21 Aug - 26 Aug 2019
Dookie Victoria, Australia
(Course open for applications, register now to secure your place)

The Essentials of Humanitarian Practice provides foundation knowledge for working within the modern humanitarian system and for responding to an international crisis that involves a global response. This course provides participants with an understanding of the complexity of the international relief system and the legal framework for humanitarian assistance. We introduce the characteristics of natural disasters and conflict-induced emergencies and the requirements for an effective humanitarian response, highlighting some of the dilemmas faced by humanitarians and aid workers. Participants will learn about the various United Nations agencies that respond to disasters and the roles these agencies play in coordinating responses for various sectors such as health, water and sanitation and logistics. They will discover how international non-government organisations work with these agencies to share information and data and to avoid duplication and ensure humanitarian aid reaches those who need it and doesn't cause harm. Attendees are given an opportunity to put the knowledge gained into practice and to explore the team skills required to work effectively in the field. 

If you require this course to be tailored for your organisation, please visit our Customised Training page for more information. 

This is a six day intensive course that includes both indoor and outdoor activities so please ensure you are fit and well to gain the most from your training experience. The highly practical, simulation-based course equips and refreshes individuals with the background and knowledge to work in the humanitarian sector. 

This course is designed for people from all professional backgrounds and disciplines looking to build a career in the international aid and development or humanitarian sectors. The course is a prerequisite for all those aspiring to join the RedR Australia humanitarian roster and is appropriate for staff from humanitarian aid organisations, individuals with experience in relief work and those actively seeking to build a career and work or volunteer in the sector. The course provides a unique opportunity to enhance participants’ skills, gain fresh insights and share practical experience with others as well as excellent networking with experienced humanitarians.

The course is in English and a reasonable proficiency is required for by participants.

Aims and Objectives

This course aims to prepare volunteers, aid and relief workers for the realities of life on assignment so that they are able to contribute as effectively as possible. It provides an understanding of the international context of emergency relief work, explaining the distinctions between natural disasters and conflict-induced emergencies, as well as an introduction to the international humanitarian system. If you are looking to enhance your career in this sector then this course is for you.

Course Objectives:

  • understand the humanitarian relief system and different organisations' roles and relationships
  • understand the characteristics of natural disasters and complex emergencies
  • comprehend key issues in the cultural, political and organisational environment of relief assistance
  • appreciate the legal and emotional issues impinging on those affected by disasters
  • assess personal skills and identify areas for development
  • recognise the teamwork skills required in relief work and practice some essentials of effective teamwork
  • apply techniques and approaches that increase individual responsibility in humanitarian work
  • be familiar with basic radio protocol and use
  • develop networks that will help you in your humanitarian careers

Course Outline:

  • journey through humanitarian practice
  • the international humanitarian system
  • introduction to radio usage
  • cultural effectiveness
  • international law in humanitarian action
  • protection & inclusion
  • humanitarian codes & standards
  • donor role in a humanitarian response
  • civil-military interaction
  • working in teams
  • cross cutting issues in humanitarian programming
  • core technical sectors
  • coordination & information sharing
  • emergency needs assessment
  • ethics in the field
  • stress in the field
  • site planning
  • tips for working with the media

Full Rate: $2,850 AUD Reduced Rate: $2,600 AUD


Includes all food, accommodation and training materials.


If you currently work for an NGO or are a RedR Roster Member ( please supply membership number) you are eligible for the reduced rate.


Unless otherwise stated, all courses are residential and course fees are inclusive of meals, accommodation, training and materials, but not transport to and from the venue. Course fees are in Australian dollars. A non-refundable deposit of $400 (AUD) is payable at the time of enrollment to secure your place on a course. This payment must be made via credit card through our secure payment facility.


Further instructions regarding course the logistics will be provided upon payment of course fees.


the University of Melbourne's Dookie Campus, Dookie-Nalinga Road, Dookie College, Victoria, 3647.
Dookie Campus Map


Our residential courses are held at Dookie near Shepparton in Victoria (220km north of Melbourne) and provide a range of learning experiences, including scenarios and field exercises.

RedR Australia's training facilities are located in remote environments. The closest hospitals can be over 30km away from the venue. Therefore please be prepared with all your medical needs.


Course Timing

Registration takes place from 10:30 am on the first day of all courses and activities will conclude at 1:00 pm on the final day. To receive your course certificate you must complete the entire course.


Please arrange your own travel to and from our training venues.Travel insurance is recommended for all applicants and is mandatory for international participants. Trains run from Melbourne to Shepparton and pick up can be arranged from Benalla train station.

Pre-course Learning

It is strongly recommended that all participants complete the prescribed reading prior to the course. Pre-reading will be sent to registered participants two weeks prior to the course commencement date.

Please refer to your course orientation guide, received upon enrolment, for more detailed essential course information.

Our trainers have extensive experience in complex emergencies and natural disasters in Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and the Asia Pacific. Please visit 'Our Training Team' web page for more details.  


Community development worker Rochelle Baughan explains how the course will help her transition to international emergency response work