Report from Aus/NZ Introductory Course 2016 – Matamata, New Zealand

This was the first time we ran our RescueNet Introductory Course in the beautiful town of Matamata, NZ. The place is well known for the Hobbiton, and turned out to be an excellent location for our course as well.

We had an international group of four participants and two probational members and staff with backgrounds from NZ, Australia, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Nicaragua! As with all our courses, we emphasise teamwork and team-building. By building a strong team from the start, we set a good foundation for the rest of the course. The premises at the family ministry centre provided all we needed from abandoned buildings to literal jungle and even a natural hot spring! We were able to set up various types of scenarios ranging from Medical to Search and Rescue to Security and all our participants put their 100% in. On our times off (not many!) we were able to relax at the near by natural hot springs.

As always at the end of a course it is amazing to see how each of us have grown both as individuals as well as a group. These courses introduce the participants with a whole bunch of good skills, even if they would never end up joining RescueNet. The full days and the intensity and the need of each other and the team, uniquely builds trusts among the participants, which is so important once out on the field doing disaster response work.

It was a privilege to be part of this course and the quality people sharing this journey. Until next time!

Ilari Makinen