PBHL13002 - Public Health Disaster Management

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Since the 1960s, the occurrence of natural disasters globally has more than tripled. Extreme weather events are predicted to become even more frequent as our environment continues to change and communities will need to become more resilient if they are to withstand and recover from the effects of disasters. Disaster risk reduction and resilience is based upon a combination of risk reduction strategies combined with increasing intra- and inter-personal resilience, including building on existing strengths and relational networks. Individuals and communities are the starting point to build disaster resilience, consistent with Australia’s National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (2011) which underscores “shared responsibility” between governments and communities for disaster resilience. Connecting and working in partnership with the community is the aim in disaster risk reduction (DRR); building on existing networks, resources and strengths; identifying and supporting the development of community leaders; and empowering the community to exercise choice and take responsibility are some of the practical actions that can be undertaken to build a more resilient community. In this unit, you will review the historical aspects of disaster management, contrasting the traditional command and control method against the increasing involvement of the public/community in disaster management. You will examine the benefits and barriers to partnering with the broader community, identifying their level of commitment, making use of the community’s emerging skill base, and access to largely underutilised resources. By learning from authentic examples of emergency services and community interaction, you will be able to explore the concepts of engagement, preparedness and resilience and be able to participate in contemporary public health disaster management practices.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Pre-Requisite of 96 credit points

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2022

Term 2 - 2022 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 20%
2. Written Assessment 35%
3. Group Work 45%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 3.9 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 58.33% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Unit Evaluation
Assessment 2 could do with greater clarification.
Each assessment item and relevant marking criteria will be reviewed prior to term 2, 2021.
Action Taken
Assessment 2 was given greater clarification in the tutorials and through the discussion forums
Source: Unit evaluation
Assessment 2's teamwork component was an excellent way to get a feel for working in a team.
For 2021, consider adding a resource on the skills needed to undertake effective teamwork.
Action Taken
No teamwork resources were provided for 2021, as it was only felt necessary to use the tutorials and discussion forums to clarify the teamwork component for this cohort, based on their previous teamwork experience. However, based on the few students who identified struggling with teamwork, for term 2, 2022 teamwork resources will be provided, with relevant clarification discussed in the tutorials and discussion forums.
Source: Personal reflection
Practice-based seminars require updating.
Reinstate practice-based online forums with updated topics in 2021.
Action Taken
Profession based tutorials were provided again, with new topics introduced.
Source: Unit Evaluation
The new tile format in Moodle was considered difficult to follow.
Further clarification of the tile format in tutorials and in the discussion forums should be considered.
Action Taken
Source: Unit Evaluation
The self and peer review was considered unfair by one student.
The self and peer review for assessment 2 should remain, but its purpose could be clarified in tutorials and in the discussion forums.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Identify prominent public health issues during and after disasters
  2. Analyse the history and focus of disaster management from a global and domestic perspective.
  3. Compare and contrast traditional command and control concepts of disaster management with contemporary community based disaster management frameworks.
  4. Evaluate and apply the community based disaster management framework as a means to build and maintain partnerships within the context of disaster management.
  5. Collaborate to plan a response to a disaster scenario based on current and emerging evidence.
  6. Communicate information relating to disaster management to a wide variety of audiences using both “air and ground” strategies, including through a variety of information technologies and engagement strategies, respectively.

The external accreditation link, i.e. enHealth Environmental Health Officer Skills and Knowledge Matrix, Part 3 - Applied Skills and Knowledge (2009) to relevant learning outcomes, is as follows:

1. Apply understanding of principles, policies and procedures that support public and environmental health emergency PPRR processes.

2. Identify and operate within emergency management structures and chain of command. Facilitate community engagement in planning for, responding to and recovering from incidents and emergencies.

3. Provide information and advice to communities and individuals on emergency planning, preparation, response and recovery (PPRR) processes. Facilitate community engagement in planning for, responding to and recovering from incidents and emergencies. Develop information strategies and campaigns to promote community capacity.

4. Identify, collect and apply data to prepare, plan, respond to and recover from incidents and emergencies. Work with others to apply public and environmental health knowledge and implement plans in high pressure/stressful situation. Determine and prioritise action required to respond to emergencies and incidents.

5. Liaise with and report to partner agencies/departments to develop, review and implement emergency and incident PPRR and disseminate information. Provide advice and leadership within enforcement agencies. Lead/participate in multi-disciplinary teams.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Group Work
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Group Work