CHINCHILLA has hosted some high profile individuals over the years, but perhaps nobody with a CV as extensive as that of senior U.S. Government official Robert R Jensen.
A key media advisor to the White House, Mr Jensen was in town this week to speak at a breakfast seminar hosted by the Chinchilla Community, Commerce and Industry group.
Mr Jensen is visiting Australia as a Fulbright Fellow, addressing government leaders, industry representatives and, in an arrangement with Origin and the CCCI, a group of business people in Chinchilla.
The communications expert has over thirty years experience in federal and international government, specialising in disaster response and recovery management.
Mr Jensen spoke to a crowd of about 30 people at the Club Hotel about his dealings with the fallouts from Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina and the catastrophic BP oil spill in 2010.
Speaking to the Chinchilla News, Mr Jensen said he has found both clear correlations and vast differences in how the U.S. and Australian governments deal with catastrophes.
"I've got to say that I'm learning at every event I go to and... the way Australians handle disasters and incidents... ya'll are doing a fabulous job considering a lot of challenges you have," Mr Jensen said.
"I just want to say that I'm so impressed with all of the things that are going on here."
One point of discussion was how the U.S. Government was moving to engage the private sector as a way of monitoring disaster situations, disseminating information to the public and retrieving information from the public.
One example was a new deal with retail giant Walmart.
"We figured that if we reached every Walmart employee and their immediate family, we would reach 3% of the American population - just one company," Mr Jensen said.
"So that was really important for us; when we figure that out, a little light bulb goes off."
CCCI president Jason Johnston said Mr Jensen's speech was highly informative and also functional in CCCI's aim of improving the prosperity and livability of Chinchilla.
"This was an opportunity to have rare insight from a global expert on disaster management and gain understanding as to how we can improve our responses to disasters like floods," Mr Johnston said.
Robert R Jensen visiting not in an official capacity but as a private citizen as part of the Fulbright program.
To listen his interview with the Chinchilla News CLICK HERE.
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