06 Oct - 12 Oct 2018
(Opening for applications next year)

In any humanitarian crisis, communities need access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene. Water borne diseases are major killers in disasters and complex emergencies, where large populations are displaced and/or moving or where local water infrastructure has been destroyed by an earthquake, typhoon or bombing. Effective intervention can reduce the spread of disease, alleviate suffering and ultimately save lives. When local emergency response workers understand how to apply basic Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) strategies, more lives can be saved. This course introduces participants to the WASH sector in emergencies and the international SPHERE standards that apply as well as how the sector is impacted and supported by other sectors in an international emergency operation.

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

This is a seven day intensive residential course that includes both indoor and outdoor activities so please ensure you are fit and well to gain the most from your training experience.  

This highly practical course provides an overview of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in humanitarian emergency operations. The course equips and refreshes individuals with the background and knowledge to apply WASH skills through a combination of theory, practical exercises, scenarios and simulations. 

This course is an ideal introduction to public health engineering in emergencies for aid and humanitarian workers and volunteers of all disciplines, levels and experience. It suits environmental and public health engineers and particularly those whose technical skills are more oriented toward large-scale urban systems, who want to adapt their skills to humanitarian emergency work; public and environmental health specialists who would be involved in emergency responses in Australia and the region would also benefit as well as anyone who has already worked or volunteered in emergency relief and wants to improve or learn new public health engineering skills. 


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

Aims and Objectives

The purpose of this course is to introduce participants to the concepts of public health engineering and environmental health in emergencies, standard equipment used in the field and the basics of WASH cluster coordination.

Course Objectives:

  • the links between water, sanitation and health
  • the nature of, and the threats posed by, environmental diseases
  • effective hygiene promotion in a crisis context
  • the complexity of delivering safe water and sanitation in an emergency
  • the standard equipment used in the field for emergency WASH response
  • planning and coordinating WASH responses in emergencies

Course Outline

  • Public health risks in emergencies
  • Radio and GPS
  • Practical coordination of humanitarian response
  • WASH standards – Sphere
  • Water source identification
  • Site selection and planning
  • WASH needs assessment
  • Fieldwork: assessment and data collection
  • Case study – coordination, assessment and site planning
  • Water supply & distribution (incl ‘pipes and fittings’)
  • Water quality and treatment
  • Complete tank construction
  • Set up alum dosing
  • Water pumping and distribution
  • Planning and equipment selection
  • Excreta disposal and latrines
  • Hygiene promotion
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Environmental sanitation (solid waste management, site clean-up)
  • ADF role and capability in disaster response
  • Decommissioning and storage of equipment
  • Transition issues (from emergency to rehabilitation)
  • Water trucking operations
  • Coordination and Partnerships
  • Disease surveillance

Full Rate: $2,900 AUD  Reduced Rate: $2,500 AUD

Inclusions: All food, accommodation and training materials. Travel not included.

You are eligible for the reduced rate if you are a member of our humanitarian roster (you must supply your membership number) or currently work for an NGO. 

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 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 (220 km 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 30 km away from the venue. Therefore please be prepared with all your medical needs. 

Training Times

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. Trains run between Melbourne and Shepparton and pick up can be arranged from Shepparton train station. Travel insurance is recommended for all applicants and is mandatory for international participants.

Pre-course Learning

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


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. As our trainers are emergency response experts that regularly deploy into global crises, trainers may change from those featured here on the website.



Paul de Launay

Paul is an award winning innovative engineer with extensive experience in the humanitarian sector.

He has extensive experience in water engineering and disaster management and has spent two decades working in the humanitarian sector.

He has coordinated projects for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in challenging environments in a number of countries including Cambodia, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Sudan and Lebanon.

His hands-on approach contributes to an environment where people enjoy working and perform efficiently and productively.

He also operates a Consulting Engineering practice, authors and delivers training programs, writes technical publications and is a keen photographer. Read about Paul's work for RedR Australia in South Sudan, Lebanon and Vanuatu here.


Nicole Hahn

Civil engineer Nicole Hahn has extensive experience as a first phase responder in both complex emergencies and natural disasters in more than 12 emergency responses. Nicole’s experience includes 10 deployments for RedR Australia as well as deployments with Government. Her field experience includes WASH Cluster coordination, Information Management, Site Planning and technical WASH roles. Nicole is a member of the Australian Civilian Corp Post Disaster Response Team and an Australian Red Cross delegate. Her most recent deployments were in the Nepal Earthquake and Cyclone Winston in Fiji. She's passionate about innovation and the role the private sector can play in humanitarian response.

Keith Swann

Civil engineer and educator Keith Swann has worked on landmark construction projcts that include Australia’s Parliament House, the redevelopment of the Canberra airport and the Canberra Hospital.

In 1993, he joined Shellharbour City Council in NSW as Manager of Environmental Engineering, advancing to Group Manager for Customer and Environmental Services before moving into the humanitarian sector in 2004.

Keith has deployed with RedR Australia four times and is a senior Associate Trainer. Keith’s first overseas deployment was to Afghanistan in 2004, where he was tasked with managing the construction of 30 health clinics and 26 schools across five provinces.  Since then, he has worked on housing and infrastructure projects in Indonesia, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines, the Maldives, Kenya and Somalia with various Government, NGO and United Nations agencies including the UNHCR and the World Food Programme.

Keith has an MBA, a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, and Postgraduate Diplomas of Education and Applied Science.


Chris Lee

Civil engineer Chris Lee spent 10 years working in construction in the UK, Lesotho and Peru before moving to Australia in 1986.  After 23 years as a project management consultant, Chris became a commercial charter pilot and joined RedR Australia’s humanitarian roster in 2006.

He has deployed with the UN’s Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in Somalia and worked in logistics and construction with various agencies including Oxfam, WFP and the UNHCR. He has worked on the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan and the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.


Francisco Monteiro

Francisco is an architect by trade and has over 20 years of professional experience including 15 in international development and humanitarian response. He has engaged in the design and rehabilitation of infrastructure and support to the cluster system – shelter and housing, education and heritage, and health programmes - in Southeast Asia, the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. He was worked with the World Bank, UNICEF, UNOPS, UNESCO, Australian Red Cross and IFRC.

Francisco is a Senior Humanitarian Trainer at RedR with responsibility for the design and delivery of core humanitarian training, focusing on technical sectors for emergency preparedness, response and recovery – Sphere Standards, Shelter and Settlements, Humanitarian Coordination, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion) and Humanitarian Logistics.



Gary Egan

Gary started his working life as an apprentice carpenter and joiner and remained in the building industry for seven years before changing careers and joining the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) where, he recently marked 35 years of service.  Gary is a recipient of the Australian Fire Services Medal and various commendations and citations for his work in the Black Saturday fires and Queensland floods. Gary led the USAR team during the Black Saturday fires that was involved in the recovery of more than 130 casualties.

A trainer assessor with MFB, Gary has provided training in Tonga, Fiji and Australia. He helped develop and deliver the first Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) course in Australia and, as a result, successfully coordinated and instructed on 14 national and two international courses for which he received the Chief Fire Officer’s Commendation.

Gary is trained as an emergency medical responder and is part of the Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT). He has delivered USAR courses on behalf of RedR Australia in the Philippines.