVID-19, floods, and fires, reflecting on successes and challenges, and identifying lessons learned to inform future crisis management.

In three years, the Victorian community has experienced floods, fires, and the COVID-19 pandemic. What have public centre agencies done well during this period? What have they learned from responding to emergencies, handling complaints, and service response? What practices should be carried forward?
At this special Victoria Law Week event, expert panellists will answer these pressing questions and discuss the future responsibilities of the legal and public sectors during times of crisis.
- Deborah Glass is the Victorian Ombudsman, the first woman to serve in this role, starting in March 2014. She prioritizes fair and reasonable decision-making, public administration improvements, and the advancement of human rights and public sector integrity.
- Jennifer Beveridge has been CEO of Tenants Victoria since June 2019. Her leadership experience in not-for-profit organisations spans 25 years, centred on community needs. Before Tenants Victoria, she was CEO of Eating Disorders Victoria, and has also worked in health and youth services.
- Sharon Keith manages Disaster Legal Help Victoria, connecting people with support for their legal problems before and after disasters. She helps lead the strategic vision of the partnership of legal bodies, including the Federation of Community Legal Centres, Justice Connect, and Victoria Legal Aid.
- Gillian Wilks has been CEO of Social Security Rights Victoria since 2017. Her previous roles include Deputy CEO at Peninsula Community Legal Centre, leadership at the Federation of Community Legal Centres, and community legal education work/volunteer coordinator.
Facilitator: John Richardson, Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience.
The discussion will be live streamed and available as an on-demand resource after the event.

Presented by:
Victoria Law Foundation

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