Webinar Recording - Culturally appropriate communication

Using culturally appropriate communication to reach diverse communities

Dr Kate Delmo, University of Technology Sydney and Melinda McDonald, Fire and Rescue New South Wales, winners of the 2023 EMPA Australia Awards for Excellence in Emergency Communication for the Research category, will speak about reducing risk and increasing community resilience in culturally and linguistically diverse communities through culturally appropriate communication.

Sam Rossiter-Stead, Co-Chair, EMPA 

Dr Kate Delmo, University of Technology Sydney
Melinda McDonald, Fire and Rescue NSW

DATE: Wednesday 24 April 2024

About the speakers

Dr Kate Delmo
Senior Lecturer, Strategic Communication, School of Communication, University of Technology Sydney

Dr Kate Delmo

Senior Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney

Dr. Kate Delmo is the Head of Strategic Communication Discipline in the School of Communication, University of Technology Sydney.

She teaches into the postgraduate and undergraduate programs in Strategic Communication. Her research interests explore the intersection of data, technology, and people. Anchored in the UN Sustainable Development Goals on Sustainable Communities and Climate Action, her projects examine the ecology of crisis, emergency, and disaster risk resilience.

Her research in these areas embodies a multisectoral approach by examining resilience of both emergency and disaster responders and the communities that they serve.

Kate has managed funded research projects such as cultural competency of emergency responders in emergency preparedness and spontaneous volunteerism in Australia. Kate is intrigued by the role that digital technology plays in encouraging stakeholder coordination and engagement across crises, emergencies, and disaster life cycles. She also investigates social media in reshaping cultures and empowering change.

Melinda McDonald
Research Officer (CaLD)
Community Safety Directorate, Fire and Rescue NSW

Melinda McDonald

Research Officer (CaLD) Community Safety Directorate, Fire and Rescue NSW

Melinda McDonald is an experienced communications specialist, researcher, and qualified operational firefighter with Fire & Rescue NSW. Having transitioned from a corporate career, Melinda has dedicated the past six years to firefighting - combining her expertise in communications and her passion for community safety to make a lasting impact.

Melinda’s primary focus is on community risk reduction in culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Australia. She emphasises the importance of prevention as the first line of defence in reducing fire-related injuries and fatalities. Melinda believes curiosity, collaboration, and relentless optimism are key to equipping emergency responders with greater cultural competence, and empowering communities to actively participate in risk reduction program design. She has shared this work with international audiences at the Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference at the Gold Coast, Australia, and at the International Communications Conference in Toronto, Canada.

In 2023, Melinda received a Churchill Fellowship to study co-designed fire and emergency risk reduction programs for culturally diverse communities worldwide, which she will commence in May 2024. She currently serves as Vice President of Women and Firefighting Australasia, where she actively contributes to the advancement of women in fire services.

Session recording